It’s an impressive feat to rattle off 23 consecutive home wins. The Detroit Red Wings will try to extend that number tonight to 24 as they host the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena (pregame on 97.1 The Ticket tonight at 7:10). It won’t be an easy task, in a pivotal game between the top two teams in the Western Conference.
The Canucks are an excellent team, trailing the Wings by only two points in the standings. Vancouver just had a four-game winning streak snapped by Nashville, and the Canucks haven’t lost back-to-back games since January 15th and 17th. The Red Wings are also without All-Star Pavel Datsyuk, out for at least two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. And while Jimmy Howard played well in a 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks, even he admitted after the game he was expecting his first game back to be more about “getting [his] feet wet again and giving the guys a good chance to win.” That could mean there is still some on-the-job rehab to complete.