1. Obviously the big news is the return of Zetterberg and Cleary. Filppula’s return a couple of weeks ago gave the team a boost, so what kind of effect will getting two key guys have on the team?
2. 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.
3. Not only did the powerplay not help the Wings on Tuesday against Anaheim, it hurt them when they gave up a shorthanded goal and completely lost their focus. I asked this before that game too, but when is the powerplay going to become an actual advantage for the Wings again? Hopefully the return of Cleary and Zetterberg will spark things since there’ll actually be a legitimate second unit. At least up front anyway.
4. Datsyuk sleepwalked through the last game (and several others before that). He’s starting to try my patience, which is kind of a feat because he’s one of my favorite players. Will Zetterberg’s return give him the spark that he’s been lacking?
5. Babcock’s going with Howard again tonight. I’m not particularly surprised about it. He looked shaky on Tuesday, but I had kind of a feeling that Babcock would go back to him to show that he still has confidence in him. Otherwise it sends the message that the first time you screw up, you’re out, and I don’t think that’s the kind of pressure he wants to put on his rookie goalie. However, if Jimmy falters again, I’ll be looking to see Ozzie in net next time around. How will Howard rebound from his first less than stellar game in a while?