Pregame: Preview, Trivia & Mindless Predictions

Tonight we play the Nashville Predators.  A team who once did this to us.  That was back in the 2008-09 season.  A season I’ll always associate with “taking games off” and “uninspired efforts” and “showing up to play in the third period.”  Unfortunately, I witnessed just such a game in Phoenix that year, a 6-3 loss that brought much joy to all three of the actual hockey fans in Phoenix who there.  We’ll look to avoid such a half-hearted effort tonight, for the love of all things holy.  Think of the children!  Millions of the little brats out in the streets this weekend.  Do it for the children, Mikey!

A bit of a new look tonight:

“Mike Babcock just said Jiri Hudler will be the healthy scratch tonight against Nashville. Justin Abdelkader comes into the lineup and will replace Hudler on the struggling line with Mike Modano and Dan Cleary.”

Thanks Teddy.  Yeah we know, we know.  That line is struggling alright.  Still, Detroit has managed to become the fifth best team in terms of goals/game, even with Cleary only scoring on a call that was gifted to him from Toronto and Hudler hanging out in the corners doing lines off the ice, then covering up for it by saying he fell and was making that weird clucking sound when his tongue got stuck to the ice.  Looks like Babs is finally catching on.  “Oh yeah, Happy?  Then why do you keep scratching your nose?”

As far as useless predictions are concerned, here’s how I’m thinking the game goes down:
– The effort level and ability to “engage” by Abdelkader will reward that line with a goal, ending their drought which dates back to Game 1, back when Bertuzzi was still Public Enemy Numbers 1-100.
– Jimmy is okay, but will nap for the first period as Chris Osgood makes a perfectly legitimate case for allowing a goal in which a goalie has “no chance” of stopping.  4 perfectly reasonable cases, in fact.
– Todd Bertuzzi gets a hat trick and I am forever enshrined as a Fantasy Hockey genius for drafting him late.
– Pavel makes magic happen at a level that could even make Woland blush.
– PK wouldn’t be affected at all, in fact, it would be improved by dropping Hudler for a penalty killing machine like Justin Abdelkader.  We won’t learn about that though because apparently Detroit doesn’t get called for penalties in their home arena(TM Do-I-Make-You-Randy Carlisle).
– Curly fries will be free tomorrow.  Thank you, Henrik Zetterberg.
– I will be drunk by game’s end.
– And finally, Jonathan Ercisson will finish with a -3 from the booth.

Enjoy the game everyone!  And, as is customary on these Saturday games, Let’s Go Red Wings and Bear Down Arizona!