I was pretty tempted to just copy and paste the GP from the last game because I have a hard time getting excited about playing the Blue Jackets twice in a row.
1. Filppula made an immediate impact in his return on Saturday. He didn’t score, but he definitely skated with the air of someone who knew what he was doing on the ice. Now that he’s had a game to work off the rust, how will he look tonight?
2. Ritola was called up to replace Leino tonight. If that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what will. Anyway, Ritola has to know that he’s getting an enormous opportunity here. He’s been chosen to replace a regular in the lineup, not called up out of necessity because of a lack of healthy bodies. How will he respond?
3. Datsyuk got put in the doghouse on our podcast this week for not stepping up and picking up the slack during Zetterberg’s absence. The bottom line is that he’s the one who needs to be leading the team right now and he’s not scoring. Will he return to his usual awe-inspiring form tonight?
4. When is Nick Lidstrom going to score a goal again? It’s been the better part of a decade since he put one in the net, and I’m going to copy/paste this into every GP until he does.
I also had one note that I meant to put in my recap from Saturday night: Several years ago when I got a Fedorov jersey for Christmas, I wore it while I watched the next Wings game on TV. He scored 5 goals that night. Little Sister wore her new Datsyuk jersey while she watched the game at home on Saturday night...and he scored zero goals. Obviously somebody screwed up. Just saying...