That’s right, your favorite local GHE writers will be at the Joe tonight to take this one in as the Wings take on the Montreal Canadiens in a game we desperately need to win. If you’re there and feel like finding of us, stand in the middle of some stairs somewhere and just start screaming and dancing… we’ll see you, we promise.
This game may not necessarily be a “must win”, but if the experts are right and it’s going to take 94-95 points to get into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, the Wings will need to notch 14-15 points in their last 10 games and winning this one wouldn’t hurt.
Montreal comes into the game on fire, having won their last three games and five of their last six and are currently 9 points ahead of the teams tied for the wild card spots in the East playoff race. Basically, they’re pretty much assured a spot in the playoffs while the Wings are tied with Washington, Columbus and Toronto with two games in hand on the Leafs and one on the Caps.
Montreal has been getting it done in every facet of the game scoring three goals per game and getting good tendy play from Carey Price and Peter Budaj giving up less than two goals per game in their last 6. In fairness however, two of those games have been shutouts against Buffalo, who is effectively just a JV team these days. I couldn’t keep up with the love fest as I was preparing for my appearance at the Joe tonight, have to build up that hatred throughout the day and get the game face on!
Finally some good news on the Red Wings injury front as Tomas Jurco is scheduled to make his return tonight, which caused the Wings to send Mitch Callahan back to Grand Rapids after just one game. More good news out of Red Wings camp saw Pavel Datsyuk make his return to the ice yesterday along with Justin Abdelkader, neither will play tonight but either one of them, or dare I say both, could make their returns in the next week. According to Newton’s third law; ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’ and that’s true again here as Hank Zetterberg announced yesterday to the media that he likely won’t make it back this season barring a medical miracle and a long Wings playoff run.
So, Gus Nyquist eh? What’s left to say, the Goose is more than loose, he’s taking the NHL by storm right now. Tonight he looks to become the first Wing to score in 7 straight games since Brett Hull in 2003 and add to his nine goals in the last six games.
(Photo credit; a.espncdn.com/media)
The kids are all playing well, and they wouldn’t have had a chance if it weren’t for some of the ill-timed Red Wings injuries. So I guess you could say there’s a bit of a silver lining in a season that has been occasionally sketchy, and it’s not over yet, there’s still work to do. If Detroit is going to host an NHL playoff game for a 23rd straight season, the work is not over and the team is going to have to work even harder over the last 10 games than they seemingly have in their previous 10. The season is coming down to the wire, speaking of which, who saw Dion Waiters hit the buzzer beater to beat the Pistons last night? There’s your top-notch transition of the day 😉
The Habs currently have a slightly less hot (we’ll call him luke-warm) skater of their own, team goal leader Max Pacioretty (UofM Grad, 32g for the season), has seven points in the team’s last eight games but is looking for his first point against the Wings so far in the two meetings this season, two games that the Wings won.
The 3 keys to this game should be obvious;
1. Get pucks on net – Carey Price is one of the hot goalies in the league this, ranking in the top 10 in GAA and SV% for goalies who have started 30+ games this season. He also has 5 shutouts on the year.
2. Skate – Don’t start slow. That simple.
3. “Just win, baby” – Al Davis, RIP.
You know I’m not going to pick the Canadiens to win a game that I’ll be at, Vegas can suck an egg for all I’m concerned (unless they agree with me, I didn’t look)
Give me Wings 4, Habs 1 and make sure the GHE boys have a beer at all times!
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