“Our big thing here is we can afford to be patient with the people that are injured because we're winning games. If you weren't winning games maybe guys would play when they're still a little uncomfortable. Our guys have been cleared to play but it's just a matter of they don't feel like they can at this point.'' --Mike Babcock
I hate to admit it - but Babbles is right. No use risking more injury to these guys by rushing them back in before they're ready. As frustrating as the powerplay has been, as ugly as some of the play was last night...we're still managing to stay right where we were when we started losing our stars. Of course, we were right on Vancouver's heels...but they're KILLING teams right now and we might as well let them be this year's San Jose Sharks. It's best not to run our team ragged trying to win the President's Trophy, so long as we keep the rest of the Central in our rear-view mirror while staying in Vancouver's.
And as such, the lineup tomorrow will be identical to last night's:
Look for Datsyuk and Holmstrom to be back in the lineup on Monday against the New York Rangers - where I hope Helm gets in at least one footrace with Marian Gaborik. However, if we have another performance like last night, it wouldn't surprise me if they injected Datsyuk onto the roster if not only for him to get some takeaways and helping clear the defensive zone.
Finally, there appears to be good news on the Modano front:
“It's getting closer. I think it's week to week, it's getting better. We've always looked at a 12-week program. I'm just over nine weeks. We'll have a big talk about it when I'm at the 12-week mark, Feb. 20-21. It's feeling good, but there's a lot of conditioning yet to do, just getting up to speed with these guys. It's moving in the right direction. Flexibility is really good. It's just that being shut down for seven weeks in a cast, I'm trying to get that strength back.'' --Mike Modano
Mikey Mo originally aimed for mid-March...but if progress remains as such, he might actually get back sooner than that. Modano had two goals and eight points in the twenty games he played in so far this season.
First thing's first - we need to take care of the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets - who sit 15th in the West.