Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pre-Game: Can Wings Keep Oil Slipping?

Detroit (5-3-1) VS Edmonton (4-3-3)

In their first afternoon game of the year, the Detroit Red Wings will play host to the similarly banged-up Edmonton Oilers.  The Oilers can definitely sympathize with Detroit's injury woes, having lost their last four games while having lost three of their four top centers.  The Wings also got some bad news heading into this match in the form of losing Todd Bertuzzi for a least a few days with back issues.

Joakim Andersson has been called up from the Griffins in light of Bertuzzi's injury, but there has been speculation that coach Mike Babcock might give Dan Cleary some time on the top 2 lines after getting his first goal of the season last game against St. Louis.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard should be back between the pipes after getting a well-deserved rest as Petr Mrazek made his NHL debut in St. Louis.  Howard's play had not been necessarily bad, but it had been obvious that he needed the time off, as Detroit's defense is still in flux between injuries and the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart before the start of this season.

The Red Wings have defeated Edmonton in the last five appearances the Oilers have made at Joe Louis Arena, and hope to continue that streak today, as a win this afternoon would move Detroit one point past the Blues, who currently sit in 7th in the West and have the day off.

Will the Wings keep Edmonton on their slippery slope, or will the Oilers get slick and pull one over on Detroit?