*Quick TPL Note: I had to leave town rather suddenly to attend to a family matter, so posts will be slim this weekend. Go Wings! You’ll hear from me as soon as we return to New York (and I catch up on DVRed games).*
WHATS ALL THIS THEN
The Red Wings head to beautiful, sunny, not-at-all-smelly Newark to take on the Devils. Gametime is 7pm on Saturday, December 5th.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
It’s been a long time… the Wings and Devils last met in November of 2008. The Red Wings – and Chris Osgood – won that contest 3-1, on goals from Marian Hossa (his seventh and eighth of the season) and Maltby (his first). Franzen was out with a knee injury (SOUND FAMILIAR?!) but the team improved to 9-2-2 on the young 08-09 season.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
The following injuries have been sustained since the last Devils game: Cleary (eye), Kronwall (ankle), Holmstrom (back), McCarty (hernia), Maltby (ankle), Lidstrom (ankle), Franzen (hip), Stuart (ribs), Zetterberg (back), Holmstrom (hernia), Meech (groin), Franzen (hand), Lebda (back), Osgood (brain), Hossa (neck), Lilja (concussion), Filppula (back), Holmstrom (knee), Rafalski (groin), Draper (upper body), Kopecky (face), Datsyuk (foot), Ericsson (appendix), Helm (shoulder), Franzen (knee), Datsyuk (upper body), Filppula (wrist), May (eye), Eaves (foot), Williams (leg), Kronwall (knee), Rafalski (back).
That means that the only players on the current roster who have not been injured in that time are Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller, and Jimmy Howard.
OH, HI AGAIN
As everyone knows by now, Brendan Shanahan retired and has been hired by the NHL. He was to be the only former Red Wing on the Devils this season.
A former big-time Devil is on the Red Wings, though it appears that he won’t play against his former mates. Brian Rafalski, a Stanley Cup winner with New Jersey, is questionable with a sore back.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
You thought Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers was long? Take a peek at Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.
BRAD MAY ALERT
The Devils have 15 majors this season (compared to six for Detroit – all of them courtesy of Brad May). David Clarkson, Andrew Peters, Matthew Corrente each have three, Bryce Salvador and Rod Pelley have two apiece, and Mark Fraser and Mike Mottau each have one.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit pitched a stinker against Edmonton, losing 4-1 on Thursday.
–New Jersey played Tampa Bay on Friday night, winning 3-2, so here’s hoping they’re tired.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 13-10-4 (4th in Central, 11th in West) :: 5-5-2 on the road.
–The Once-Colorado Rockies :: 18-7-1 (2nd in Atlantic, 4th in East) :: 8-5-0 at home.
DEVILS YOU SHOULD KNOW
That’s a good team. A damn good team. Here are some names you should be familiar with:
Parise :: Zajac :: Bergfors :: Elias :: Brodeur :: Langenbrunner :: (and in case my buddies Wade and Ed are reading…ZUBRUS!)
Jonathan Ericsson WILL play, despite looking really, really hurt during the final minutes of the Oilers game. Presumably Chris Osgood will be back in net after the shitstorm delivered by Jimmy Howard. The latest on Patrick Eaves and Brian Rafalski is that they are on the trip, and potentially ready.
Leino — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Bertuzzi — Zetterberg — Cleary
Draper — Helm — Miller
May — Abdelkader — Maltby
Lidstrom — Ericsson
Stuart — Lebda
Meech — Kindl
Andreas “No Timetable” Lilja
Johan “February” Franzen
Valtteri “Xmas Present” Filppula
Jason “Early 2010” Williams
Niklas “January” Kronwall
Patrick “Any Day Now” Eaves
Brian “Ditto” Rafalski
1. I went to see a game at The Rock a few weeks ago. It was a nice place, particularly when compared to an aging Joe Louis, but it wasn’t as awesome as everyone makes it out to be. The coolest feature, by far, was the high school hockey jerseys from around New Jersey displayed throughout the mezzanine.
2. While at the Prudential Center, I heard an awful lot of mocking of the fans of other teams – usually about how many Stanley Cups they had compared to the Devils. Though I don’t expect most East Coasters to be able to count higher than three, that shit wouldn’t fly with the Wings – who have 11 Cups, and four since New Jersey began winning in ’95 (where they did, admittedly, whip Red Wing ass).
3. Like I said in the Oilers post-game, Bertuzzi got a one-game pass for his, well, pass. A goal against the Devils, and I lay off for a week. No goal, yo’mama jokes all over the place. His last few games have been his best in a Red Wings uniform and here’s hoping it keeps going.
4. It’ll be interesting to see how Chris Osgood fares in his return to the crease, playing his first game in a week (three straight starts by Howard).
5. Predicted goal scorers: Ville Leino (take two), Danny Cleary (going for three in a row), and Pavel Datsyuk. I’m not saying they’ll stop at three…but those are my three picks.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Oilers
Some nights, the Red Wings juts straight up don’t feel like playing. Unfortunately, it’s becoming the norm.
DEVIL WE COVET (JJ Special)
Sigh…imagine a Red Wings team the last two decades with Martin Brodeur on it. I’d love to have Travis Zajac and/or Zach Parise, but realistically I think Brian Rolston would have been a great fit this past off-season. He was at the top of my free agency covet list.