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Red Wings PRE-game...1/12/10

By: Channing Cummins

The Red Wings will march into the Coliseum Tuesday night, as they take on the New York Islanders. The Wings have won four of their last five and currently sit at 9th in the conference. The Islanders find themselves in a similar position, which only adds more importance to this game. Tonight's game will also mark the end of the Wings' five game road trip.

The Wings come into tonight's game as a favorite, even if on the road. They recently proved a sign of life and have seemed to find a sense of comfort. The offense has been on and off but the defense not so much. Yes, a lot of shots are allowed certain games but it's the goals that count. In the teams last four wins they've allowed a total of
FIVE goals. "Has anyone noticed yet?"..just asking.

It's the man in net that has risen tall when the team needed him most. That's right, Jimmy Howard has been more than productive. His save percentage of .928 puts him third in the league folks. His 2.14 goals against is a mere fourth in the league and he's making a permanent mark in the lineup, claiming the No. 1 spot. The Islanders will definitely have a tough time scoring tonight if Jimmy gets the GO. They currently rank near the bottom is goals per game and lack a true set of scorers. I do like the play of Tavares and Moulson lately so they could present problems for Detroit's defense.

The Islanders have a long list of goaltenders that could start tonight. DiPietro would be a good guess after recently making his first start of the season. It's still early but he definitley has the talent to provide a problem for Wings scorers. This is the man that is on a 15 year contract...anyways, could be an issue. Roloson has provided some relief for Islanders this year but hasn't been great.

The Wings offense deserves a little recognition, finally. They managed to put four goals behind Nabokov on only 22 shots. They've also welcomed the comebacks of Zetterberg and Cleary to the lineup. Darren Helm has been a man on a mission in these last five days as well. Putting up 5 goals and an assist in the last five is one thing. It's the constant drive and effort that has put him above some of the rest of the team. Along with Datsyuk's recent warm up and Bertuzzi's season play the Wings seem to be finding the track again. You have strong goaltending plus a potent offense, you then get...you can do the rest.

Look for the Wings to score some goals tonight against the Islanders. Three to four is a good prediction and any player has the potential to win this game. The key for tonight will be focused on offensive shooting. The opportunities for our offense to shoot should be there and this should be taken advantage of. Crashing the net along with a hefty supply of shots should give the team a good chance to win. Smart defense is key as well. Keep there shots to a minimum and make sure you clear the zone. Turnovers in our own zone have killed us in the past, they must be avoided. Smart play along with an agressive offense should prove to be key for a win.

My predictions: I have to love the matchup. The Wings are hot and players are on the verge of producing...right? I'm going to expect a messy game. Some penalties, turnovers and good bounces. Certain players are playing well and I'm confident. SCORE: 4-2 Detroit P.O.G.-Dan Cleary

Go git em..


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