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Abel to Yzerman

Red Wings-Wild live blog: The last last ‘gimme’ game

The Detroit Red Wings face off against an undermanned Minnesota Wild team this afternoon (5 PM EDT, FSD+/FS North/WXYT) with Pavel Datsyuk (but not Mike Modano or Niklas Kronwall) in the lineup against a team that should, to put it politely, provide the Wings with the “easiest” challenge in terms of their four remaining games.

The Wings will tangle with a Carolina Hurricanes team that’s on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture looking in as of this afternoon, and then the Wings have back-to-backs against a defending champion Chicago Blackhawks team that could very well be a first-round opponent depending on how things shake down over the course of this week, so this game is, at least in theory, the last “gimme” of the season.

As NHL.com’s David Kalan notes, the Wings could sew up the Central Division if they win today…

MINNESOTA (37-33-8, 82 points) at DETROIT (45-23-10, 100 points)

Where they stand: The Wild are 11th in the Western Conference; the Red Wings are third in the West.

What’s at stake: Minnesota’s postseason hopes are done, but there are a whole host of possibilities for Detroit Sunday. Beyond hopping over the Sharks for the West’s second seed with a win, a win in regulation or overtime would also give the Red Wings the Central Division title. The Wings also stand to take the crown if they win Sunday in a shootout and the Blackhawks either lose to Tampa Bay or defeat the Bolts in a shootout. If Detroit gets one point against Minnesota and the Blackhawks lose to Tampa Bay, the Wings will still take the Central.

How’s it going: The Wild lost to Tampa Bay Saturday afternoon, ending a brief two-game winning streak. Things are still tough in Minnesota, though. The Wild have won just two of their last 11 games. The Wings defeated Nashville in overtime Saturday afternoon, but Detroit has still struggled lately, winning just two of seven, including a shocking 10-3 loss to the Blues Wednesday at the Joe.

Upcoming: Minnesota travels to Vancouver and Edmonton later this week before finishing their campaign against the Stars Sunday evening. The Wings visit Carolina Wednesday night before ending the regular season with a home-and-home against rival Chicago.

Between MinnesotaWild.com’s Greg Andresen’s game-day preview and the comments made by Wild coach Todd Richards to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo, one gets the feeling that the Wild have a tough task ahead of them in hanging tough with the Wings:

When I noted that Pavel Datsyuk looks to be returning today against the Wild, coach Todd Richards said sarcastically, “Datsyuk’s playing? Beautiful. Makes it even better.”

The Wild’s up against it tonight with veteran defensemen Marek Zidlicky and Nick Schultz hurt and veteran forwards John Madden and Martin Havlat back in Minnesota as well. The Red Wings look to be completely healthy, with Mike Modano apparently being taken out for Datsyuk.

Rookie center Carson McMillan will make his NHL debut on a line with Eric Nystrom and Brad Staubitz and Colton Gillies will play the left side of Matt Cullen and Chuck Kobasew. Mikko Koivu lines stays intact, as well as the Pierre-Marc Bouchard-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck line. Rookies Clayton Stoner and Jared Spurgeon will be a tandem again and rookies Justin Falk and Maxim Noreau will be a tandem.

Richards will be looking for a much, much better game from veteran Brent Burns, who struggled yesterday against Tampa Bay, because today will be a much faster pace for the rookies to handle.

“It’ll be a good test for a lot of guys,” Richards said. “You get a feel of, ‘Can guys play at this level in a game like this.’ It’s no disrespect to Tampa. They’ve figured out a way to win and a way to play that allows them to be successful. But we’re going to go against a Detroit team that is free-wheeling and very skilled. They play fast. The reason why they’re able to play fast is because they can handle the puck. It’s a challenge. There’s motivation already coming in to play against Detroit in Detroit. Nobody wants to be embarrassed. This team is capable of embarrassing you if you’re not ready. And they were just embarrassed at home by St. Louis (10-3). I’m sure we’re going to get close to their best effort tonight.”

Jose Theodore, who won here in November, gets the start.

Also of Wings-related reading note as you prepare for this one:

• MLive’s Rob Otto weighed in on the significance of Saturday night’s win vs. Nashville;


• Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan get some pats on the back from Hockey’s Future’s college hockey prospects notebook;

• The playoff moment of the day on the Wings’ Twenty Straight website involves the 1997 Stanley Cup win;

• And Mike Milbury of all people gave Nicklas Lidstrom praise on today’s NBC broadcast, as noted by Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon:

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

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Comments

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calquake's avatar

This tells us we need to really stock up the hasek - for the 20th year in a row . . . .

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 04/03/11 at 07:22 PM ET

I understand that one lucky Hasek passenger will have his liver bronzed to mark the occasion.

Posted by calquake on 04/03/11 at 09:24 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

I see Jimmy is still learning how to not direct a rebound onto an opponent’s stick.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 04/03/11 at 09:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Remember that no-goal against Stuart?  That’s H-U-G-E.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 09:24 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Flipdammit, Bert—put the puck on net.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/03/11 at 09:25 PM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

1:45 to go, empty net for da wild.

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 04/03/11 at 09:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Jimmah!

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 09:26 PM ET

sjketcheson's avatar

Phew! Had a plumbing emergency…. awesome… how did the Wild score the second goal?

Posted by sjketcheson from the floor of the Hasek on 04/03/11 at 09:26 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Central Division Champs

the worse position DET can finish is 3rd

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 04/03/11 at 09:28 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Phew! Had a plumbing emergency…

Told ya not to eat the “Grande” burrito. cheese

Posted by calquake on 04/03/11 at 09:28 PM ET

Little Redhead's avatar

Good Win!
Detroit 42 Non SO Wins
Wings Rock!!!

Posted by Little Redhead from the Engineer's chair on 04/03/11 at 09:28 PM ET

SYF's avatar

And that’s the game.

4-2 Wings.

sjk, Jimmah gave a juicy rebound on a shot from the corner and Wild’s MacMillan scored his first career goal.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 09:29 PM ET

sjketcheson's avatar

Told ya not to eat the “Grande” burrito.

Posted by calquake on 04/03/11 at 07:28 PM ET

Fortunately it was the tub, not the toilet! Don’t ask me how… I was cleaning it and it got plugged?

Posted by sjketcheson from the floor of the Hasek on 04/03/11 at 09:30 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I love Homer. The #1 star.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/03/11 at 09:30 PM ET

sjketcheson's avatar

Thanks SYF

Posted by sjketcheson from the floor of the Hasek on 04/03/11 at 09:30 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Homer - - ya have to love him.

Gave his game stick away - to some kid - awesome.

Homer is 90% heart, and 10% skill.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 04/03/11 at 09:30 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Solid performance…watched at 10 second clips.

Feed pirates need to get their act together for the playoffs.  Arggghhhhhhh!

Off to dinner…..a celebration to be had.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 04/03/11 at 09:31 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Someone ask Bud Lynch to please stop interrupting “The Hockey Song” !

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/03/11 at 09:32 PM ET

Bent's avatar

Well there’s one thing that was reclaimed from little brother…  One more to go!

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 04/03/11 at 09:33 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Homer smiling about his dangle.  Go on, Homer.  Let it all out.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 09:33 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Someone ask Bud Lynch to please stop interrupting “The Hockey Song” !

Posted by RWBill from The Hasek. All Aboard! on 04/03/11 at 07:32 PM ET


“The Hockey Song”

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/03/11 at 09:37 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Boy there are a lot of Buffalo fans there!

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/03/11 at 09:38 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Love their tacos de carne asada.

Posted by RWBill from The Hasek. All Aboard! on 04/03/11 at 07:22 PM ET

Almost never go wrong with Del Taco.  Good stuff.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 09:38 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Blues on fire since being eliminated.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 04/03/11 at 09:44 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Totally amazing…....they just had a 2 day monster truck bash there Friday and Saturday, but they got the barn ready for hockey today.

Posted by dougie on 04/03/11 at 05:59 PM ET

Can’t believe I missed this, dougie, but your comment reminded me of this.  It’s the Orleans Arena where the ECHL Wranglers play.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/03/11 at 10:03 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Totally amazing…....they just had a 2 day monster truck bash there Friday and Saturday, but they got the barn ready for hockey today.

Posted by dougie on 04/03/11 at 05:59 PM ET

Can’t believe I missed this, dougie, but your comment reminded me of this.  It’s the Orleans Arena where the ECHL Wranglers play.

Posted by SYF from I-75 and Dix Hwy on 04/03/11 at 08:03 PM ET

That is legen- wait for it ... - dary!  Really cool.  I guess that’s a game going on at the end?  Looks like the stands fill up.

In the old time minor league hockey there was an arena where the ice about ended straight into a wall.. No spectator stands.  It was Erie and it was used in the movie “Slapshot”.  You can see it at the end of the movie in the “championship game” when the dude skates around in his jockstrap.  That time lapse rink reminds me of it at the end of the rink.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/03/11 at 11:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Shoot RWBil, go look at Van Andel in G.R..  There’s nothing but a wall on the one end.  Really sucks a lot of atmosphere out of the building to be honest…

I hate these new buildings.  You can’t get loud in them anymore.  The old arena in Toledo was loud.  The barn in Kzoo can get very loud for only 5,113.  Yost is neat partially because it’s old and gets LOUD—and Munn too to a certain extent.  These new arenas suck out the home ice advantage.

I have not watched a game since the joke CHI game.  I can’t.  I’m still so furious with the league.  My wife didn’t believe me but every time she goes to change the channel to the game I say “No, I meant it.  Not watching”.  But nice to see the boys right the ship and reclaim a divisional title from a truly pathetic one-hit wonder.  Would love nothing better than to see the Stars get hot and knock the Lackhawks out entirely.  But god, 2-5-3 in the last 10 won’t do it…

Food for thought, could VAN be a playoff team even if they played in the Pacific and not the impotent Northwest?

Does anyone keep track of things like Disallowed Goals?  Doesn’t it seem like the Wings would lead that category with a HUGE margin?  League won’t of course because it’d prove just how out to get the Wings they are…

Posted by Primis on 04/04/11 at 02:55 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by Primis on 04/04/11 at 12:55 AM ET

That’s a good pic, I have never been GR arena.

I was wondering about the disallowed goals, the Wings are about a -5 just the past 5 days.  I heard on the XM channel this morning that the Ducks had 2 goals diallowed last night vs Dallas.  It may be a NHL epidemic by now that originated from Homer’s ass, but the disallowed goal yesterday when Abdelkader was cross checked into the crease, yet still got out of it before the puck came in and did not interfere with the goalie, yet STILL was disallowed should be examined by the crooks at NHL, Inc., and just makes you furious until you just give up caring.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/04/11 at 02:29 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Can someone tell me just what, exactly, is considered a good goal?


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/03/11 at 07:09 PM ET

 

one that was scored by a player NOT wearing a Winged wheel   grin

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 04/05/11 at 01:12 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

With mccreary reffing his last game last night, the league is now filled with a bunch of little gary robots who will call the game the “way” gary wants it.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/03/11 at 07:18 PM ET

  I’m afraid if that happens the NHL is gonna lose a lot of long time fans ...  this one included… I’m getting pretty fed up with this crap   confused

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 04/05/11 at 01:15 AM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Posted this on twitter, but for the rest of you:

http://azstarnet.com/sports/article_75292ae0-1e87-5624-8c9d-c44eae2287e2.html

My alma mater and why we have the Bear Down tradition.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 04/05/11 at 11:22 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I’m afraid if that happens the NHL is gonna lose a lot of long time fans ...  this one included… I’m getting pretty fed up with this crap   confused

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan & hometown of Justin Abdelkader on 04/04/11 at 11:15 PM ET

They(NHL) lost this fan long ago. I’ve been planning my retirement from fandom for aboot 5 years. Thanks. Gary. Ass.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/05/11 at 11:56 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Posted this on twitter, but for the rest of you:

http://azstarnet.com/sports/article_75292ae0-1e87-5624-8c9d-c44eae2287e2.html

My alma mater and why we have the Bear Down tradition.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 04/05/11 at 09:22 AM ET

Awesome.  Perfect for this edition of the Red Wings.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/05/11 at 06:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

That’s a great, but I’m guessing not too well known historical epic, unfortunately.

(Was AZ even settled in 1926?)

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/05/11 at 09:31 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Posted by RWBill from The Hasek. All Aboard! on 04/05/11 at 07:31 PM ET

Get real Bill, AZ still isn’t settled.

I just like that story because the dude is from the same town as my parents (which is very small) and we still honour him at the UofA today.

Fun historical fact:  Arizona became the 48th state in the Union on February 14th 1912 (100 years is coming up) and the reason they chose that date is because it was the same day in 1862 when we became a territory in the Confederate States of America.  Man alive, I love this fuching state.  If only it could sustain hockey…

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 04/06/11 at 03:30 AM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com