Sunday, March 07, 2004

3/7 Notes

This is the week we've been waiting for since October 6th, the week Derian Hatcher will return to the Wings' lineup. Head coach Dave Lewis said "He's going to play Monday. We talked to him and he's ready to go." Hatcher has missed all but three games so far this year and his return will have the effect of a blockbuster trade deadline aquisition. Lewis said "Every coach and organization would love to add a Derian Hatcher into the mix at the trading deadline and we're beating it by a day." Anders Myrvold was also sent back down the Grand Rapids yesterday to make room for Derian, who has been practicing with the team for weeks and was ready a month ago to play but his doctors made him wait. He is very pumped to play again and it's likely he'll make an immediate impact. I'm looking forward to seeing him play again, for sure. This is also the week Curtis Joseph will return. He has missed ten games since spraining his ankle against the Sharks on February 11th. Manny Legace has gone 8-2 in his absence and will get one more start, tomorrow night against the Lightning. Curtis Joseph will backup Manny and will get the start on Thursday against the Blue Jackets. Marc Lamothe was sent back down the the Griffins yesterday to make room for Curtis on the roster. It will be good to see Curtis in net again and I hope he'll be there well in to June. Hopefully he'll quickly be back in the form he was in before he went down and hopefully he'll get the defensive support he needs from his teammates as well. With big Derian Hatcher returning, CuJo's crease should be a little clearer this time around. Tampa Bay, the Wings' next opponent, won their 8th in a row last night when they beat the Panthers 5-3. They now lead the League with 90 points, just one more than the Wings, a fact which amazes me. The rise of that team has been meteoric and I'm sure it is more than another one of those "Cinderella stories" the league sees every year. I think the Lightning are for real and it will be very interesting to see what they do in the playoffs. I'm looking forward to seeing them play Monday night.


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