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Detroit Red Wings Vs. New York Islanders: Game Preview

December 23rd, 2013 at 6:53 PM
By Frank Vajcner

Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the Joe,

All the creatures were stirring, even some guy named Garth Snow.

The ice was all cleaned and wiped down with care, until a stray octopus comes flying through the air.

The Red Wings were waiting inside of their dressing room, with hopes that another shootout would not be their doom.

Their head coach Mike Babcock was ready to roll and rock, while hoping that there would be no HBO cameramen needing to be clocked.

As his team took to the ice, I heard Babs shout out

"On Pavel, On Hank, On Jurco, and Kronner! On Goose, On DeKeyser, On Alfie and Monster! To the back of the net, and between all the boards. Now score away, score away, score on in hordes!"

And after Karen Newman had sung out the anthem, fans shouted out loud, "Now let's go get 'em!'

Then Babs turned and said to the crowd in red and white,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

What: Islanders at Red Wings

Where: Joe Louis Arena

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

TV: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records: The Red Wings are 17-12-9; the Islanders are 10-20-7

Season Series: Tied 1-1

Last Meeting: The Red Wings blitzed the Islanders on Black Friday 5-0. Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson each scored twice while Jimmy Howard picked up his second shutout of the year.

Projected Lineups

Red Wings:

Gustav NyquistPavel DatsyukTodd Bertuzzi
Tomas JurcoRiley SheahanDaniel Alfredsson
Drew MillerJoakim AnderssonTomas Tatar
Daniel ClearyLuke GlendeningPatrick Eaves

 

Defensemen

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Kyle QuinceyDanny DeKeyser
Brian LashoffBrendan Smith

 

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustavsson
Petr Mrazek

Islanders:

Forwards

Thomas VanekJohn TavaresKyle Okposo
Michael GrabnerFrans NielsenJosh Bailey
Brock NelsonRyan StromeCal Clutterbuck
Matt MartinCasey CizikasColin McDonald

 

Defensemen

Andrew MacDonaldThomas Hickey
Calvin de HaanTravis Hamonic
Aaron NessBrian Strait

 

Goaltenders

Evgeni Nabokov
Kevin Poulin

Players to Watch

Islanders:

John Tavares: My pick for Hart Trophy has gotten off to a slow start, but he still leads the team in scoring with 38 points as well as goals with 13.

Thomas Vanek: The Austrian is a former 40-goal scorer, and has three in his last two games.

Kyle Okposo: He has quietly scored 32 points so far.

Red Wings:

Pavel Datsyuk: Four points in his last two games. It will be fun watching him go up against Tavares.

Daniel Alfredsson: Also has four points in his last two games.

Tomas Jurco: The rookie has three points in three NHL games, including two goals.

Riley Sheahan: Recorded his first career NHL points (two assists) in Saturday's win over Toronto.

Prediction: Much like this point in November, I was ready to say December would not end pleasantly. Well, the Wings proved me wrong again. Fans should be getting a nice Christmas present tonight.

Make It: Red Wings 3, Islanders 1

Tags: Daniel Alfredsson, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco

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