WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Wings get back on the horse and begin their post-All Star break with a tussle against an Eastern Conference foe. Wings and Senators, Wednesday, 7pm Eastern
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
There’s been a little R&R, presumably, so some of the boys are gearing up for a return. Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom both skated with the team yesterday, but neither will return until the weekend. Dan Cleary, who has missed 14 games with a fractured ankle, will play his first game since the day after Christmas.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
It’s been almost a full year since the Wings and Senators played against one another. Last February 13th, the Wings were 4-1 victors on the strength of goals from Pavel Datsyuk (who we won’t see tonight), Dan Cleary (who makes his return), Johan Franzen, and Kirk Maltby (tear). It was the last game Kirk Maltby would ever play in the NHL.
OH, HI AGAIN
No one on the Senators has ties to the Red Wings — but they do have Jason Spezza, who finished his junior career with the Windsor Spitfires.
Patrick Eaves will almost certainly be looking for a little bit of a “I told you so” against the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2003 Draft. He played two and a half years in Ottawa, before being traded to Carolina with Joe Corvo for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
Despite being a massive cock, Jarkko Ruutu has a cooler name than all of the Guardian Project clowns put together.
THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit beat New Jersey by a score of 3-1 a full week ago.
:: Ottawa also played New Jersey for their last game, a 2-1 loss last night.
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Mulo — Zetterberg — Thunderchief
Scuttles — Filppula — Cleary
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Miller — Abdelkader — Mursak
Lidstrom — Kronwall
Rafalski — Ericsson
Cirque — Kindl
As is tradition around here, please enjoy Groundhog Day references on February 2nd.
Mike “Winter, Slumbering in the Open Air, Wears on its Smiling Face a Dream” EModano [wrist/March]
Pavel “I’d Love to Stay Here and Talk With You, But I’m Not Going To” Datsyuk [hand/this weekend]
Brad “I’m Bettin’ He’s Gonna Swerve First” Stuart [jaw/March]
Chris “‘So Did You End Up Going Pro with that Belly Button Thing?” Osgood [groin/March]
Tomas “People Just Don’t Understand What Is Involved In This. This is an Artform!” Holmstrom [hand/this weekend]
Todd “What If There Is No Tomorrow?” Bertuzzi
Todd “It’s Gonna Be Cold, It’s Gonna Be Gray, and It’s Gonna Last You for the Rest of Your Life” Bertuzzi
Jiri “You Wanna Throw Up Here Or You Wanna Throw Up in the Car?” Hudler
Jiri “He’s the Fastest Jack in Jefferson County!” Hudler
Jiri “At Sunset, We Made Love Like Sea Otters” Hudler
Niklas “Don’t Drive on the Railroad Track” Kronwall
Kyle “Too Early for Flapjacks?” Wellwood
Larry “No Thanks, I’ve Seen Larry Eat” Murphy
Greg “Now Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Remember Me Because I Sure as Heckfire Remember You” Stefan
*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. Refreshed? Good: Despite having one of the league’s better records, no one is thrilled with how the Red Wings have gotten there. They’ve allowed three or more goals in 17 of their last 19 games, going 10-6-3 in that span. Not at all a bad record, but it hasn’t felt like Red Wing hockey.
2. Recovering Injuries: As we entered the All-Star break, we had six regulars on the shelf, and at least two others (Howard and Zetterberg) that were playing hurt. Hopefully that week off has pushed some of the guys closer to 100%, and we should all be excited to have Cleary back in the lineup. If he can pick up where he left off, we’ll be in good shape. He had 15 goals in the 25 games before his ankle was facocta by Brad Stuart’s shot from the point.
3. Sak Attak: The Wings curiously recalled Jan Mursak on Tuesday, prompting the “who isn’t playing then” chatter, and it was revealed to be Pavel Datsyuk. Dangles was taken off of IR before the break, but isn’t ready for game play yet, apparently, and will be on the shelf for at least one more game. Mursak has played in 14 games for the Red Wings this season — netting himself a goal.
4. Team Lidstrom: Homeboy went +7 in an All-Star Game. A game in which he was on the ice for 10 of his team’s 11 goals. That’d be incredible for an anomaly, but considering its Nick Lidstrom and we’ve grown accustomed to dominating performances like that — including ones that fly under the radar — we should all rise and give a slow clap today.
5. Ugly Jerseys: Don’t forget — you’ve got a few more days to present your ugly third jersey photoshops to us and to Etched in Cold to be considered for totally awesome prizes.
WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE DEVILS
They are just horrible.