Another Eastern elite visits Detroit

January 14, 2006

And this one hasn’t won there recently, either. 

Following up an energetic defeat of Philadelphia Thursday night and extending a home unbeaten streak against the Flyers to 17 games; the Wings will host the Rangers today, who haven’t won at the Joe since early 1999.

Henrik Lundqvist, 5-0-2 since December 13th, will start for New York.  It appears Manny Legace will get the nod for the Wings.

Via the NY Post:

This afternoon, the Rangers get the opportunity to find out how they match up on the road against the NHL’s elite — a team that Renney described as “terrific.”

“We know, for sure, it’s going to be tough,” said Lundqvist, choosing his words carefully. “Detroit is a really solid team.”

Few teams in the league take advantage of turnovers better than the Red Wings do, and even if such mistakes don’t lead directly to goals, they frequently lead to penalties. Detroit scores an NHL-high 24.8 percent of the time they have an extra skater.

Mike Babcock quoted Mark Howe’s scouting report on NYR, telling the media Howe said, “Hard-working team with heart that doesn’t give up — nothing like they used to be.”

I suppose now’s not the time to wonder why a team with “hockey’s greatest captain” ever had a heart problem.

We’ll save that question for later.

Babcock said the reputation the Rangers have earned the last ten years does not apply to this team.

Via the Detroit Free Press:

“I’ve been in that situation when I was with Anaheim, that you are what you used to be, you’re not what you are. I think people have got that in their mind. The reality is, this is a good team, and you better be ready for them. They’re rolling. They beat everybody.”

Should be interesting to see today whether Babcock keeps the Datsyuk line together, and whether he assigns the Draper line to Jagr’s.  That could be contingent on Johan Franzen’s health.  He’s listed as questionable due to “the flu.” 

On the Wings Gameday

Detroit Free Press: Wings Corner

Booth (Mlive): Wings want more games against East

New York Post: Wings tough test

New York Daily News: Blueshirts Wing it

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