Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preview: Wings Continue Homestand VS Edmonton

Detroit (9-3-1) VS Edmonton (4-7-2)

Coach Mike Babcock will be showing us some new line combinations when the Red Wings take to the JLA ice tonight to do battle once again with the Edmonton Oilers. Still in a horrible funk, Jiri Hudler is being put on a line with Val Filppula and Johan Franzen to try and boost his offense, while Todd Bertuzzi takes over LW on the 3rd line, effectively bumping Justin Abdelkader back down to the 4th line.

I'm really iffy abut messing with that 3rd line, and I would go so far as to put Bert on the 4th line with the more energetic guys like Helm and Miller, but we'll see what happens. If it all flops, I'm sure Babs will waste no time going back to the previous lines.

Looking to return to form next week, Chris Osgood is still hampered by his groin injury, so Jimmy Howard will get the call again tonight.

Let's take a look at The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Consistency is Key - The Wings have not been playing consistent hockey. Still, of course, is not helped by the fact that so far the Wings have not had a consistent schedule either. Detroit needs to start working on building some momentum from game to game so we can put together some winning streaks and keep the point totals up in the standings.

2.) Faceoffs - I've been watching a disturbing trend lately: Pavel Datsyuk has not been good in the faceoff circle. As one of our best draw-men this concerns me. I haven't been checking overall team faceoff percentages, but if one of your stars on the dot is not winning draws, it's hard to play your puck-possession style...since you don't have the puck.

3.) Shoot the Puck! - Augh, how many of us on Twitter were screaming about this on Twitter last game?? The wings always seem...timid to just tee one up and rifle a shot toward the net. I can understand cycling the puck to look for an opening, but eventually, you DO have to shoot the puck in order to score. I'm hoping for higher shot totals in tonight's affair.

Now I'm off to work, but I'll be sending good vibes to our boys.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!