Photo credit: Vancouver Sun
It’s hard to remember a time when the Detroit Red Wings were fighting for a playoff spot. Heck, the last time the Wings missed the playoffs, Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet was no. 1 on the Billboard charts. Yet here they are now, 2 points out of the playoff picture – behind the 8th place Columbus Blue Jackets – with only 5 games left in their regular season.
The good news for the Wings is, they still very much control their destiny. They have 2 games in hand on the Jackets, and so as long as they take care of their own business, they’ll extend their 21-year streak of making the NHL postseason.
However, the Wings have been struggling lately. They’re a rather mediocre 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, having only scored 18 goals in that span.
On the other hand, the Canucks have only lost 5 of their last 16 games. (Though you can’t really tell from the way they’ve been playing.)
24-13-7, 55 points (1st in the Northwest Division, 3rd in the Western Conference)
Tonight is the 3rd and final meeting between the Canucks and Wings this season.
To say the Canucks were outplayed in the first 2 games would be too kind. They weren’t just outclassed by the Wings, they got their asses handed to them, losing 8-3 back in February and 5-2 about a month ago.
Henrik Zetterberg, Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk all have 5 points each against the Canucks this season. Jimmy Howard, who the Wings recently signed to a 6-year/$31.8 million contract extension, was in net for both Detroit wins, and will be in net again tonight.
Johan Franzen is riding a 4-game point streak (3G-1A-4P).
Niklas Kronwall is pointless in his last 5 games.
- Win and they’re in. (Faceoff.com)