Well it’s official – after a nice long run at the top of the Western Conference, Detroit has been surpassed by the surging Vancouver Canucks. The Nucks win over San Jose last night put them a full two points ahead of Detroit with a game in hand. But don’t worry – we’ll get a crack at them on Saturday. In the meantime, we have a game against Edmonton tonight and another on Friday against Calgary…which means we’ll be playing the hottest team in the NHL on the second night of a back-to-back. Awesome.
Tonight we play the Edmonton Oilers. Last in the Western Conference and loser of six straight games. Detroit will hopefully start playing Red Wings hockey on-time in this one as they have fallen behind by a pair (or worse) in their last three contests. Babcock had this to say to Khan(!):
“If I could identify anything from the last two games, it’s not having energy early in the game. Digging in and working hard (midway through) isn’t the same as being prepared and getting after a team right from the start.”— Mike Babcock
Let’s hope they hit the “play good” button right from the get-go. The province of Alberta houses the two worst teams in the Conference and those are four points that Detroit better get.
Looking now at Vancouver’s schedule, I see that they play Oilers and the Flames on the opposite days that we do, meaning they’ll be playing us on the second night of a back-to-back. This should be interesting to see how the top two teams in the West fair against th basement dwellers and then each other.
But first thing’s first – let’s take care of the Oil tonight, shall we?