March 10, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; NHL referees break up Detroit Red Wings players and Columbus Blue Jackets players during the third period at the Joe Louis Arena. Columbus won 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Game Report/Predictions: Detroit

If you haven’t already, check out Mike Majeski’s pregame article for today. It is a more in depth look at tonight’s game. This article is a continuation.

Well, folks, it’s that time again. CBJ Game Day holds more weight today as tonight’s match-up is against our sworn rivals from that state “up there”, the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are playing the second half of a back-to-back tonight, as they beat the Boston Bruins yesterday 3-2. The Jackets are coming back off of Saturday’s loss to the Bruins, and look to bounce back in a big way against one of the league’s best.

What to watch for

Intensity

The Blue Jackets know how storied the Red Wings franchise is, and they know how much it would mean to establish superiority over such a team. As of late, CBJ have won some big games against the Wings, and each of those games has been hard-hitting, fast-paced, and tightly contested. Without doubt, tonight’s game will be the same.

Jan 31, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Jared Boll (40) and St. Louis Blues right wing Ryan Reaves (75) fight during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Also, don’t be surprised if gloves are dropped tonight. The boys are going to be short tonight as many players are out with injuries, sicknesses, and personal reasons for not playing, but those playing know they will need to step it up and match the intensity that the Wings will have, physically or otherwise.

Skill

Anytime you play the Wings, you always have to keep tabs on Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. The duo are deadly as ever and show no signs of slowing down. Just watch this ridiculous pass from Datsyuk. First the nifty steal from Bergeron, then the dance around the actual Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara, then the silky, lethal pass to Zetterberg for the goal.

Of course, the Jackets can match them with skill, but they must respect the ability of the Wings players to escape situations with great ease. Always have a back up plan, because if you don’t, you will pay.

However, they also can’t get starstruck. Don’t marvel at Datsyuk, hit him. Even if you miss, you force him to move around you, which isn’t in his plan. Get in his way, at least a little bit, and you make him more and more human.

All in all, I think this game will be tightly matched, and it may even go to OT. But I have faith in our boys to come out on top, 2-1 with a late goal from an unexpected source, perhaps a defenseman.

Keep checking throughout the day for more CBJ Game Day coverage!

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