On the Road Without Dangles

Well, we wrapped up that five game stretch with a final record of 2-2-1…taking five out of a possible ten points.  We went completely sideways.  It was good enough to maintain #1 spot in the Bestern Conference, but we certainly didn’t pad our lead.  Tonight we play in St. Louis in what is to be the first road game in a series of four in a row.  We have the NYE game and then play the Flyers at home on January 2nd – and then hit the road for another five straight games.

We’ll wrap up this grueling little piece of the schedule with a home and home with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Aside from the Islanders on New Year’s Eve and the Flyers on January 2nd, the Wings won’t play another home game until January 15th.  It’s going to be a tough month – and a tougher one with Pavel Datsyuk.

Here’s what Brad Stuart told Khan(!) this morning:

”It’ll be a test for us.  We knew when we got all those home games early in the year that it was going to catch up to us.  It’ll be good for us, something a little different. It’s easier to keep your game simple when you’re on the road, for whatever reason.”— Brad Stuart

And the captain’s two cents:

”This whole month has been a tough stretch for us, but it’s going to be even more important now when you hit the road and play a lot of road games.  That’s when you have to play good, solid road hockey. You got to think defense first, take care of your own zone and not be trading chances with teams.”— Nicklas Lidstrom

When one star goes down, it’s up to the remaining stars to step up their game.  Luckily, Detroit has a lineup as deep as any other in the NHL.  Zetterberg put this team on his shoulders last night – hopefully, he can do the same for a few more games with help from his supporting cast.

It’s a tough road ahead.  But this team, even without Datsyuk, is still a winner.  Now we just have to go out and prove it.