The Red Wings are up 3-0 in their first round playoff series. And that isn’t the only bit of good news we’ve got for you on this Wednesday.

TV ratings are up, fans are clamoring for playoff tickets, the Red Wings Facebook page just hit 500,000 ‘likes’, and those who packed the Joe for Game 1 and Game 2 were making noise … lots of noise.

Though a small news item that flew under the hockey radar yesterday may have a big role in next season’s buzz. The Wings may have cleared a key hurdle in hosting the 2012 Winter Classic.

Sean Leahy of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog has the breakdown of the NFL schedule that nobody else has, specifically, who will be using a stadium on New Year’s Day and who won’t be.

New Meadowlands Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, long seen as future Winter Classic destinations, will be hosting NFL games on January 1st. Yankee Stadium, also seen as a potential site, will be in the second year of a bowl game agreement. And after the Metrodome roof collapse last season, TCF Bank Stadium may have an emergency plan, but it might not have the cache of other locations and matchups.

With Pittsburgh and Washington having played in the game in 2011, one must imagine that Heinz Field, FedEx Field, and Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley would be out of the mix. Chicago’s Soldier Field is not being used, but with Wrigley Field hosting the game in 2009, it would be hard to expect such a quick return.

Of course, we’re simply speculating, or in this case, throwing things against the wall, but between Michigan Stadium, Comerica Park, an original six club, and a strong DMA TV market, the idea of spending the start of 2012 outdoors isn’t too far fetched, like say, my New Year’s resolutions.

Fingers crossed. Props to Mr. Leahy on his out-of-the-box thinking.

Abel to Yzerman offers up their take on a recent Free-Press Octo-gate Op-Ed from PETA.
From our friend Ansar Kahn at MLive, Mike Babcock doesn’t want his team to take the foot off the gas.
This site needs to be updated to include the 2010 Flyers, but it gives a good breakdown of the statistics of coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
The Nightmare on Helm Street has some love for the Wings via Photoshop. Very creative work! checks in with Ruslan Salei, who is relishing the playoff intensity.
Michael Babcock, son of Wings’ coach Mike, has been drafted by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.