Game 3: @ Edmonton, 10:00 ET
"I was very scared to play him but he said he was ready to go. He made it very clear to me he was going to have a tough first outing and when you haven't played as long as he's been out, you are. We started him but we were careful early with him and he didn't have much pop. He got better as the game went on."Yes, he did. If that was just first-game-back jitters, he ought to be ready to go tonight. No better place to have a great game than on the best ice in hockey, Pavel. A loss tonight would put the Wings in a very tough position in Game 4, given their apparent inability to beat the trap and Edmonton's determination to use it in order to win. A win tonight is pretty key. Not essential but important. I'll likely post more as they day progresses but I need to go to work now. Update (9:11 AM): Our suggestion that Babcock dress Cory Cross was met with much laughing and mockery over at The Battle of Alberta. I dunno, guys. I kinda trust Ken Holland not to acquire a complete dud, Wendell Clark, Ulf Samuelsson and Uwe Krupp notwithstanding. And Cory did bring us this. Anyway, I doubt he'll be inserted into the lineup since Babcock likes Lebda so much. Update (4:21 PM): NHL.com's Stats Blog has this to say:
The Red Wings have not lost consecutive games since January 23 and 24 (both at home vs. Nashville). Beginning on January 26, they’re perfect in games following a loss.
Red Wings in Games Following Loss – January 26 -- Present
W-L-OTL 8-0-0 Goals 30 (3.75/gm) Goals Allowed 13 (1.63/gm)
These numbers include the Red Wings’ playoff opener, after the team lost its regular-season finale.
I guess this means they don't have to show up to play tonight, right? Wrong!