After a 5 game road trip, the Red Wings are returning to The Joe on Wednesday to battle the LA Kings.
The Red Wings are going into this game second in the west, nine points ahead of the eighth place Kings. The two clubs are going in with the same last ten record, 5-3-2. The last meeting with the Kings, we saw the Wings fall apart in the 3rd period, squandering a 7-1 lead going into the third, ultimately winning the game 7-4. Sound familiar? Well, it should. At the midpoint of the season Detroit was plagued by slow starts, leading into a rally in the last half of the game. But it seems like lately, we are plagued by slow finishes. We come out big in the beginning, and fall apart late in the game. This is not the way to win in the last push of the season.
The Red Wings have three days off from our huge disappointment against the Phoenix Coyotes, which saw us lose a 4-1 lead in the 3rd, and lose the game 5-4 in a shootout. Two of our 3 days off were not practice days so the guys should be well rested. We have 16 games left in the regular season, and 10 of them are home games. That should be reassuring, but its not. The Wings are 7-9-2 in their last 18 games at Joe Louis Arena. We have lost our last 3 games, and our last 2 home games. I know that the Red Wings will realize that unless they play all sixty minutes, they’re not going to make it very far in the playoffs.
Osgood is very close to returning, he has been skating and taking shots. Rafalski and Eaves both skated before practice but will not play on wednesday. Wow, and that’s it for injuries… it’s nice to not have to write a whole page on injuries. Well, Salei did not practice this morning as he is with his expecting wife. But, he will play on Wednesday. The forward lines they skated with this morning look like this:
Now, those are some bold lines. Cleary on line 1? Homer and Abby with Mo? Hudler on line 4? Maybe Babcock was just toying around, or maybe he’s trying to Jazz things up. I don’t think the offense needs jazz, I think their jazzy enough already, they just need to keep up the two-way game in the third. But, I will not say a bad word about anything Babcock does. The man is a magic maker. If there are changes in the lines, I will let you know.
Keep yourself updated with any game day updates, and visit us often! For all the news from the other bench check out Rink Royalty. Give ‘em hell tomorrow guys. Remind us(the hometown crowd) why we are fans of the greatest team in the NHL! Go Wings!