Never a dull moment when these two get together.
Outside of Anaheim, no team stirs the passion in Sharks fans quite like the Red Wings. Whether this is due to the assorted playoff battles between the two teams across the years, or how Detroit has the lamentable habit of bringing out the FP (Frontrunning Pukes) brigade of "fans," often seen during baseball season trying to remember if they're Yankees or Red Sox fans this week, that are an embarrassment to genuine Detroit fans such as our own Christy over at Winging It In Motown is a matter of debate. Probably a little of both. Whatever the cause may be, things can get chippy at the Tank when Selachimorpha and Cephalopod mix it up.
Last season for the Sharks ended at the hands of the Red Wings, who were less than a minute away from being down 3-1 to San Jose in the Western Conference semi-finals until... um, you remember. No need to go through it all again.
As to Detroit this year, there may be a question in goal. Dominik Hasek has been inconsistent; tonight veteran Chris Osgood will start in his place. Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg are hobbled to a degree, but both are expected to play tonight. Lidstrom remains a stud on defense, while Zetterberg is close to a two points per night status with five goals and eight assists in the team's first seven games. Throw in Tomas Holdstrom and Kris Draper who's off to a hot start with five goals, and it becomes very clear very quickly the Sharks defense had better be on it tonight. That said, thus far Detroit's offense has been heavily concentrated in a few players, so if (and that's a mighty big if) an opponent can quiet Zetterberg, Holdstrom, and Draper they can quickly gain the upper hand.
As to the Sharks... who knows? You don't know which team is going to show up on any given night. Will it be the one that wore out Vancouver the other night, or the one that mailed it in against Boston at the home opener and was blown off the ice by Colorado earlier in the year? If it's the latter, yuck. If it's the former, this will be worth it for east coast denizens to stay up for, as two of the Western Conference's powerhouses go at it full throttle.