The magic number? ’88

January 12, 2006

Nope. We’re not talking Eric Lindros’ embattled legacy in Philadelphia.  1988’s the last year the Flyers left Joe Louis Arena with a victory.  Tonite may be the most difficult game the Wings have had defending that streak.

The Flyers finish an 11-game road swing, covering 21 days, with their game tonite against the Wings.  They have blazed through the trip, going 8-1-1.

Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“It’s been fun and it’s been a great trip, and we have the last one coming up and we have a chance to make it the best in franchise history,” (Former Wing Mike)Knuble said.

Since 1988 the Wings own a 14-0-2 record against the Flyers at the Joe, including the Finals sweep in 1997.  Paul Holmgren coached the Flyers to their last victory in Detroit.

Asked about the streak of losses in Detroit, Hitchcock said: “I didn’t know we hadn’t won there since 1988. So, we took a year off, didn’t play, so all bets should be off and we should be starting fresh now.

“I’ll make sure to call Holmgren in the morning. I’m sure some of the players, other than [Steve] Yzerman, have changed, too.”

Interesting night for Wing fans, as Detroit welcomes back crowd favorite Peter Forsberg.  Derian Hatcher, a CBA casualty and frequent fan scapegoat for the disappointing ’04 playoff ouster, returns as well.

Via the Detroit News:

“Big Hatch has been playing well,” Kris Draper said. “He’s a guy that we didn’t want to lose, a big, strong physical defenseman, but because of the salary cap, that’s the way things are now. He had a tough injury (torn knee ligaments) when he was here, which was unfortunate, but he’s played at a high level his entire career and it’s not surprising he’s playing so well.”

Back to Forsberg.  Here’s something to keep in mind should he go off on the Wings tonite:  Sergei Fedorov, with help from Nick Lidstrom of course, had the primary responsibility of shadowing “Floppa” during the height of the Wing/Dique rivalry.  Tonite, Babcock plans on using reigning Selke winner Kris Draper on Forsberg.

Via the Detroit Free Press:

“He’s a guy that can dominate a game,” Draper said of Forsberg. “He just makes players around him that much better. He’s a guy that can score, and he’s a very gifted passer as well. The best thing to do is try to force an offensive player to try to play in his end as much as possible.”

Using his temper against him isn’t a bad idea either, Kris.

MLive: Wings eager to take on Philly

Detroit Free Press: Weak start won’t fly tonite

Detroit News: Flyers present formidable challenge



3 Responses to “The magic number? ’88”

  1. Olongapo Joe Says:

    Drapes did a heck of a job shutting down Crosby. I suspect he’ll do a nice job against Floppa.

    Who do we put on Gagne though? That guy is on fire, points-wise.

  2. iwocpo Says:

    Lang? I’m kidding. Really.

  3. […] A2Y points out, the Wings are an impressive 14-0-2 against the Flyers at home since 1988. Tonight is a […]

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