[Open Thread] Game Sixty-Four: San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings

Detroit has been the Sharks bête noire (or should I say bête rouge) since the men of teal first stepped onto the ice in 1991. This year has been no different, with San Jose playing Detroit three ways in their three games thus far -- bad, really bad, and oh wow this is bad. Granted, the Red Wings are one of the if not the best team in the league, but you should at least try to be competitive with them.

That all said, Los Pulpo are reeling as of late, having dropped nine of their last ten games. Any further question as to what Nicklas Lidstrom, currently out with a sprained MCL, means to this team? Also nursing boo-boos are Chris Chelios (no, he doesn't get Medicare when he's on the IR) and Brian Rafalski. When three of your regular six defensemen are out at the same time, things can get a mite challenging for your goaltender, and neither Chris Osgood nor Jimmy Howard who's filling in for an injured Dominik Hasek have been up to the task. The Red Wings are so desperate for some blueline help they traded for Brad Stuart, last seen mailing it in down in L.A. Oh, and they've brought back Darren McCarty. Oh, to have the Geritol concession at Joe Louis Arena.

In short, if ever there was a time for San Jose to demonstrate on the ice with Detroit, it's tonight. Yes, they are undermanned. That said, they still have Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg with which to contend, so the firepower is still there. The Sharks need this game if for no other reason but to prove to themselves they are capable of getting past their self-induced psych job whenever the feathered wheels are the opponent. Period.

Okay, let's drop the puck.