Thursday, December 01, 2005

GameDay: vs. Calgary (14-9-3, 31 Pts) 7:30 ET

Tonight is the third of four games between the Wings and the Flames this season. Detroit won the first game 6-3 in the first weekend of the season but lost in Calgary 3-1 on November 14th. The Wings are coming off a successful three-game California road trip. They beat San Jose on Saturday and LA on Monday, though they lost to Anaheim last Friday. After skating to a 7-5-2, the Wings will look to return to something closer to their October 11-1-0 form in December. All but five games this month are against Eastern Conference opponents so they'll have to be on their A-game if they want to keep ahead in the Western Conference standings. The Flames have lost two in a row, one in regulation (in Nashville on Tuesday, 2-0) and one in a shootout (versus Edmonton last Friday, 2-1). After winning 8 in a row to start November, they hit a sporadic stretch in the second half of the month, going 2-2-1. The Nashville game kicked off a five game road trip that will take them out East for three games before they return home to play Ottawa and Boston later in the month. Since Manny Legace is out with a knee sprain and Jimmy Howard started Monday, Chris Osgood should start tonight. Robert Lang is out indefinitely with a groin injury, the papers say. Both report that Mark Mowers will take his place on the roster. Both papers also make mention of the Bob McKenzie article of a couple days ago. The TSN columnist wrote that he wouldn't be surprised if Yzerman called it quits this week based on The Captain's reduced ice time and his sitting out of Saturday's game. When I read that, I thought he was vastly overstating the situation and underestimating Yzerman. Mike Babcock agrees. He told the News: "I thought he (Yzerman) played outstanding in Los Angeles. He didn't tell me anything. Sometimes as a coach you're the last to know, but I don't think that (Yzerman is considering retirement)." The Flames will be a stiff test for the Wings, who have won solid games over two other strong opponents in the past two. Iginla and Company always come to play and Miikka Kiprusoff will be as hard to beat as ever, I'm sure. If the Wings play like they can, we should have an entertaining and exciting game tonight, regardless of the outcome. It'll be good to see Darren McCarty back at the Joe, for the second time this season.


At 12/01/2005 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Christy Hammond said...

I would be extremely surprised if Yzerman retired before this season was over. He realizes that he might need a day off here and there. Now I do think he'll back out of playing for Canada especially with so many talented and younger centers fighting for a spot. But that's just my opinion...

At 12/01/2005 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

The Captain has sat out the second game of a back-to-back series in the past (i.e. last season) so I don't think it's a sign of the apocalypse like McKenzie does.

I agree. The Captain won't retire before the end of the season but I do fully expect him to retire afterwards.

You're right, he probably will back out of the Team Canada option but not because he can't play. Too many younger skilled players.


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