I’m Not Jokinen Around

The Detroit Red Wings are now only 4 points behind Minnesota and Chicago for the top spot in the West with games at hand. If the Wings hadn’t struggled for a stretch they would be well ahead of the pack by now, but the reality is they did slump, and they have struggled to stay consistent, so it is what it is. I for one am glad that they are getting this out of the way early rather than at the end of the year.

Follow me after the jump for some notes on tonight’s game…

The last time these teams met it ended up ugly for Detroit. Tonight the Wings need to avenge that loss with a brilliant display from top to bottom. Ian White is back, Zetterberg and Datsyuk have hopefully returned to form and Bertuzzi cleared up his sinus troubles, which I hope makes him angry.

• Fabian Brunnstrom was sent back down to Grand Rapids and does not have to clear waivers this time.

• Brendan Smith is still with the team and could make his home debut tonight (rumor is that Kindl is a bit banged up)

• Pavel Datsyuk is currently tied with Reggie Leach for 232nd place in NHL history with 666 career points

• Johan Franzen has recorded 6G-7A-13P in his last 8 games played

• Nick Lidstrom will tie Steve Yzerman for 13th place in NHL history/3rd place in Detroit history for games played (1514)

• No Red Wing has scored a hat trick against the Flame since Brendan Shanahan score 4 goals on March 15th, 2001

Discuss: Mike Comodore seems to be the odd man out, and with the play of Brendan Smith could be pushed even further down the line in the press box. What do you think the Wings should do? Trade, Waive, Parise, Semin?