Friday, October 21, 2005

GameDay: vs. Anaheim (2-3-1, 5 Pts) 7:30 ET

Babcock to face old team for the first time Tonight is the first of four games the Wings will play against Mike Babcock's former team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Detroit won the season series 2-1-1 in '03-'04 but the Ducks got the last laugh, winning 8-6 on March 21st, 2004. The Wings are 6-1-0, making them one of the top teams in the league standings. They are riding a three-game winning streak and are coming off a well-fought overtime win against the Sharks on Monday night. They are unbeaten at home so far this year (3-0-0). This game will complete a brief two-game homestand before the team heads to Columbus for two games there. The Ducks are 2-3-1, which puts them much closer to the bottom of the league. After winning their opener in Chicago, they lost 4 of their next five, including their last two. Their last loss came from the St. Louis Blues on Wedneday (3-2). They are 1-2-1 on the road so far this year. Tonight's game will complete a three-game road trip and then the Ducks will stick around the Southwest for the next six. Manny Legace will get the start for the Wings. JS Giguere could start for the Ducks but in the event that his recently-suffered groin injury keeps him out, Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net instead. The Wings will be without Steve Yzerman tonight due to a new groin injury, as mentioned yesterday. Kris Draper could play, if his eye checks out in his visit to the doctor today. Even if neither man plays, the Wings will not add any players to the roster to fill the holes since they are very close to the cap already and they can just move Jamie Rivers to forward temporarily if they need to. It puts strain on Pavel Datsyuk and Robert Lang though, so we may see the Zetterberg-Datsyuk combo split up since Hank can play center. Sergei Fedorov is questionable for tonight (groin) so Wings fans may have to wait to see him on JLA ice again. He has missed the last three games for the Ducks. Both papers (News and Freep) report that Mike Babcock has nothing but good things to say about his former team. It will have to be strange for him to coach against the team that gave him his first pro coaching job. It should cause the game to be a little more emotionally charged than Wings/Ducks games have been in the past.


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