Valtteri Filppula is a scratch for tonight’s game after-all. Jan Mursak and Tomas Tatar will both be dressed this evening.
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Wings close out the first half of the schedule with a game against the Flames in the Great White North of TPLatina Land. It will be the fourth match-up of the season, with the Wings sweeping the first three meetings by a combined score of 11-7. Puck drops at 9pm Eastern on Friday night.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
The Wings play their second of three games in Western Canada, hoping to collect another two points after beating Edmonton (and their light cannon clown) on Tuesday. Earlier in the season, on an identical road trip, the Wings took the first two games (in EDM and CGY) before dropping the third in Vancouver, their Saturday opponent. They’ll be looking to rectify that, I’m sure.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The most recent meeting came on November 21st, a 5-4 overtime victory for the Winged Wheelers. Zetterberg got a pair; Franzen, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom filled in the gaps. It was the last game in which Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?!
Red Wings Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi each played in Calgary during their pre-Detroit days.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
Raitis Ivanans. Book it.
THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit defeated the Oilers, 5-3, on Wings Wings Tuesday.
:: Calgary dropped a 3-1 decision to the Canucks on Wednesday.
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Thunderchief — Zetterberg — Homer
Scuttles — Franzen — Eaves
Draper — Helm — Tatar / Filppula
Miller — Abdelkader — Mursak
Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Ericsson
Kronwall — Cirque
Scratches [Nickname Theme requested by @lizzlefoshizzle]
Jakub “I’m On the Rooster!” Kindl
Mike “It’s Either a Leg Thing or a Spiritual Thing or a Psychological Thing” Modano [wrist]
Dan “It’s Better to Eat Shit Than Not to Eat at All” Cleary [ankle]
Pavel “Doubles Off a Pigeon” Datsyuk [hand]
Todd “I Don’t WHAT the Hell He’s Thinking” Bertuzzi
Jiri “I Especially Like it When They Mention the Girls’ Interests…Like Betsy Loves Surfing” Hudler [h/t @lizzlefoshizzle]
Jiri “I’d, Uh, Call it the Masturbator” Hudler
Jiri “Trojan-ENZ Boner of the Week” Hudler
Henrik “Look. At. The. Scoreboard. Now. GRASSHOPPER” Zetterberg
Niklas “You’re Standing on the Tracks and the Train’s Coming Through, Butthead” Kronwall
Jonathan “He’s 0 for… I Don’t Know, Who Cares” Ericsson
Darren “Better Teach Him Some Control Before He Kills Somebody” Helm [h/t @lizzlefoshizzle]
Darren “He’ll Need a Rocket Up His Ass to Catch That One” Helm
Chris “A Guy Who’ll Be Baggin’ Groceries in a Couple Weeks” Osgood
Jason “Fly Ball… Caught.” Williams
Brett “I’m the Only Winner on this Team. The Rest of Them, They’re Losers. Either By Choice or By Birth” Lebda
Teemu “You Have No Marbles” Selanne [h/t @saraneuie]
*If there are any that you think I missed, throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page*
THE FIVE HOLE
1. Wings Slump Perspective: at the 41-game mark last season, they were 21-14-6. Coming into tonight’s tilt, they’re 25-10-5. They may not be performing as well as they were in the early part of the season, but they’re still a damn good hockey club.
2. In the Crease: after Chris Osgood played in front of his season-ticket holding father in Edmonton, there was some debate (mostly on TP:60) as to who’s going to play in the next two, and in what order. Well, it’s Jimmy Howard for the front half of the back-to-back. I, for one, wonder who will be playing in the game on Saturday against the Conference-leading Canucks. Do they go with the starter, or do they go with the more rested of the two?
3. Team Defense: much is being made that team defense is failing the goaltenders, and – on the surface – the numbers certainly indicate they’re in the middle of the pack at best. The Wings are 15th in the league in goals against. 11th in the league in average shots faced, and 15th in penalty killing.
4. Dynamic Offense: at the same time, they’re leading the league in scoring average and shots taken, and are 4th in power play effectiveness. If you were forced to choose, which would you prefer: a dominant defense or a dominant offense?
5. Welcome Back, Patty: After missing three games with an infected elbow (gross), he returns to the lineup. Unfortunately, Valtteri Filppula’s groin has been acting up a bit and was a gametime decision. Sunrise, sunset.
WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE OILERS
Spotlights are fucking tricky.
FLAME WE COVET (JJ Special)
Maybe Brendan Morrison could help Todd Bertuzzi be more like Todd Bertuzzi when Todd Bertuzzi when Todd Bertuzzi.