WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Saturday, December 26th, 2009. 7pm. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets meet for the second time this season, but for the first time in Detroit. Oh, and I’ll be there, so…ya know…Todd Bertuzzi is going to be looking for me in the stands.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. Merry Christmas — Val Flip is back.
2. Wings are on a three-game losing streak, matching their season long. Joy to the World.
3. The last time the Wings and Jax played, it was U-G-L-Y. Wings walked away 9-1 winners. Suck it, Ohio.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Jackets played on November 11th. Jimmy Howard was in net and it was his first win of the season. Detroit got goals from Kronwall (two, in fact), Abdelkader (also with two), Bertuzzi (fluke), Cleary, Datsyuk, Draper, and Leino. You may recall this was the game that seven different goal scorers each scored their third goal of the season. Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino haven’t scored since.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
The following players have been injured since the last time these two teams met: Niklas Kronwall, Patrick Eaves, Brian Rafalski, Dan Cleary, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, and Henrik Zetterberg. Vomit.
OH, HI AGAIN
There are no former Red Wings on the current incarnation of the Blue Jackets. Which is odd because Columbus has long been Red Wings Lite.
Former Blue Jackets Jason Williams and Andy Delmore find themselves on the Wings (or in the system), but neither is available for this game.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit lost to Chicago, 3-0 for the second game in a row, on Wednesday.
–Columbus lost to Dallas, 3-1, also on Wednesday.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 18-14-5 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 11-7-2 at home.
–Columbus Blue Jackets :: 14-17-7 (5th in Central, 14th in West) :: 6-11-3 on the road.
JACKETS YOU SHOULD KNOW
As of this writing, I haven’t heard if Brian Rafalski had recovered from his most recent bout with the flu, but if he can’t go, expect Jakub Kindl to be in his place. Likewise, I haven’t seen starting goaltenders listed anywhere.
Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Leino — Filppula — Miller
Draper — Helm — Eaves
May — Abdelkader — Maltby
Lidstrom — Rafalski/Kindl
Lebda — Stuart
Meech — Janik
Andreas “Lump of Coal” Lilja
Johan “Aunt’s Fruitcake” Franzen
Jason “Homemade Socks” Williams
Niklas “Ugly Santa Sweater” Kronwall
Dan “Yellow Tie” Cleary
Jonathan “Knock-Off Cologne” Ericsson
Henrik “I Got a Rock” Zetterberg
1. The Wings are on a vicious skid. After playing two horrible games against the conference-leading Blackhawks, perhaps they’re ready for a repeat of their last Columbus game, kicking a little ass.
2. Valtteri Filppula is back, baby! Maybe he’ll need some time to shake off the rust, but I expect him to be hungry for some real hockey.
3. It has now been 34 games since Nicklas Lidstrom scored. I’ve got a feeling (much like the feeling I had a half dozen times before) that this is the game he gets off that schneid.
4. I’ll be at the game, so Todd Bertuzzi will score nine times to make me look like an asshole.
5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Wings goal in the opening minutes, because no one is more frustrated about the lack of offence than the Red Wings themselves.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Hawks
Oh, son of a bitch.
JACKET WE COVET (JJ Special)
Last time, I picked Rick Nash. As we all know, the resident Italian is the second choice, but there aren’t any (Dan LaCosta is a frequent call-up, but not an active member). The final tie-breaker is a name that’s fun to say, so I’ll go with Fedor Tyutin, even though I think he’s one of the worst players ever to play in the NHL.