… The Stars have opened the season 2-0-0 with wins over New Jersey and the Islanders on the road Friday and Saturday. This is their home opener, so the Wings will be looking to play spoilers somewhat again, after filling that role in Chicago Saturday.
… The two wins weren’t very smooth, apparently, so they have some stuff to work on. Evidently the defense is an issue, as is some aspects of discipline (no surprise with Ott in the lineup). Adversity is bringing them together yada yada. Hopefully the Wings can give them more opportunities to bond tonight by raising that shots allowed average even higher.
… Have to wonder what class act Mike Ribeiro’s recent run in with the law does for team cohesion.
… This is the first game back in Dallas for former Star franchise player Mike Modano, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Stars this off-season. There’s some debate on the reception he’ll receive, but we should know fairly early as he’s slated to be in the starting lineup. The franchise is supposedly honoring him during the first intermission and the players are talking about how they’re playing the Wings, not Modano, but I don’t care about that. I want to know what the fans in Dallas will do.
Because booing him would be classless. I’m just going to be up front about that. The Stars cut him loose and he went to his hometown team. If you hate the Wings, it’s unfortunate that his hometown team happened to be Detroit, but come on. The guy didn’t leave in Bourqueian fashion and deserves cheers, not boos.
… How disappointing is it for a franchise like Dallas that used to have a real class guy like Modano as its face that they have to prop up Brenden Morrow? I’m sure Stars fans love him, but I can’t stand him.
… No official word that I’ve seen, but Kari Lehtonen should be in net for Dallas tonight.
… The Wings started the season 2-0-0 as well, but notched their first loss of the season Tuesday against the Avalanche to drop to 2-0-1.
… On the Wings’ side of the Modano equation, there needs to be a focus on a team game, while Modano needs to join in that and not get distracted. Though distraction would be natural. It’d be good to see him have a better night than he did Tuesday.
… Rafalski, Draper, Abdelkader and Ericsson are still out so the skaters should all be the same tonight. Which means more Doug Janik.
… Chris Osgood gets the start, in part because he’s been so good against the Stars in the past, but mostly because the Wings settled on an alternating rotation for the goalies prior to the season. So Howard will be in net Saturday.
… The Wings will need to be sharp defensively tonight as the Stars forwards are off to a reasonable start. Offensively, they should be able to take care of business. Assuming distractions don’t take over, this should be a good game.