As much as the Islanders have sat in the proverbial basement of the NHL for the better part of the last two decades, they weren’t always the most easily forgotten team in the league.
Detroit heads into tonight’s game at looking to right the ship on Long Island where they have gone winless in their last three at Nassau Coliseum.
Puck drops at 7pm on FSD+ (thanks Pistons)
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Conklin will get the start tonight giving Jimmy a little extra rest for thursday’s game against Phoenix, and Pavel Datsyuk will sit out tonight as well with a sore back (precautionary measure? hopefully), not sure at this point how the lines will shake up, but what I do know is that Babs will roll 7 defensemen as there isn’t time to recall a forward, and a top line featuring Filppula, Zetterberg and Franzen.
Tonight could very well be Mike Babcok’s 400th win as a head coach. A win tonight would make Babs only the 24th coach to reach 400, and in only 698 games. Even more impressive he would be the third fastest coach to do so behind only Scotty Bowman (690) and Glen Sather (694). Toe Blake currently sits in third reaching 400 in 724 games.
What is there to say about the Islanders that well, frankly you would even care about? The last time they were really even relevant Pat LaFontaine was a member of the team. Hey! The Gortons fisherman called and said thanks for ruining 1996 for them.
In all seriousness, the Islanders have some pretty good young talent in John Tavares, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau, beyond that there isn’t much.
Al Montoya is out with a concussion, and Rick DiPietro is being studied by NASA to figure out how, with no talent and glass knees he could suck so much money out of the black hole that is the Islanders, leaving former Wing Evgeni Nabokov to get the start in net.
Detroit enters tonight after battling its way to a DESERVED 3-2 win in overtime vs Chicago, and no Happy didn’t break Sharps wrist, Sharp did when he fell on it later in the 1st. And despite what some moronic Blackhawks “fans” would like you to believe, the Red Wings are in 1st in the Central, not tied. How are all those shootout wins treating you now?
Gameplan for tonight: Go in with guns blazing and make Nabby demand a trade.
DETROIT RED WINGS TEAM NOTES
DET is 46-43-6-1 all-time vs NYI
DET is 20-24-4-0 all-time at NYI
DET is 4-3-1 in 8 Tuesday games this season
DET is 67-3-4 the last 74 times they’ve scored 4+ goals in a game
DETROIT RED WINGS PLAYER NOTES
• T. Bertuzzi (w/VAN) recorded his 500th career point on 1/14/06 at NYI (goal, had a hat trick in the game)
• J. Franzen leads the NHL in GWG (8) and is on pace to tie P. Esposito and M. Goulet’s league record (16)
• J. Franzen has tallied 2G-3A-5P in his last 4 games played
• J. Franzen’s next goal will give him sole possession of 29th place in DET team history (currently tied w/C. Liscombe, 139)
• V. Filppula has recorded 2G-4A-6P in his last 4 games played
• H. Zetterberg has registered 0G-7A-7P in his last 4 games played
• H. Zetterberg’s next point will tie him with P. Sundstrom for 16th place in NHL history amongst Swedish-born players (588)
• J. Howard leades the NHL in wins (24) and is on pace to tie M. Brodeur’s league record (48)
• J. Howard is 6-1-0 (1.98 GAA, .930 SV%) in 7 starts vs Eastern Conference opponents this season
• N. Lidstrom is 3 assists behind P. Esposito for 21st place in NHL history (873)
• D. Cleary has registered 6G-1A-7P in his last 7 road games at Atlantic Division opponents
• T. Holmstrom’s next GP will tie him with Red Berenson for 283rd place in NHL history (987)
• P. Datsyuk has tallied 4G-9A-13P in 8 games vs Eastern Conference opponents this season
• P. Datsyuk’s next point will give him sole possession of 214th place in NHL history (currently tied w/Cam Neely, 694)
• P. Datsyuk’s next goal will tie him with S. Samsonov for 10th place all-time in NHL history amongst Russian-born players (235)