Photo courtesy of thehockeynews.com
The Detroit Red Wings have finally, after two mediocre years, have brought back the fear in opposing teams when entering the Joe Louis Arena posting a 13-2-1 record at home.
But the Red Wings, a team that has labeled themselves as road warrior team since forever, have struggled this year on the road posting an 8-8-0 record to start the season.
That eighth win came Monday night in Edmonton against the Oilers, but didn’t come that easy. The Wings held two leads on goals by Dan Cleary, which was than answered by Ryan Jones, and than Jiri Hudler, which was than answered by Jordan Eberle.
In a game that saw them hold the lead twice, also saw the Oilers carry the play for the majority of the game.
The Oilers controlled play up until a Drew Miller redirect found the back of the net with 4:15 to play in the third.
Despite the lack luster play by the Wings, the team started off their four game road trip that ends on Boxing Day the way they wanted to.
The Red Wings now bring their road act into Vancouver to face the Canucks, who seem to have found their stride after a slow start to the season.
After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals last year to the Boston Bruins, the Canucks started the season on a sour note.
But in their last ten games, they have posted seven wins and have improved their record to 20-11-2 for 42 points, one point behind the fourth place Red Wings, who sit three points behind Central Division and Western Conference leaders Chicago Blackhawks.
Detroit and Vancouver have only faced each other once before thus far in Detroit that saw the Red Wings prevail 2-0 on goals by Justin Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula. Jimmy Howard posted his first of three shutouts thus far this season in that game.
If Detroit wants to get over the .500 mark on the road, the Wings need to bring their A game against the Canucks and not play the way they did on Monday against the Oilers.
Detroit posted a 26-11-4 record on the road last year.
The puck is set to drop 10:00pm eastern time tonight at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Detroit Red Wings Pregame Notes
– Jimmy Howard posted his NHL leading 20th win of the season Monday night against the Oilers to go along with a 1.91 GAA (5th) and a .928 save percentage (10th)
– Pavel Datsyuk leads the Red Wings with 33 points and assists (23), while Johan Franzen leads the team in goals (16)
– Defenseman Ian White leads the team with a +23
– Henrik Zetterberg is on a six game point streak posting eight points in that span (three goals, five assists)
– In Detroit’s 16 road games, the team has scored 40 goals while giving up 41 goals
– Detroit is second in the NHL with a +36 goal difference (Boston Bruins first with +48), sixth in the NHL with 107 goals for (Chicago 113, Philadelphia 112, Boston 111, Vancouver and Pittsburgh 110) and fourth in the NHL with allowing just 71 goals against (Boston 63, New York Rangers 68, St. Louis 69)
– Detroit ranks fourth in the NHL on the powerplay (21.2%) and 20th in the NHL on the penalty kill (80.2%)