Game 47 Preview: The Brett LebD'OH Proxy

Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings

January 21, 2012 - 7:00pm EST
Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, Michigan
Radio - WWCD FM 102.5 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Winging It In Motown

"We still want to finish this thing out by doing good things and continuing to grow and taking steps forward in the right direction." --Todd Richards
"Heeeeeere's Brett Lebda!" --Scott Howson

So, I'm guessing you can infer how I feel about demoting David Savard to make room for Brett Lebda. In a season that's already lost--and has been so for quite some time--explain to me how bringing in a washed up Lebda in lieu of getting Savard some NHL experience makes ANY sense. No, go ahead. I'll wait.

[zzzzz zzzzz zzzzz]

Oh, sorry. I drifted off.

At any rate, the Red Wings are in their usual beast mode, and haven't lost at The Joe in 15 tries. I'm hard pressed to come up with reasons the Jackets can break that streak, but spending four paragraphs talking about how much I hate Tomas Holmstrom and about how I think Gary Bettman is an asshat for letting Todd Bertuzzi back into the league at all won't really suffice as a preview.

The Jackets are coming off their first shutout of the season at the hands of the Preds the other night; small feather-for-cap is that Columbus somehow was the last team to be shutout on the season. Amazing.

That first win of the season over a depleted Wings team seems so, so long ago. The Jackets are a traveling MASH unit, and the Wings are in playoff form of late. In terms of your lineup changes, not much for Columbus other than Lebda-for-Savard and a return to the crease of The Sandman. Try to contain your excitement!

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(13-28-5, 31 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

Vinny Prospal Derick Brassard Rick Nash
Tomas Kubalik Antoine Vermette Ryan Johansen
Ryan Russell Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Colton Gillies Derek MacKenzie Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Nikita Nikitin
Marc Methot John Moore
Aaron Johnson Brett Lebda
Curtis Sanford
Steve Mason

Detroit Red Wings
(31-15-1, 63 Points; 2nd Division, 4th Conference)

Johan Franzen Pavel Datsyuk Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula Henrik Zetterberg Jiri Hudler
Danny Cleary Darren Helm Andrew Miller
Jan Mursak Justin Abdelkader Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom Ian White
Niklas Kronwall Brad Stuart
Mike Commodore Jonathan Ericsson
Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Season Series

10/21/11 - Columbus 2 at Detroit 5 - RECAP
10/25/11 - Detroit 1 at Columbus 4 - RECAP
01/21/12 - Columbus at Detroit
02/28/12 - Detroit at Columbus
03/26/12 - Columbus at Detroit
03/28/12 - Detroit at Columbus

Head to Head

Detroit Columbus
3.15 (5) GPG 2.33 (28)
2.28 (5) GAPG 3.22 (29)
18.1% (14) PP% 14.6% (23)
81.6% (22) PK% 76.8% (29)
Johan Franzen, 18 G leader Rick Nash, 16
Pavel Datsyuk, 38 A leader Vinny Prospal, 21
Pavel Datsyuk, 51 Pts leader Rick Nash, 32
Jonathan Ericsson, 39 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 109
18-2-1 Road/Home 5-15-2
1/19 @ Phoenix, W 3-2 (SO) Last Game 1/19 vs. Nashville, L 3-0
8-2-0 Last 10 4-6-0

Game Notes:

  • 15 and Life to Go... - The Wings' home winning streak--a franchise record--sits at 15. I don't know how the Jackets can go in and fight that kind of mojo, but on the other hand, what do they have to lose?
  • Slim PIMs - An interesting stat above: the teams' leading PIM guys couldn't be much further apart. Interesting, Jackets, how a GOOD team has a PIM leader sitting below 40 this far into the season. Meanwhile, Dorse is on pace for almost 200.
  • Homecoming King - For all of my gnashing of teeth about Lebda, it's important to remember he has his name on The Cup, and played a few years with the Wings. Perhaps there can be some weird swing of karma in play tonight. And I almost typed that entire sentence with a straight face.
  • In The Pocket - Yes, it's the title of my favorite Commodores' album in honor of Mike Commodore finally getting a crack at his old team. Sadly, the starch is out of the festivities since the guy Commie probably most would want to show up is no longer behind the bench for the Jackets.

The Jackets have three in four nights to close out the "first half" of a Kurtz Heart of Darkness season ("the horror... the horror..."). Things don't look good tonight, I have to say.

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