It's Easter Sunday and Gordie Howe's 85th birthday and the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks in an afternoon matchup.
In honor of Mr. Hockey's birthday, all Detroit players will take the pre-game skate in #9 Howe jerseys, with a commemorative patch above the tip of the winged wheel crest and the player's actual number on the opposite side (which will make for a crowded space if the C and A are kept for Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Kronwall).
The Wings may have Mikael Samuelsson back in the lineup. In that case, Gustav Nyquist will likely be out and reassigned to Grand Rapids as Detroit would need to open up a roster spot for Samuelsson. Even with that move, there are 13 forwards in the lineup so a to-be-determined healthy scratch is expected.
On defense, the lineup is known. With Kent Huskins off to Philadelphia and Carlo Colaiacovo with the Griffins on a rehab stint, newcomer Danny DeKeyser is the lone scratch. DeKeyser is expected to make his pro debut on Thursday on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for Detroit.
Stupid stat time: Detroit is 12-14-5 all-time on Howe's birthday.
Bonus stupid stat: Detroit is 13-14-4 all-time on Easter Sunday.
Game time is 12:30 PM on NBC, which means Eddie Olczyk will be covering his home team against their bitter rivals for a national audience. I probably won't be around much for this one as I'll be at a family dinner.