Last nights win wasn't pretty, but i'll take 2 points however they come. Tonight the Wings open the season at home against Dallas and its anyones guess how it will turn out.
Dallas is one of those teams that never seem to get out of Detroit's hair, but that might all change this season. GM Jumpin' Joe Nieuwendyk has made some questionable moves that will either make him look like a genius or send him packing.
Let's break those down a little bit after the jump
One thing is very apparent. Dallas has lost a ton of their grit over the summer, if not all of it. Steve Ott, Adam Burish, Mike Ribeiro and Jake Dowell are all gone, and in their place are "skill" replacements, two of which are 42 years old in Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney. They also added Derek Roy.
One of the bright spots on this Stars roster outside of Eriksson and Lehtonen is Jamie Benn, but you won't see him playing tonight because he hasn't signed a deal yet. This team is still a threat, even though their GM may have already used up his 9 lives.
Detroit looked much better last night, but then faltered a bit the 2nd half of the game taking costly penalties. One huge positive that came out of it all other than 2 points was Brian Lashoff. The kid played very well and even came up big on the score sheet. Detroit has a lot of questions to answer on defense over the next few years with very little coming down the pipeline. I feel much better knowing, at least for now that we have a little depth beyond Kindl. Hell, from the looks of how Babs used him last night we may be looking at a new regular.
Brunner has continued to impress, but there is one thing that has been nagging me. It seems as though Zetterberg is trying very hard to get Brunner a goal, maybe even to the point where he is passing up his own chances. I think its smart of Z to do because you want to get him that first one to hopefully open up the flood gates, I just hope it happens soon.
If that shootout goal last night was any indication of whats to come then this dude should fit in just fine on the top line.
More bad news though as Carlo Coli...Not gonna play here for awhile hurt his shoulder and will be out for a few weeks. This leaves KH scrambling to sign a mystery defenseman that he hopes can suit up for tonight's game. The list of unsigned guys isnt very impressive.
I would love to see Kubina, but hes over in Europe so that's out. Campoli would be my next favorite, but Kenny will probably go with Lebda or Janik.
DETROIT VS DALLAS
All-Time Record vs DAL: 105-96-34-5 (240 GP)
All-Time Home Record vs DAl: 61-41-16-2 (120 GP)
DET set a new NHL record with 21 consecutive home wins by defeating DAL 3-1 in their last matchup on Feb. 14, 2012
2011-12 Record vs DAL: 4-0-0 (2-0-0 at home)
2011-12 Leaders vs DAL: Filppula (1-6-7 in 4 GP); Zetterberg (1-4-5 in 4 GP); Howard (2-0-0, 3.00 GAA, .893 SV%)
DET is 5-3-2 in its last 10 games played vs DAL
DET is 3-1-1 in its last 5 home games vs DAL
P. Datsyuk has 34 points (14-20-34) in 34 career GP vs DAL
H. Zetterberg has 33 points (6-27-33) in 32 career GP vs DAL
V. Filppula has 15 points (2-13-15) in 21 career GP vs DAL
J. Howard is 4-4-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .910 SV% in 9 career GP vs DAL
DETROIT RED WINGS TEAM AND PLAYER NOTES
DET is 46-30-9 all-time in home openers
DET has won its last three home openers at Joe Louis Arena
DET is 76-4-4 the last 84 times its scored 4+ goals in a game
DET's B. Lashoff notched his first career goal while making his NHL debut on 1/21 at CBJ The last DET player to score in his NHL debut was C. Emmerton on 1/22/11 vs CHI
P. Datsyuk is 2 goals behind Tomas Holmstrom (243) for 11th-most in team history
P. Datsyuk is 8 points behind Ted Lindsay (728) for 7th-most in team history
N. Kronwall (170) passed Brian Rafalski (169) on 1/21 at CBJ for 8th-most assists in team history by a D
H. Zetterberg is 8 points behind Brendan Shanahan (633) for 9th-most in team history
H. Zetterberg is 9 assists behind Reed Larson (382) for 9th-most in team history
H. Zetterberg is 12 goals behind Nicklas Lidstrom (264) for 9th-most in team history
J. Howard is 1 win behind Manny Legace (112) for 8th-most in team history among G
THE RED WINGS IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
Record in 1st half of back-to-backs (2011-12): 8-5-0
Record in 2nd half of back-to-backs (2011-12): 8-5-0
Overall record in back-to-back games (2011-12): 16-10-0