Jimmy Howard Must Be Difference Maker in Return for Detroit Red Wings Tonight

January 20th, 2011 by Matt Hutter Leave a reply »
A quick look at the standings in the Central Division will reveal that, as far as positioning goes, tonight's game between the St. Louis Blues and visiting Detroit Red Wings isn't going to mean much.

With a 12-point lead over St. Louis, the division-leading Red Wings aren't going to suffer much should they lose the game tonight.

However, there's more than just points on the line tonight, something arguably more important: a good start.

The Red Wings of late have been something just this side of terrible in the first period over the past 10 games.

The need to "get started on time," as coach Mike Babcock refers to it, has been preached endlessly over this stretch, yet the message has not successfully translated into action.

Giveaways, miscues, soft play along the boards and shaky goaltending have all contributed to Detroit's nagging habit of putting themselves down a goal or two to start a game.

While the Red Wings' battle-back ability has been admirable, planning to play the part of Comeback Kids night after night is no way to win hockey games with any regularity.

The Red Wings remain depleted due to ...

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