Pre-Game: The Return of Hudler, Wings Host Flames
Detroit (4-3-1) VS Calgary (1-3-2)
In a season rife with woes for the Detroit Red Wings to frown on, they can at least say they're off to a better start than this evening's opponents: the Calgary Flames. The Wings hope to get back into the win column tonight, but doing so will require them to hand a defeat to one of their most recently departed former teammates, forward Jiri Hudler.
Hudler, who signed a 4-year deal with the Flames, has found some personal success thus far in his first year away from the Wings, but that so far has not translated into a lot of team success. Sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference, Calgary looks like a prime target for a whooping, but it would be very naive for the Red Wings to mail this one in.
Inconsistency has been the norm in Hockeytown in this abbreviated season. On one night, they look like the best team in the league, and on other nights they look as though the run of playoff appearances has no way of extending one more year. Much of this is due to injury of course, and with the recent loss of Brendan Smith on the back end, it's only getting worse. Detroit may get Ian White back for tonight's game, however, which would be a huge bonus after just losing Smith.
Can the Wings put a damper on Hudler's return to Joe Louis Arena, or will he and his new teammates burn Detroit?