Apologies for being so lax with Wings commentary lately - thanks to classes and extracurricular activities (okay shhh so I went to a concert yesterday night) I missed both of arguably the two most important games of the month - those being the home and home against Nashville.
Luckily for me we won them both even without my dedicated witnessing! Even better, I found out in the bar last night after the show that my rookie Jiri Hudler stole the show and nabbed two goals in yesterday's win, which put us once again ahead of Nashville, and at the top of the league again, where fans have gotten so used to seeing us after this past year.
Now the question is, will we stay there? The Wings have risen back from a team that relied heavily - maybe too heavily - on our top line, our power line, our Eurotwins to a team of the depth we praised at the beginning of the season. Since the trade deadline, the Lang-Calder combo and the kids (Filppula playing alongside Datsyuk and Hudler in various places but most notably with Lang and Calder) have done wonders. The return of Sameulsson and Holmstrom have already helped, and we've yet to even get Zetterberg back. So, can we keep this lead, tenuous as it may be? I think we can, if we keep this level up, but we've got real contenders - it's not like last year; we're going to have to be sharp.
In apology for my lack of coverage, some Wings-related things worth pointing out.
- Matt at On the Wings has excellent game recaps as always - it's where I went when I got home last night.
- Dave at Gorilla Crouch also has recaps but more importantly (maybe only to me) a post dedicated to my rookie and the press coverage he's been getting lately, thereby sparing me the trouble of doing it myself!
- Christy of Behind the Jersey has recaps as well and most notably a nice injury status report with regard to the Filppula injury last night and Zetterberg as well. Unfortunately I have to agree with her about necessarily trusting Babcock's word on how serious it is (remember when Samuelsson "hadn't" broken his foot, either?)
Last but....okay actually I might not be able to finish that sentence, it's giving me premonitions and headaches and that sort of hazy vision thing you get when you want to cry a little bit. But okay, the Oilers are playing tonight - the start of a six game homestead. Maybe, just maybe, we'll win one? Just one?
Also worth pointing out: The Oil are calling up players (and subsequently putting them on IR) at such an alarming frequency that they've stopped taking the time to make crazy Oilers in space backgrounds for the new guys Young and Nilsson. That, or they've got my poor eyes in mind and don't want a repeat of the painfully bad photoshop editing that is Nedved's.
My predictions for tonight: Boogard manages to injure both goalies in a matter of minutes, at which point we move Toby Petersen back from defense to goal, and he still manages to score the only Oilers goal all night. What, me, disillusioned?