In hindsight, we all should have seen that coming. Sure, the Canucks were due for a win, and were there three more likely candidates to break their scoring slumps than Loui Eriksson, Sven Baertschi and Alexandre Burrows? I'm talking about the giant flashing blue light special that was staring us in the face about this game that we totally ignored. All we needed to do was look back to the past. During Alain Vigneault's tenure as Canucks head coach, this team enjoyed perhaps it's greatest success. They were one of the most skilled teams in the NHL, and regularly dismantled their peers. But then, they'd get a game against a basement dweller and get the doors blown off. It was probably the most frustrating thing about AV, that he didn't seem to get the team up and ready for what should have been 2 slam dunk points, and boy did that game look like not much has changed over in Rangerville. Full credit to the Canucks for playing a defensively sound game, and for taking advantage of their opportunities, but holy crap the Rangers let that one slip away. I am sure Detroit will be trying to make sure they don't commit the same error.
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|9.3 (29)||Power Play %||18.0 (17)|
|85.0 (9)||Penalty Kill %||79.1 (22)|
|51.0 (6)||Faceoff Win %||50.6 (9)|
||Shooting %||9.3 (13)|
||Corsi For %||45.8 (27)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
The Wings are coming off a pretty big win themselves, their first in Philadelphia since Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997. One of the big stories for Detroit so far this year has to be Mike Green. The former Washington Capitals blueliner leads the team with 10 points, and in that Philly game played a whopping 27:59. Another big addition over the summer was Frans Nielsen, the former New York Islanders F. He's made an impact too, setting up 5 PP goals already this season.
They're mostly healthy right now, missing just Tomas Jurco and Thomas Vanek, though Vanek's been moved to LTIR and that's a pretty significant loss for the Wings. We should likely see Jimmy Howard in goal tonight for the Wings, though we haven't seen official confirmation.
They made news yesterday by finally sending Jake Virtanen to the Comets so that he can get some playing time in. He'll play in games Friday and Saturday before returning to Vancouver to rejoin the team. Whether or not this mini-stint is actually going to accomplish what the Canucks are hoping will have to be seen, but it does seem to be a bit on the short side.
The other big news was Loui Eriksson finally getting off the schneid, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Canucks, as they would do well to have him confident and fired up. Eriksson is one of the top 10 currently active players in goals and points at Joe Louis Arena with 10 career goals and 16 points. Ahead of him on that list? Henrik Sedin's 24 points, and Daniel with 22.
Ryan Miller should get the start after another strong performance from Jacob Markstrom. Miller will be looking to bounce back after that disappointing loss in Brooklyn against the Islanders.
And let's say for a minute, just for fun that the Canucks somehow turn this thing around and stay in contention for a wild card spot? Crazy, I know. But let's just pretend for a moment. If that should happen, could we possibly see Brock Boeser join the team once things are done with his University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks? His coach and current linemate think he's NHL ready right now.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
There may not be a city in America with a musical history as rich and diverse as Detroit. And yet, when it comes to metal, there's not exactly been a number of bands that have made an impact, save for The Black Dahlia Murder. Got a couple great covers for you from them: Black Flag's I've Heard It Before; a ripping version of Carcass' This Mortal Coil; and their hyperactive cover of The Rolling Stones classic Paint It Black.