WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
For the fourth and final time this season, the Red Wings and Avalanche tangle. Monday night, 9:30pm, Denver’s Coke Can.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
After sweeping the three game trip to Western Canada, the Wings hope to keep the streak alive and make it four straight. The injuries might be mounting, but the boys looked damn good against the Canucks and prove that they’re not going to fold under the pressure of dwindling depth. Joey MacDonald has been called up to back up Jimmy Howard tonight, as Chris Osgood’s groin is on the fritz.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
Chris Osgood’s milestone win came against the Avalanche the last time these two met — December 27th. It was a 4-3 overtime victory, and the goals were scored by Johan Franzen, Nicklas Lidstrom, Scuttles Hudler, and a boomshot in the extra frame courtesy of Niklas Kronwall.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
Another repeat offender: Kyle Quincey is an Av, Ruslan Salei is a Wing, and Jonas Holos has a pretty dope name, particularly since there’s a line through one of those O’s.
THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit defeated the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday night.
:: Colorado lost to the Islanders 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Mulo — Zetterberg — Homer
Scuttles — Filppula / Tatar — Thunderchief
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Miller — Abdelkader — Mursak
Lidstrom — Kronwall
Rafalski — Ericsson
Cirque — Kindl
Mike The World is Made for People Who Aren’t Cursed with Self Awareness” EModano [wrist]
Dan “Must’ve Called That Guy a Cocksucker” Cleary [ankle]
Pavel “When You Speak of Me, Speak Well” Datsyuk [hand]
Valtteri “You Gotta Play This Game with Fear and Arrogance” Filppula [groin] **GAMETIME DECISION**
Brad “You’re Going to Have to Learn Your Cliches” Stuart [jaw]
Chris “From What I Hear, You Couldn’t Hit Water if You Fell Out of a Fucking Boat” Osgood [groin]
Todd “I Don’t Hit No Man First” Bertuzzi
Jonathan “Hopeless. This is Utterly Fucking Hopeless” Ericsson
Jiri “I’d Never Sleep With a Player Hitting Under .250” Hudler
Brett “I’m the Player to be Named Later” Lebda
*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. Howard Hyde: after a MEAN performance this past Saturday in Vancouver, we all hope his “struggles” (despite having led the NHL in wins this whole time) are past him. That said, he can’t take a night off, since there’s enough fire power on the Avalanche to make life miserable. Here’s hoping he can build off of the performance and keep looking like one of the league’s better tenders.
2. Dominant D: in the first game played since Brad Stuart has his jaw broken (with a hit to the chest– WEIRD!), the defense played extremely well. Arguably the best corps-wide effort, particularly from Kronwall and Salei. All six are going to have to play it safe, since the most likely candidates to be called up are injured. Kindl showed jump, but he hasn’t been an everyday player before now (hold the fill-in jobs for Ericsson and Rafalski). All eyes on 4.
3. Homer Due: Tomas Holmstrom is at the top of the list of players expected to chip in offense, but have let a few games build up since. Homer has no goals in 7, but perhaps that’s more of an indication that the power play sucks right now. Granted, a lot of pieces are missing, but you get that feeling they’re one good one away from getting that clicking.
4. The Kids Are Alright: I dig Tatar and Mursak. I thought Mursak had the stronger game on Saturday, but Tatar is no slouch either. I’m enjoying having them in the lineup even though it means a lot of parts are out.
5. Break Upcoming: the schedule’s been tough lately, and the Wings get a relative break after tonight: their next game isn’t until Friday, but its the first half of back-to-back nights with the Blue Jackets. By then, we should know more about Chris Osgood’s prognosis and hopefully Howard gets a breather in one…
WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE CANUCKS
Hockey fans deserve a playoff series between those two.