Thursday, November 03, 2005

GameDay: vs. Edmonton (6-6-1, 13 Pts) 7:30 ET

Wings look for 10th straight victory tonight versus Edmonton

Tonight's game is the first of four games these two storied clubs will play this season. The Wings won the season series in 03-04, going 2-0-2 over four games. The two teams skated to a 1-1 tie in their last game together, on 23. Feb 04.

The Wings are riding a nine-game win streak and will look to break a franchise record tonight with a 10th. Their latest wins have come against, LA, Phoenix, San Jose, Anaheim, Columbus (2) and Chicago (3). Not exactly the cream of the crop but it's still remarkable that they've been able to keep up their winning ways for so long. Despite the Sens' 10-4 shellacking of the Sabres last night, the Wings still hold the league lead in goals scored and are still winning the scoring race with Ottawa (55 to 54). On top of having the highest scoring offense, they have a great defense, having allowed the fewest goals (24 to Ottawa's 26) of any team this season. They have only lost once, 4-2 to Vancouver at home on 10. October. If they win tonight, they will be the first team in league history to have 26 points after 14 games.

The Oilers began the season with three wins but a 3-1 loss to LA in their fourth game started a 7-game skid that finally ended 28. October in Dallas with a 5-3 win. They have now won three in a row and have outscored their opponents 15-5 in those games. They are coming off a 5-1 win over Columbus on Tuesday but more important to Wings fans is the game before that, a 5-1 win over Nashville. The Edmonton penalty killing unit has allowed at least one power play goal in their last nine games, something the Wings should be able to capitalize on, given that they have converted 38.1% of their power play chances at home this season. Edmonton is kicking off a seven-game road trip tonight, a stretch in which they will look to improve their 3-4-0 road record.

Chris Osgood will get the started in place of the injured Manny Legace tonight. Jimmy Howard was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as his backup. Legace practiced yesterday and expects to be back soon (as in, three games), according to both papers (Freep and News)

Mathieu Schneider will make his return tonight, after missing one game with a groin injury. To make room, Brett Lebda was sent back down to Grand Rapids.

The News says head coach Mike Babcock has some concern about tonight's game, given the Oilers' speed and their win streak. That's understandable since it will certainly be a tougher test for the guys than the previous 5 games have been. Still, the Wings aren't so slow themselves and their defense has been solid enough to ease most worries. Osgood has looked very solid in his two games and with the Wings' offense scoring as it has been, things should go well. They will need to play a more efficient game than they did Tuesday night though. Sloppy passes will not work, not with the Oilers looking to take them the other way with a burst of speed. Should be a more exciting game than what we've had for the last three against Chicago.


At 11/03/2005 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that golf is better than hockey...from your roommate

At 11/03/2005 01:59:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Thank you, Michael, but your opinion is not valid.


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