1. The last time the Wings played Washington, we barely noticed Alex Ovechkin. Thanks largely to Nick Lidstrom, he just didn’t look threatening very often. The box score says that he got an assist, but the Wings did a great job limiting his chances. Will they be able to repeat that performance?
2. The Eurotwins were in vintage form on Sunday. They were the best players on the ice, and I think we’re all still trying to piece our minds back together after Datsyuk’s shootout goal. If the Wings want to gain any ground, they’re going to need efforts like that from them on a consistent basis. Are they going to live up to our lofty expectations?
3. I haven’t heard who’s slated to start in net yet. Will Ozzie finally get a chance to redeem himself? He played the first game against Washington this season, and since it’s against an Eastern Conference opponent, a potential loss would hurt less, I suppose. You’ve got to figure that he’s going to get a start one of these days. I know Howard’s on a hot streak and is young, but at some point he’s going to need a break.
4. The Wings have a chance to break into the top 8 with a win against the Caps. They’ll need LA to lose to San Jose, but it’s within reach again. They’ve had a few chances to do that over the last few weeks, and haven’t been able to put a good effort together. Can they finally get over that hurdle and start working their way up the standings?
5. The Chicago game on Sunday was by far the best hockey I’ve seen since the playoffs. The Wings dominated for large stretches and controlled the play. They looked like the better team out there despite still missing some key guys from the lineup. I know we won’t be treated to that kind of hockey every minute of every game, but can the Wings keep up that level of intensity and drive on a regular basis? It sure would make moving up in the standings a lot easier.
6. Will Ville Leino or Brad May be in the lineup? Does it matter?
One other note: Ville Leino did this the last time these two teams met. Remember when we thought he’d actually be good? I’m pretty sure that was the last time he’s been anywhere near the crease.