UPDATE! Per Ansar Khan of MLive, Pavel Datsyuk is out tonight with an undisclosed injury sustained in the Chicago Blackhawks game on Sunday. Rather than calling anyone up, the team will use 7 defensemen and 11 forwards.
ANYTHING HAPPENS TO MY DAUGHTER, I GOT A .45 AND A SHOVEL. I DOUBT YOU’D BE MISSED
The Red Wings’ annual Fathers/Mentors Trip comes to a close tonight. The team’s gift to their dads — a four-day tour of world class North American cities — sees their trip go from Toronto to Chicago to… wait, are you fucking serious? Long Island? What — was the team plane for the Kuwait trip overbooked? Have you ever been to Long Island? Five minutes there and I’m contemplating my chances swimming anywhere else. Also, check out this website.
The Wings and Islanders faceoff for their once-yearly get-together. Puck drops at 7pm Eastern and can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit Plus for those of you still in the homeland or with Center Ice. A half hour before game time, the Vikings and Buccaneers (the Pennsylvania high school hockey kind, not the shitty football kind) will be facing off, as well. The Red Wings are 2-2 when I’m behind the bench at the same time. Both losses came to the Blues somehow.
SOME LIKE IT HOT AND SPORADICUS
:: Detroit needed overtime to drop the Hawks 3-2 on Sunday. Somewhere, Ed Olczyk is still crying.
:: The Islanders were curb-stomped by (wait for it) the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-1, on Saturday.
:: The Wings and Isles rarely meet, what being in alternate conferences and all. An injustice that was supposed to be rectified next season, but won’t be now. It’s been over a year since these two teams last met: New Years Eve as 2010 rolled into 2011. The Wings were 4-3 overtime losers, but I assume half of them were drunk on champagne already. It was Tomas Tatar’s NHL debut, and he scored a goal (along with Filppula and Franzen); and Jimmy Howard suffered his 9th combined loss of the season.
“EXCUSE ME, MISS DIONNE”
Lots of really great nominees for Best Name, but if you think it’s going to be anyone but Nino Neidereitter for the foreseeable future, you’ve got something else coming. Special shout out to Rhett “I Trust My Eyes to Doctor” Rakhshani and Jesse “I’ve Got My Mind Set” Joensuu.
I HEAR GIRLS AT NYU AREN’T AT ALL PARTICULAR
No former Red Wings on the Islanders or their farm team, but Brian Rolston is a Flint man.
SAVING HERSELF FOR LUKE PERRY
(alternatively: YOU KNOW I DON’T SPEAK MEXICAN)
Todd Bertuzzi was drafted by the Islanders (one pick after the Red Wings picked Anders Eriksson); and third string goaltender and all-around awesome dude Joey MacDonald spent a few seasons in Long Island. I assume they grew tired of whatever language they claim they speak in that part of the country and/or people who think that going to the Eastern-most part of a garbage-filled island constitutes “high class vacation.”
YOU THINK THE DEATH OF SAMMY DAVIS LEFT AN OPENING IN THE RAT PACK?
Todd Bertuzzi :: Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler :: Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg
Dan Cleary :: Justin Abdelkader :: Drew Miller
Tomas Holmstrom :: Darren Helm :: Cory Emmerton
Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Jonathan Ericsson
Someone Mel Gibson Never Played
(alternatively: I Can’t Find My Cranberries CD. I Gotta Go to the Quad Before Someone Snags It)
Patrick Eaves [jaw, LTIR]
Pavel Datsyuk [undisclosed]
The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Mike “Well… I Broke In My Purple Clogs” Commodore
DISCH: Jonathan “The PC Term is Hymenally Challenged” Ericsson
STEVIE: Valtteri “I Do Not Wear Polyester Hair, Okay? Unlike Some People I Know Like Shawanda” Filppula
MY BUNS? THEY DON’T FEEL NOTHIN’ LIKE STEEL
:: If you hadn’t already heard, Chris Conner has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins now that Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm are healthy enough to play every game. Jan Mursak’s conditioning stint expires later this week, and when he returns, there will be 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders: one under the 23-man limit. Patrick Eaves, when healthy enough to return, will be #23, assuming no one else ends up on IR in the meantime.
:: Ty Conklin will start for the second game in a row. It’s the first time he’s done that since Mrs. Howard was birthing Baby Tiberius: October 22nd and 25th. Both of those outings were losses, and 11 goals were allowed. However, after a strong showing against the Blackhawks on Sunday, Conklin has certainly earned the right to play a little more often, particularly when the team is facing off against one of the weaker teams in the League.
:: Z WATCH — it has now been ten games since Henrik Zetterberg got on the board. In that time, Jiri Hudler has six goals (most on the team), followed by Valtteri Filppula (4), Dan Cleary (3), Todd Bertuzzi (3), and Pavel Datsyuk (3). Zetterberg does have 7 assists in the last four games, however.
:: Obligatory “Rick DiPietro so flimsy” joke here. The team is also missing Al Montoya, the de-facto starter, due to a concussion. Evgeni Nabokov is likely to start his ninth straight game, and the first since he was signed by the Red Wings and claimed by the Islanders on waivers.
:: Tonight is Game #42, meaning the second half starts right now. The Wings are on pace for 106 points, 268 goals for, and 188 goals against. Each of those marks would be better than a year ago (104/261/241).
:: From the Official Game Notes, courtesy of @RooseBill and The Detroit Red Wings: the Islanders leading scorer, John Tavares, has 36 points on the season and 9 points (2G, 7A) in the last 5 games… the officials for tonight’s game are Brian Pochmara, Chris Rooney, Brad Kovachik, and Mark Wheeler… the Wings are 44-44-8 all-time against the New York Islanders, but it’s important to remember that they were a respectable franchise in the 80’s… it’s been over 8 years since the Wings beat the Islanders in regulation… Frans Nielsen is the NHL’s all-time leading shootout converter, which is so lame I’m sorry if I’ve written it… if the Wings win tonight, it will be the 400th win of Coach Mike Babcock’s career. He would be the third fastest to attain the benchmark (his 697 games are just shy of Glen Sather’s 694 and Scotty Bowman’s 690)…