Saturday, December 06, 2003

GameDay: @ Toronto (14-6-5-2), 7:00 EST

Tonight is the first and only game between these two Original Six rivals this whole season. Obviously, the NHL schedulers have zero sense of history and all the talk about highlighting rivalries means nothing. I'd rather see six games versus the Leafs than the six the Wings have to waste playing the Blue Jackets just because Columbus happens to be in the Central Division. The Maple Leafs/Red Wings rivalry is far better than anything that will ever go on between Detroit and Columbus. Those in charge of scheduling would do well to remember that. The league needs more games between Original Six teams, for sure. The Leafs are riding a season-high seven-game winning streak. They have not lost since November 20th in Edmonton and most recently destroyed Boston 6-0. This winning streak is the club's longest since they won 10 in a row during the 1993-94 season. The Wings are 9-2-2 over their last 13 games and unbeaten in their last five. They are coming off a 4-4 tie with the Blues and the night before, blew out the Ducks 7-2. The Wings have outscored their opponents 26-8 during the past five games. I'm sure Dominik Hasek will get the start tonight, though I'd much rather see Manny Legace in net for now. I think this is an unfortunate stretch of games for the Wings to be getting Dom back in playing shape. Hopefully Dom will not be as soft tonight as he was Thursday night in St. Louis. Ray Whitney is still listed by the Free Press as injured so he likely will not play tonight. It's been so long that I've practically forgotten about him. I hope he makes it back soon. The Wings know they need to keep winning so I expect them to play a good game. The Blues play the Preds today so this game is pretty much a must-win if the Wings want to stay in the lead. Hopefully, time off the Wings have had from Thursday to today will be enough. The game is on FSN as well as CBC. I'll be flipping back and forth, to get both perspectives, though I know both sides will be unbiased (riiiight).


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