Chelios in for Winter Classic

According to Khan and MacLeod, Chris Chelios will be in the Red Wings’ lineup for tomorrow’s Winter Classic.

Malik quotes them both.

It’s only fitting that he gets a chance to play. It’s too bad that it’ll come at the cost of one of the forwards. Like MacLeod, I think Mikael Samuelsson could be a convenient scratch if he’s still battling the flu. If not Sammy, do you reward veteran Kirk Maltby by letting him play or do you keep Tomas Kopecky in the lineup as (in my opinion) he’s been the better grinder this year?

Blackhawks’ Bandwagon Hits a Speed Bump

As part of the Winter Classic buildup there was a lot of talk over the last week or so about how the Blackhawks consider themselves to be just as good as the Red Wings. Coming into last night’s game the NHL had a dream storyline on its hands for its annointed team of the future in Chicago. Then Detroit ended it.

The Blackhawks came into Tuesday’s game on a franchise-high nine-game winning streak and just four points back of the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Regulation wins by Chicago last night and at the Winter Classic would have pulled them into a tie.

The Red Wings – without the best defenseman in hockey, with a defenseman filling in at forward, and with their supposed backup goalie in net – proceeded to blank the ‘Hawks in what was being billed as a statement game for Chicago.

Maybe the Blackhawks will bounce back on New Year’s Day. Maybe the Red Wings will roll again. Either way, I hope Tuesday’s game teaches everyone not to get too caught up in the Blackhawks bandwagon, they haven’t won anything yet.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Thanks to the Winter Classic, Detroit’s annual New Year’s Eve game has been bumped up a day, giving us the first game of the home-and-home with Chicago tonight.

Chris Chelios remains in the lineup as Nicklas Lidstrom is staying out for another game. Derek Meech could also be back in as Mikael Samuelsson has been ill and may not be able to play.

Ty Conklin gets the start.

The Blackhawks are riding a franchise-high winning streak and by sweeping the Wings in these two days could tie them for first place in the Central Division.

Random Anti-Shootout Rambling

I’ve talked a couple times about the Red Wings not deserving some of the points they’ve gotten this year. Games where they just happened to “turn it on” for long enough to get a couple goals and pull out a win or force OT. Had Saturday night’s game ended with a Detroit victory, I think that might have been another one of those times.

Supposedly the reason for introducing the shootout in the NHL was that the fans demand to see a winner and a loser in every game. Ties apparently leave everyone feeling unsatisfied. What happens, though, when neither team deserves to win?

The Red Wings were awful (no matter what I think of the officiating) in the first period against Colorado. The Avalanche were horrible for the rest of the game. Why should either of these teams be awarded with an extra point?

If the shootout is for entertainment, have one every game. Have two or three, maybe at the start of each period to get the goalies warmed up. I have nothing against them as entertainment, they’re very fun to watch.

My problem is what happened on Saturday (and what has happened other nights this season in Detroit’s favor). If a team can turn in one good period and coast to a win from there, good for them. The same if a team can bounce back from a bad period, play the rest of the game well, and get the win. I just think that if you try to do that and don’t win, you don’t deserve the extra chance the shootout offers.

X-Rays Negative on Lidstrom’s Ankle

As George Malik mentioned last night, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom had x-rays to examine an ankle injury he suffered blocking a Shea Weber shot.

Those x-rays came back negative but Lidstrom is still experiencing soreness and swelling. He will test the ankle in today’s morning skate before determining whether or not he can play against the Avalanche tonight in Denver.

Red Wings – Blues Postgame Notes

An early Merry Christmas (or a happy whatever holiday you may be celebrating) to everyone out there. I figure I’ll get that out of the way since I’m unlikely to be posting again until Friday’s matchup in Nashville.

I’ll keep my thoughts on last night’s 4-1 win over St. Louis short.

Brad Stuart wasn’t one of the three stars of the game but he could have been. As George Malik pointed out, Stuart registered an assist, two hits, a blocked shot, and one shot in 17:49 of ice time. His strong play jumping up is what allowed Detroit’s third goal to happen.

Another unexpected strong play was Marian Hossa‘s hit on Jeff Woywitka, forcing the first of two turnovers that led to the Wings’ fourth goal.

Power play, even strength, shorthanded… The Red Wings were “on” in all situations and it showed. Aside from a few minutes early on, the Blues were never really in the game. The shots seem to show otherwise but they’re distorted by the high number of penalties called.

Osgood Won’t be Scratched Against Blues

Chris Osgood will remain on the bench tonight as the Red Wings host the St. Louis Blues. The former Blue determined at today’s morning skate that his injured groin had healed enough that he would not need to be placed on long-term injured reserve.

“I should be ready to go after Christmas,” Osgood said. “Two more days (of rest), that’ll make it 10 days (since his last game), that’ll be perfect. It was just tight but I want it to be 100 percent so I know I won’t hurt it again for the rest of the year.”

Ty Conklin gets the start for Detroit as Jimmy Howard and Daniel Larsson remain with Grand Rapids.

The Blues are reeling, coming off a 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. After that game, head coach Andy Murray called out several players by name, something that Bill over at A2Y has been celebrating all week. I won’t tempt fate quite as much as Bill is, I’ll just add to his list of videos with my oft-posted all-time favorite save.

Just a reminder, the Pistons are on tonight so the Wings have been shifted to FSN+. Check your local listings.

Red Wings – Kings Pregame Notes

The Red Wings go into tonight’s matchup with the Los Angeles Kings with the same lineup they used to shut out the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

This means that Ty Conklin gets the start. Chris Osgood once again skipped the morning skate as he attempts to recover from a groin injury.

If Osgood is so hurt that he can’t practice, it doesn’t seem like he’d even be able to come into a game in relief of Conklin. If Conklin gets hurt, will Osgood actually be able to play? If not, I think the Wings should get creative and dress Derek Meech as the backup. If nothing happens then it doesn’t matter, if Conklin gets hurt the Wings are screwed either way, and if Osgood sits for 10 games he can be retroactively put on the IR to get some cap space to call up Jimmy Howard or Daniel Larsson.

No, I don’t expect that to happen.