• How are those nerves holding up? Good? Liar. The real season begins in a matter of hours, with the Red Wings visiting the Nashville Predators for Game One of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

    The Wings have backed into the playoffs but are as healthy as they’re going to get right now, it would seem, as both Danny Cleary and Darren Helm are expected to play tonight. Helm skated with Cleary and Drew Miller on the third line in the morning skate, with Justin Abdelkader centering a fourth line that will include Tomas Holmstrom and either Cory Emmerton or Gustav Nyquist.

    Defensive pairings are the same as wrapped up the regular season. Jimmy Howard gets the start (of course) and it looks like Ty Conklin will be the backup from here on out, as Joey MacDonald isn’t back yet.

    On Nashville’s side, Hal Gill will be a game-time decision.

    Here’s a little playoff inspiration:

    Game time is 8:00 PM on FSD and CNBC.

    Clark Rasmussen April 11, 2012 10:59 AM
  • Helm to Vanderbilt Medical Center. Lovely.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 1:11 AM
  • Not a pretty goal, but it’s a goal.

    Catherine Rasmussen April 12, 2012 1:12 AM
  • Zata! Tie game.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 1:12 AM
  • That should have been goal number two!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:13 AM
  • Break for the Preds, kinda quick whistle.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 1:13 AM
  • If that was Jimmy Howard, it’s a goal.

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:15 AM
  • that’s the second time the whistle’s been really quick for Rinne

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 1:15 AM
  • What the hell? Quick whistles?

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:16 AM
  • Wings are looking better and better…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 1:19 AM
  • If Dats was Cindy, that’s a penalty.

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:21 AM
  • If that was anyone not wearing red, it would’ve been a penalty…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 1:22 AM
  • Cleary is butt hurt over his knee… Go figure. NEWS FLASH: You are not Stevie Y!!!!!!!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:23 AM
  • What the f*ck was that?

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:24 AM
  • Bullsh*t penalty night in Nashville.

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:25 AM
  • don’t show your bias refs…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 1:25 AM
  • f*ck f*ck f*ck

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 1:29 AM
  • two flukie goals…

    so’s our fate…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 1:30 AM
  • Power play to start the third will be crucial.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 1:44 AM
  • and another quick whistle…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 2:04 AM
  • That was the most disciplined PP I have seen in a long time. Damn the Preds luck!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:04 AM
  • Fantastic save by Rinne and what was that whistle for?

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 2:04 AM
  • Filppula always has a “lost” expression.

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:09 AM
  • Howard still coming up big.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 2:12 AM
  • Looks like we’re stronger in all coners, except luck…

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 2:17 AM
  • How many times can something like that happen?

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:17 AM
  • OK. I’m not happy with this game but if this is the Wings for the series, I like what I’m seeing.

    DetroitRiver April 12, 2012 2:19 AM
  • Brutal third goal. How the hell was he open?

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 2:23 AM
  • This is when I miss Raffi the most…

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:29 AM
  • Five on three could be interesting.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 2:30 AM
  • Wings still alive. Getting men around the net. Not enough of that tonight.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 2:33 AM
  • About time!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:33 AM
  • That is a suspension… Period… end of story

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 2:42 AM
  • That is a suspension… Period… end of story

    Was anything even called?

    The Hockey gods were not in the Wings’ corner…injuries, no puck luck (although it could be said that getting anything past Rinne was lucky), and the reffing was pathetic. I felt like the Wings played well enough to win….

    OldBroad April 12, 2012 3:11 AM
  • I want to start off with the end of the game and Shea Weber’s manhandling of Henrik Zetterberg, but I still can’t find the words for that.

    It was just such a stupid play by a player who’s good enough not to need to do that. It was so blatant and has no place in the game, but #BecauseItsTheCup I don’t have any faith in the NHL to deliver an appropriate punishment.

    Speaking of punishment… I had the FSD feed so I didn’t see Mike Babcock’s in-game interview but I saw that he criticized the officiating, basically saying they were calling things just to get noticed by Gary Bettman, who was in the arena for Game One. Will he be fined for it? If so, TPL and I are already talking about a HockeyRodent-like fundraiser to cover the cost.

    I just posted the question of whether or not a better-officiated game would have prevented Weber’s actions. I personally don’t think it would have, as we’ve seen many times that players aren’t afraid to take a penalty in the final seconds because it won’t actually hurt their team. In Weber’s case, if a penalty had been called it would have been at 20:00, with no time on the clock for the Wings to do anything with it. He wasn’t taking advantage of a poorly-officiated game, he would have done that anyway.

    As for the rest of the game…

    This could have gone Detroit’s way, so it’s disappointing that it didn’t. That said, they didn’t learn from what worked for them so they kind of deserved to lose.

    Two of Nashville’s three goals were incredible luck that the Red Wings couldn’t duplicate. Those breaks happen, can’t do anything about it. That said, both of Detroit’s goals were scored by getting bodies around the net and knocking in a rebound, yet the team seemed afraid to throw the puck at the net and see what happened. They spent too much time looking for the perfect play. Unfortunately, that’s a common issue for the Wings.

    Also unfortunate, the injury to Darren Helm in the first period. He caught a skate to his arm in what looked like a play very similar to what injured Mike Modano last season. He reportedly had surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center, so if it is indeed like Modano, he’s out for the playoffs.

    With Helm back out, it would appear that Gustav Nyquist will jump back into the Wings’ lineup. I have to imagine that Justin Abdelkader slides back up to third line center, with Cory Emmerton taking over centering the fourth line and Nyquist taking Emmerton’s spot on fourth-line wing. I wish the Wings could swap Emmerton for Chris Conner but they’ll want a natural center on that line so I don’t see that switch happening. I’m told that Conner did play center at Michigan Tech but I don’t think that’ll be enough.

    If the Wings can get the bounces that Nashville got tonight in Game Two, or at least prevent the Predators from getting them, while still playing just as good of a game, they’re going to get a win. If the Wings can win Game Two, it becomes a five-game series with Detroit having home ice. Pressure is still on Nashville here but a win for the Wings tonight would have bought them a lot of breathing space that they don’t have now.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 3:56 AM
  • Emmerton gets the nod on the fourth line. Nyquist is out. I’m confused.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 12:01 PM
  • So much for bounces in Detroit’s favor.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 12:21 PM
  • Thank you Brad Stuart!!!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 12:22 PM
  • Forgot to mention… In response to the misconduct post about Danny Cleary… Only Steve Yzerman can play on one knee!

    SYfanSD April 12, 2012 12:33 PM
  • Howard big on the PK. Worse penalties during it went uncalled than the one that caused it.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 12:38 PM
  • Uhoh, Helm got Modano’d it looked like.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 12:40 PM
  • Enormous PK. Eat it, Gary.

    Clark Rasmussen April 12, 2012 12:47 PM