Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Healthier Wings Take on Jackets

Detroit (46-25-5) @ Columbus (24-45-7)

Gustav Nyquist is making the most of his opportunities.

As Detroit continues to heal, regulars are returning to the lineup.  Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen are both set to come back to action tonight as the Red Wings battle the Columbus BlueJackets.  Even with the many returnees, however, the young man sometimes known by the nickname "Goose" has not been made the odd man out.  Jan Mursak will be a healthy scratch and Nyquist will remain up, supposedly starting on the 4th line where Mursak would have been.

The biggest injury concern now is goaltending.  Ty Conklin will be starting again tonight in Columbus, with Jordan Pearce sitting in as backup.  Jimmy Howard is feeling better, but coach Mike Babcock does not want to rush his return.  Originally Howard was to start Friday, but Babcock decided a home game against the Nashville Predators was not the ideal return date for Jimmah.  Joey MacDonald, meanwhile, is still lamed up with back issues.

Tonight's game will pull Detroit even with the rest of their division rivals at 77 games.  Currently sitting 4th in the West, a win will increase Detroit's point total to 99, 3 ahead of Nashville and 6 ahead of Chicago.  Meanwhile the Blues, who have been on a tear, will see their lead on the division title drop to 6 points.  Sitting at a cushy 105 points with 5 games to go in the season, however, St. Louis will have to all but fall apart for the Wings to overtake them.

Enjoy the game tonight, Wingnuts!

Let's Go Red Wings!!