Joe Louis Arena
Listen to the game at [WXDX
Know the Enemy:
Remember this place?
The last time the Penguins played a game of consequence in Joe Louis Arena they walked out of the building with the Stanley Cup.
Obviously tonight's game does not have as much on the line.
Tonight, the team the loses will live to see another day.
The team that wins will leave without a trophy, but instead with two points.
But that doesn't mean this game is meaningless.
Far from it.
This is not a September preseason game.
The two points that the winner will receive tonight definitely mean something.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are two points ahead of the New Jersey Devils, who have played one less game, for top spot in the Atlantic division.
Each win from now on out inches the Penguins closer to a division title and home ice advantage.
For Detroit the stakes are even higher.
The Red Wings are two points ahead of Calgary for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Calgary has played one more game
This is the playoffs for Babcock's team.
The Red Wings cannot afford to give up any more points if they hope to make the postseason.
Of course, that's just one of the many things that the citizens of Detroit cannot afford.
Hopefully someone will be around to tell Cleary's dad the score at the end of the game.
Jimmy Howard will be in net for the Wings.
Chris Osgood will be wildly out of position on the bench.
Is it just us or is jobbing the Red Wings a little bit less fun when it's not Elroy in their net?
Proposed Penguins Lines:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Bill Guerin
– Max Talbot – Ruslan Fedotenko
– Craig Adams – Tyler Kennedy
Sergei Gonchar – Mark Eaton
Brooks Orpik – Kris Letang
Jordan Leopold – Alex Goligoski
"But based on scheduling, the league seems intent on making sure that the Wings miss the playoffs for the first time in two decades. I’ve written already about the lunacy of the Swedish trip and the fact that the Wings were one of two teams playing the day after the gold medal game in the Winter Olympics. But just look at the last week. The team idled in western Canada for about a week before playing back-to-back road games, then gets one travel day leading up to a supposed showdown against the Penguins. Does that make sense to anyone unless the schedule makers truly do hate the Wings? I never believed it in the past, but quirks like that make me wonder."
At this point we'd like to take a moment and check the weather conditions in Detroit:
Tonight's game is not for the Stanley Cup.
In fact, tonight it doesn't even matter who won the Stanley Cup.
2009 is over.
So is 2008.
Tonight the 2010 Pittsburgh Penguins face off against the 2010 Detroit Red Wings.
The previous accomplishments of these two teams will not determine who wins tonight.
What will matter is how these two teams play TONIGHT.
It's not for the Stanley Cup, but don't think for a second that it's not important.
The Devils are breathing down our necks.
The Flames are breathing down theirs.
Tonight either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Detroit Red Wings will give themselves a bit of space.
Hate week begins.
Get ready for it.