Abel to Yzerman
The New Yorik Rangers visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.
Sports Club Stats chances of making the playoffs list Columbus at 80.7%, the Rangers at 78.1% and Detroit at 53%. The Leafs are at 60.2%.
added 10:04am, from Ronnie Shuker of The Hockey News,
Imagine Pittsburgh without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Chicago without Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Anaheim without Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry or Vancouver without the Sedins.
That’s the type of hand Detroit has been dealt with its top two stars, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, both out at a critical point in the season.
Howard against Fleury.
Crosby and Malkin against ???
What should help is Babcock will have the last change but yet to be answered, who keeps an eye on those two guys?
Whatever, two points is all that matters tonight, get them any way possible.
One shift at a time, come out skating and Jimmy, continue to stop the puck.
Non-opinion-based statement regarding the Red Wings, their coaching staff, and/or management goes here.
Toronto lost in regulation to Tampa Bay and this was the only gam involving the Eastern Conference tonight, so here are the current standings.
Detroit has a max 28 points available, Toronto 22 and Washington 24.
Detroit could finish with 103 max points, Toronto 102 and Washington 100.
Also note the NY Rangers, currently 3rd in the Metropolitian Division, can max out at 102 points.
The top 3 teams in each division qualify for the playoffs, then the next two point leaders in the conference make up the wild card teams.
Also check out SportsClubStats for the chances of making the playoffs for each NHL team.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Jimmy Howard sits in the corner of the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room, right next to an eraserboard bolted to a cinderblock wall. Every day, the staff updates the NHL standings, wiping out old numbers, writing in new ones. Every day, the situation is on display in black and white.
As Howard took off his goalie equipment after a game Tuesday night, he looked to his left and listened as trainer Piet Van Zant stood next to the board, pointed to team after team and reported on the action around the league in real time, looking like a TV weatherman going over a map of a storm.
By Wednesday morning, the board looked like this: The Columbus Blue Jackets held the final wild-card spot in the East with 76 points and 30 regulation and overtime wins. The Washington Capitals were right behind with 76 points and 25 ROWs, but they had played 70 games, two more than the Jackets and Wings. The Wings had 75 points and 26 ROWs.
“We all know what’s at stake – 22 years of making [the playoffs] and everything like that – and it’s good,” Howard said. “The bar was set high for us, and it gives us something to strive for each year. We’ve just got to keep battling, keep clawing, keep finding a way to get points, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
But I do know there will be a large contingent of Toronto fans at the game tonight.
I do know Dion Phaneuf will be caught out of position a few times and the Wings need to take advantage of that. I also now he will try to run on of younger players, just to welcome them to the NHL.
I also know the #1 line of the Wings, Legwand, Franzen and Alfreddsson have to start scoring.
I cannot confirm on one of the walls in the Wings' dressing room a picture hangs of Jeff Blashill, just for inspiration.
I can also look into the not too distant future, someone will leave a comment, basically stating B. Smith looks good at forward, also, someone else will write no he doesn't.
On Jimmy Howard, the only thing I know is he needs to stop the puck, like at a .940 percentage.
Who are these guys?
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
“We’ve been accustomed around here to having real good goaltending from Howie,” Babcock said, “and we need him to be as good as he’s ever been down the stretch just because the depth of our lineup is different than it’s been.”
It’s no secret this hasn’t been Howard’s year — he was so subpar in November, it turned out to be beneficial when he suffered a fluke knee injury during a practice in early December in Tampa Bay. Howard used the layoff to recalibrate.
“The thing is, you can’t go out there and you can’t force things,” he said. “That’s what I tried to do earlier in the year, is really try to force the issue. Really what ended up happening was I had to take a step back and rethink things.
“It’s been a pretty topsy-turvy season, but I’m just trying to keep a positive mind frame. I have a lot of confidence in myself. Personally, I like this time of year because I find out what I’m made of.”
So let's hope the Wings have the wind to their backs during all three periods.
The Blackhawks are being questioned by Coach Q regarding their intensity while Coach B is trying to find healthy players.
Detroit may be catching the Blackhawks while they are slumping, but Chicago went through a hard practice yesterday and say they are ready to bring their 'A' game tonight.
No doubt, it will be a hard game for the Wings to win, but...
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