Wings vs. Leafs @7 PM
1. Despite all of the Wings’ early-season struggles, we can still be thankful that we’re not Leafs fans. They have exactly 2 victories. Two. In 14 games. They actually doubled their win total last night by beating the lowly Hurricanes. The Wings, on the other hand have put together three solid games in a row. They’re in Toronto with all kinds of autograph sessions and media fanfare for Steve Yzerman to play against a weak, Eastern Conference opponent. In other words, this is exactly the kind of game the Wings like to sleepwalk through. Will they decide to show up and not embarrass themselves with a loss to the Leafs? Please, Hockey Gods, make it so.
2. Will Phil Kessel come into his own in his role as savior of the Leafs tonight?
3. With any luck, the Wings have taken their off-day to recalibrate their collective aim. The last game looked like the team dressed 18 versions of Mikael Samuelsson with all of the missed shots they took. How many shots are they going to send wide this game?
4. Every once in a while, Todd Bertuzzi does things that make me smile. Sometimes I even feel like I’m starting to like him. Then he does things like make behind-the-back passes right onto the tape of opposing players in the Wings’ defensive zone that inevitably lead to heart-attack-inducing scoring chances. Is he going to finally set himself on a course that will earn him my good graces, or is he going to continue to be the guy who keeps making me scare my housemates by yelling at the TV all the time?
5. With a win tonight, the Wings can overtake Chicago and Columbus for the Central Division lead (although, the BJs are playing Carolina, so there’s a pretty good chance they’ll walk away with 2 points to stay ahead of the Wings). Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the Central, who pretty much everyone agreed was the best division in the league at the start of the season actually has the lowest first place point total of any one in the league? There’s no way that will stay like that for the whole season, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
On a side note, I really like the look of the Leafs’ official website. I’m a sucker for old-timey photos like the one they use as the background. I probably won’t get to see the game tonight, which is disappointing because I always love a good Original 6 match-up.
Now, it’s off to the Big House for some football and glorious fall weather. Go Blue!