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Seeing Red Again

Tuesday, 01.22.2008 / 3:12 PM PT / Features
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Seeing Red Again

By Matt Vevoda

After more than three months since they last clashed, an intense rivalry between the Ducks and Detroit resumes Wednesday night at Honda Center.

While the rest of the league has had its share of trouble with the Red Wings, who sport the league’s best record at 35-10-4, the Ducks have earned three of four points in their two previous meetings this season. Fighting jetlag from their return from England to start the season, the Ducks lost at Detroit 3-2 in a shootout way back on Oct. 3. Twelve days later on Oct. 15, the Ducks returned the favor with their best effort of the early season in a 6-3 victory.

When the Red Wings arrive for their matchup on Wednesday, they will encounter a much different Ducks team from those early-season games. Since the return of Scott Niedermayer and the debut of Doug Weight in the lineup on Dec. 16, the Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL with a 12-3-2 record and 26 points. Along with those big moves, the Ducks have also acquired Brandon Bochenski and seen J.S. Giguere (missed both games with offseason sports hernia surgery), Mathieu Schneider (missed both games with a broken ankle) and Todd Bertuzzi (missed the Oct. 15 game with a concussion) all return from injuries since they last faced the Red Wings.

Highlights from the Oct 3 Game

Highlights from the Oct. 15 Game 
“We have a different team now with a different makeup,” said left winger Chris Kunitz. “Our team’s changed and we went on a nice little roll. It’ll be nice to test our team now against the team that’s best in the league. I think it’s going to be a fast, hard-hitting affair.”

Even with All-Star Henrik Zetterberg and his 61 points questionable for Wednesday with back spasms, the Red Wings still have plenty of quality skill players at their disposal, including the team’s other All-Stars, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Osgood. The Red Wings’ talent-laden roster provides quite the task for Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle in his gameplan, but so far the third-year coach appears to have a winning formula. That includes last year’s Western Conference Finals, when the Ducks defeated Detroit in a highly charged six games.

“We have a different team now with a different makeup. Our team’s changed and we went on a nice little roll. It’ll be nice to test our team now against the team that’s best in the league. I think it’s going to be a fast, hard-hitting affair.” - Chris Kunitz
Said Carlyle, “They’ve got a lot of depth from a skill standpoint. They play the game at a very high pace and move off the puck. If you’re not ready, these are one of the team that can embarrass you in a hurry. We know that we have to play to a very high level to have success.”

Some might may say Wednesday night is just another game, but the players on both sides know there is a heightened intensity between the Ducks and one of their biggest rivals. The Ducks also swept Detroit in the first round of the 2003 playoffs, revenge for Red Wings sweeps in the ’99 and ’97 postseasons.

“You’d like to say that you bring the same effort for 82 games and two points is two points,” Ducks defenseman Sean O’Donnell said. “But, we’re human and we see that it has become a bit of a rivalry. I’m sure they going to be amped up for the game and I know we are. We’re looking forward to it. It should be a fast, fun, exciting game tomorrow night.”




1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 53 21 27 5 131 156 47


C. Perry 50 21 14 -2 35
R. Getzlaf 46 4 30 6 34
R. Rakell 47 11 15 1 26
R. Kesler 50 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 50 6 18 0 24
J. Silfverberg 50 6 11 -3 17
C. Stewart 44 7 9 1 16
A. Cogliano 50 5 11 -10 16
H. Lindholm 49 6 8 -4 14
C. Fowler 37 3 9 -9 12
F. Andersen 10 8 5 .918 2.35
J. Gibson 12 7 2 .923 1.92

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