Update (1:04 PM): Lines and pairings via Bill Roose. - Matt
… This is the fourth of six games between the Wings and Blue Jackets this season. So far, the series stands at 2-1-0 in Detroit’s favor.
… Columbus is dead last in the league with 48 points and an 18-37-7 record. They’ve lost two in a row, but managed to beat the Sharks a week ago and take the Rangers to OT the game before that. The two recent losses, however, include a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Avs and a closer 4-2 decision to Pittsburgh.
… The Jackets were quiet on the Nash front at yesterday’s trade deadline, but dealt Sammy Pahlsson, which makes things slightly easier for the Wings tonight, on paper.
… The Nash situation is an on-going drama in Columbus, though how much it will affect their play going forward from the deadline remains to be seen, obviously. Though if it has a negative impact, I’m not entirely sure how we’ll tell. But it may be that Nash will play angry tonight, having been thrown under the bus by the organization yesterday.
… The Jackets should be without Marc Methot, Radek Martinek, Kristian Huselius and Jared Boll.
… Looks like it may be Curtis Sanford in net for the Jackets tonight.
… The Wings will be playing their first game since the trade deadline and will be looking to halt a skid at three games. It started in Chicago a week ago and continued through games at home against Vancouver and Colorado.
… The skid has dropped the Wings to fourth in the Conference, as St. Louis has the tie breaker at 85 points. Vancouver has taken first place.
… The Wings’ task got a bit harder yesterday with the news that both Nick Lidstrom and new acquisition Kyle Quincey are hobbled with ankle and groin injuries respectively. Both will sit out and will be replaced in the lineup by Brendan Smith and Doug Janik. Smith was recalled yesterday and Janik was recalled today. No word yet on the pairings.
… Jonathan Ericsson remains out with a broken wrist. Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Eaves are also out.
… Joey MacDonald will start in what looks like a traditional backup game. There’s no indication that it’s anything more than that.
… The Wings have fallen out of the saddle and need to use tonight’s game against a terrible Blue Jackets team as an opportunity to get back in it. They cannot allow this night to be a classic trap for them, regardless of who’s out of the lineup. The current roster got a vote of confidence from management yesterday and needs to find a way to validate that from this point onward.
They’ve lost valuable ground in The Race. Time to make some up.