A FEW STOLEN MOMENTS IS ALL THAT WE SHARE
Tonight, the Red Wings reach for the record books. They’ve won 19 straight on home ice — one shy of the National Hockey League record. Some purists will tell you that Detroit’s version won’t mean as much, since there are a handful of shootout wins in there (which, in more trying times, would have been ties). But don’t let that distract you from what is an absolutely incredible feat in the face of overwhelming athletic talent in 2011 and 2012. The Detroit Red Wings, looking to add just one more bullet point to their encyclopedia of accomplishments, will drop the puck at 7:30pm and host the Philadelphia Flyers in a quest for #20.
And, as an aside, I’m sure you’ve noticed over the years that we rarely repeat a pre-game theme. We’ve probably done Groundhog Day and Jurassic Park twice, because it’s impossible not to. But for the most part, we try to keep it fresh and try something new for each of the 82 games. But one theme has an elevated status here at The Production Line. The beautiful Ms. Whitney Houston, who always comes and bails us out when we need a big win or a slump busted, passed away yesterday at the age of 48. We’ve had Whitney pre-games no less than five times around these parts and today’s big-time game is dedicated to her memory.
YOU GOTTA YOU GOTTA WAY THAT YOU’RE MAKING ME FEEL I CAN DO I CAN DO ANYTHING
:: Detroit took a shootout decision over the Ducks on Friday night, 2-1.
:: Philadelphia played last night and lost 5-2 to the Rangers.
:: The Wings and Flyers don’t meet too often — the last game between the two clubs was more than a year ago: January 2nd, 2011. The Flyers got the best of Detroit that night, winning 3-2. Jimmy Howard was in net, and goals were scored by Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula. Ironically, the Red Wings were without Dan Cleary and Patrick Eaves that night — and will be again tonight. In 2011, they were also missing Pavel Datsyuk and Mike Modano.
A DAMN SHAME FORGOT MY NAME
For a team full of assholes in a city even more full of assholes, the Best Name Nominee has to be Jody Shelley, a goon blessed with not one, BUT TWO!, girls’ names.
I’VE BEEN IN LOVE AND LOST MY SENSES, SPINNING THROUGH THE TOWN
Today is an important day. Not only will the Red Wings be going for a record-tying 20th straight win at home, they’ll be welcoming back to the Joe an important part of their history and blueline might. That’s right… I’m talking about the one, the only… Andreas Lilja. And also, Todd Diamond.
REMEMBER WHEN WE HELD ON IN THE RAIN?
Even though there are no former Flyers on the Red Wings roster, they still own the NHL rights to Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, the inconsequential “also-ran” part of the Ville Leino trade from a few seasons back.
EVERYBODY’S SEARCHING FOR A HERO
Todd Bertuzzi :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler :: Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg
Justin Abdelkader :: Darren Helm :: Drew Miller
Tomas Holmstrom :: Cory Emmerton :: Jan Mursak
Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Jonathan Ericsson
Can’t You See the Hurt In Me?
Patrick Eaves [jaw, LTIR]
Dan Cleary [knee]
Jimmy Howard [finger]
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: Ken “I’ve Been Waiting for the Phone to Ring All Night” Holland
HOLLIS: Nicklas “There’s a Boy I Know, He’s the One I’m Dreaming Of” Lidstrom
DISCH: Jonathan “Gave Proof Through the Night” Ericsson
STEVIE: Darren “He’s All the Man I Need” Helm
SHARE MY LIFE, TAKE ME FOR WHAT I AM
:: Joey MacDonald gets the start again, which means Ty Conklin will sit yet again. I have a feeling he’s done in red and white.
:: Through 56 games, only two regulars have minus ratings: Kronwall (-2) and Holmstrom (-5). Since +/- is the stupidest stat that’s actually kept, it doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it is curious.
:: The Flyers are second in the Atlantic with 69 points, which would be good for fourth in the conference if the playoffs were to start today.
:: Detroit courted Jaromir Jagr this past off-season for some reason, so keep an eye on #68 — a living legend whose game hasn’t slipped too badly.
SO GOODBYE. PLEASE, DON’T CRY