Game Day Notes: @ Atlanta

Update (1:33 PM): It’s official: Hudler’s scratched and in the doghouse.

Khan also has the lines and pairings:

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Abdelkader-Filppula-Franzen
Cleary-Modano-Bertuzzi
Miller-Helm-Eaves

Lidstrom-Stuart
Ericsson-Rafalski
Kronwall-Salei

Abdelkader sure benefits from the Hudler scratching, eh? - Matt

… This is the one and only game between the Wings and the Thrashers this season. If Clark’s chart is up to date, the Wings lead the all-time series 9-3-0. Atlanta won the last meeting, 2-0 a year ago. I had a pretty negative reaction to that one…

… The Thrashers themselves are 9-9-3 this year, but have won two in a row so for the moment they have to be feeling pretty good about themselves. The first win came over Washington 5-0. Then they reverted back to their level and squeaked out a 2-1 OT win over the Islanders. They’ve been off since Sunday, like the Wings.

… They’re in the middle of a six-game homestand. They’ve played in front of an average of 10,449 fans in an 18,545-seat arena (based on announced numbers). It’ll be interesting to see the number after tonight.

… Apparently Dustin Byfuglien, that noted adherent to the Favre/Wednesday School of Pronunciation, has had a good start to the season. So much so that questions like this are leaking from the minds of pundits. I don’t know about you, but I’d take even one year of my young defensemen watching Nick Lidstrom over a career of Dustin Byfuglien. If for no other reason than they wouldn’t learn how to improperly pronounce the letters b, y, f, u, g, l, i, e and n strung together.

All kidding about his name aside, are we really in a place where Byfuglien and Lidstrom can be pitted against each other in any way that doesn’t leave Lidstrom the winner by a light year? Is the media that tired of Nick?

… Anyway. I kind of like this perspective from Thrashers Nation going into the game.

… Bryan Little and Fredrik Modin did not practice yesterday due to injury. Doesn’t look like they’ll be in.

… Ondrej Pavelec will get the start. He’s allowed three goals over the past three games, so it’s safe to say he’s hot.

… The Wings improved to 13-3-2 with a win over Calgary Sunday evening.

… It sounds like Jiri Hudler may be the odd man out tonight, as Babcock is indicating he’s considering having both Eaves and Miller in the lineup. The team needs to get Hudler going, but there is a point where he needs to stop getting bones tossed to him. Maybe a few whacks over the head with one will help him find some motivation.

… Cleary left the game with an upper body injury, but is good to go tonight. Same with Ericsson, who came back after a puck hit his ankle, and Modano, who was shaken up late in the game.

Chris Osgood skated yesterday, but not with the team. He’s thinking he’ll be back with them and back on the bench after Thanksgiving.

… Jimmy Howard will start again.

… The Wings need to be careful not to take the Thrashers for granted tonight. As Atlanta showed against Washington, they’re capable of taking teams by surprise so any let up in the attitude that closed out the Flames game and the Wings could be in trouble. Just take care of business.