Jan. 14 :: May the Force Be With Us All

Even Natalie Portman's sweet ass couldn't get me to see this nonsense

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Wings and Hawks. For the third time in two weeks. This time, it’s a Saturday matinee: 12:30pm on NBC. The real one. Not the random cable channel no one can find. The Wings will attempt to tie a franchise record of 14 straight home wins today.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit grabbed a shootout victory, 3-2, on Thursday night against Phoenix.
:: Chicago earned a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
:: I feel like we just did this — the Wings and Hawks grappled on Sunday, with Pavel Datsyuk banking a win off of Nick Leddy’s ass in overtime.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Dan Cleary :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler :: Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg
Jan Mursak :: Darren Helm :: Drew Miller
Tomas Holmstrom :: Justin Abdelkader :: Cory Emmerton

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Jonathan Ericsson

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Scratches
Patrick Eaves [jaw, LTIR]
Mike Commodore [foot]
Todd Bertuzzi [unknown]

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: Jiri “You Stupid Little Astro Droid!” Hudler
HOLLIS: Sending out the search party first thing in the morning.
DISCH: Sweltering in Texas.
STEVIE: Nicklas “Soon I Will Have a New Apprentice, One Far Younger and More Powerful” Lidstrom

FIVE HOLE
:: As the game was ending on Thursday, Jimmy Howard took an awkward spill. He ended up winning the contest, but we’ve all been wondering if — after the adrenaline wore off — he’d be too sore to play in this game. Last we heard, he should be in net, even though Conklin was able to defeat the Hawks in the last go-around.
:: Mike Commodore will not play for the third straight game, having blocked a shot in the last Chicago game with his right foot.
:: Todd Bertuzzi is a game-time decision two nights after surprisingly be scratched after the pre-game warm-up. The official diagnosis is — wait for it — undisclosed. If he can go, he’ll likely replace Jan Mursak in the lineup.
:: It might have flown under the radar, but it was announced yesterday that the Red Wings have waived Chris Minard with the intention of sending him to Grand Rapids. This is news because Minard has missed the entire season (and almost a full calendar year), the result of a concussion from two seasons ago. That he’s being waived means he’s healthy enough to be designating for assignment, which – of course – is great news.

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