… So, tonight the tables are turned a bit on the Hawks. On Sunday, it was the Wings who had played the night before and who were on the road. This time, it’s the Hawks who are on the road after playing the night before. Except they got to play theirs at home, though they did lose (3-2 to San Jose).
The biggest handicap is still in favor of the Hawks, though: the Wings’ injuries.
… This’ll be Hossa’s first visit to the Joe since he left. Bill wants fans at the Joe to refrain from booing him and gives a lot of good reasons to let him off the hook. I get that and can basically live with it (though I hate that he went to Chicago, of all teams), but nothing would be better than seeing him plastered by Brad Stuart. I guess a win would, but it probably wouldn’t be as cathartic.
So, don’t boo him, I guess, but cheer like crazy if he gets rocked.
… Looks like we might get Antti Niemi tonight.
… The Wings have been off since Sunday, but apparently at least one guy spent that time getting sick: Brian Rafalski. He’s officiallyÂ questionable for tonight with the flu, with Kindl being recalled from GR, his chances of playing are close to zero (it is possible, if unlikely, that they called him up just in case).
The Blackhawks are probably smelling more blood in the water. I hope the Wings are ready to punch them in the gills.
… Meanwhile, Babcock is apparently going to doubleshift a center despite having four available to him. With Mattias Ritola years out from his last regular center stint and Kris Draper apparently locked in a winger slot, someone’s going to have the pleasure of skating with two of May, Maltby and Cough Drop. I guess for ice time reasons, lines can’t just be shuffled around a little so the centers are distributed throughout the lineup properly .
… Jimmy Howard’s getting the start tonight, which I guess means if the other guy has a crappy night, you’re in. Or that he’s become the regular season guy because this is a big game. But the official story’s more like the former, I’m sure.
… This may not be a fun game. I’m definitely not going into it with the same bravado I had in approaching Sunday’s game. Doesn’t mean I don’t have hope, though.
The Wings shouldn’t win this one, but that may be why they might.