Wednesday, October 05, 2005

GameDay: vs. St. Louis (0-0-0, 0) 7:30 ET

Tonight, every team across the league is in action as the NHL drops the puck to begin another regular season. No more lockout, no more off-season, no more pre-season. It's the real deal. Hockey's back! For the Wings, their season opener comes at home against the St. Louis Blues. It will be the first of 8 games between the two historical Central Division rivals. The last time these teams met, April 1st, 2004, the Wings won 3-2, winning the season series 4-1-1-0 (according to the old system: four wins, one loss, one tie, zero overtime losses). The Wings are coming off a nine-game exhibition schedule in which they went 4-4-1 (four wins, four losses, one overtime loss). They outscored their opponents 29-24 and did best at home, going 3-2-0. Their best game was against the Blue Jackets on 28. September, when they scored 9 goals against the Columbus "B-Team" with their "A-Team." They then lost the last two games, both to the Maple Leafs, 4-3 at home and then 4-1 in Toronto the next night. The Blues only had six games in their pre-season schedule. They went 3-2-1 and were outscored 18 goals to 17. They are coming off a 2-1 win over Chicago on Sunday night. They scored five goals in Chicago on 23. September for their largest offensive output of the pre-season. They lost star defenseman Chris Pronger and forward Pavol Demitra over the off-season meaning this Blues team will have a distinctly different look to it this time around. Manny Legace will get the start for the Wings and Patrick Lalime will be in net for the Blues. I'm looking forward to watching my first full Wings game in over a year and a half, after missing most of the pre-season for a variety of reasons. It will be good to see how the new-look Wings play now that the points matter. I'm most interested in seeing how Babcock puts the lines and defensive pairings together as well as how he distributes the ice time. Both teams will come to play and that should make for a good game. Injuries The Wings will be without some key players tonight: Steve Yzerman (groin), Chris Osgood (groin) and Niklas Kronwall (knee). Yzerman is day-to-day and is most likely to start against the Flames on Sunday. Osgood hasn't seen ice in any meaningful way since training camp and is out until he is fully, fully healed. Kronwall will be out four-to-six months, as we all know. The Blues may be without forward Doug Weight and defenseman Barrett Jackman, ESPN reported a week ago. Both suffered shoulder injuries in their game last Tuesday and were slated to be out 1-2 weeks. Their absence would likely have a distinct effect on tonight's game. Also, Andy Delmore was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets yesterday. The Wings had hoped he'd clear and make it to Grand Rapids. So our defensive depth takes another hit.


At 10/06/2005 02:46:00 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

I looked at the minor league roster... we have NO depth at defense. I expect to see jason Wooley back by thanksgiving.


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