Archive for the ‘Players’ Category

Detroit at Colorado (3/1/10)

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Well, the Olympics are over and it was a quite a show. Congratulations to Mike Babcock and Steve Yzerman for Team Canada’s gold medal performance. Congratulations also to Brian Rafalski for Team USA’s silver medal. Rafalski was awesome in the Olympics including back to back two goal games. Paul Stastny of the Avalanche was also on Team USA. And, congrats to Filppula for his bronze medal with Team Finland. Filppula got one extra day of rest since the bronze medal game was on Saturday. The rest of the Red Wings’ Olympians had multiple days off since they didn’t make it to the final four.

There’s no rest for the weary as Detroit and Colorado jumped right back into their NHL seasons just one day after the gold medal game. Game on!

Tonight’s game was on the road in Denver. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and Craig Anderson was the goalie for the Avs. One big bit of news was that Lilja returned to the net lineup tonight after being out for a full year. Welcome back, Andreas! Maltby decided to go ahead with his shoulder surgery so he went onto long term injured reserve which freed up the cap space needed for Lilja to come back.

The Red Wings didn’t waste much time getting warmed up. In the first period the Wings brought the puck up ice and Stuart dished it back to Datsyuk. Datsyuk passed across to Holmstrom streaking up the left wing. Holmstrom ripped a perfect shot and buried it to take the early lead one to nothing.

A few minutes later the Wings went on the power play. Lidstrom shot the puck and the rebound was turned aside to the corner. Holmstrom went after it and passed it to Franzen. Franzen walked it towards the net and fired it, beating Anderson and giving the Wings the two goal lead.

In the second period the Red Wings had a power play goal waived off because of incidental contact with the goalie. It was a very questionable call. Holmstrom was definitely in the crease but he hardly made any contact with Anderson. Apparently Kerry Fraser felt that he was preventing Anderson from moving freely in the crease.

A few minutes after that, the Avalanche scored. Chris Stewart passed the puck from behind the net to the slot where Stastny whacked at it. Howard stopped it but Galliardi was there to put it right back on net, beating Howard for the Avs’ first goal of the night.

Not long after their first goal Colorado tied it up. Stewart fired it on net and it got between Howard’s legs. This was one that he’d probably want to do over since I’m sure he could stop it nine times out of ten.

Just past the halfway point of the third period the Red Wings were on the power play. Datsyuk worked the puck down low and crossed in front of the net with it. It looked for all the world like he was going to shoot and the longer he held it the farther over Anderson moved. Instead of shooting he put a nice bow on it and dished it back to Lidstrom who was standing in the high slot. He received the pass and shot it into the net, which was wide open. Fantastic play by Datsyuk! That made it three to two Red Wings.

Colorado pressured hard and pulled their goalie at the end but the score held. The Red Wings won it three to two.

It was a great game for the Wings. The Avalanche didn’t play very well for the first half of the game but the Red Wings looked really sharp and had a ton of energy. I’d say the time off (for some) and the extra work (for others) has been beneficial for the Wings. Now they just need to keep it rolling.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
70 points

More Red Wings Injury Updates

Monday, February 8th, 2010

The biggest news is that Johan Franzen is definitely going to be in the lineup for tomorrow night’s game. Woo hoo! He’s been out for most of the season with a torn ACL and he’s been sorely missed. Hopefully, his presence will provide some much needed offense.

In other good news, Drew Miller, who hurt his ankle blocking a shot, is expected to play tomorrow. His injury must not have been too severe.

The bad news is that Kronwall won’t play, but only because he’s waiting for a new knee brace. I guess that means that once he gets the brace he’ll be ready to go. All things considered that news could have been a lot worse.

In other bad news, Holmstrom might play but they won’t decide for sure in until tomorrow, and Patrick Eaves most likely will not play because of a sprained ankle.

Detroit at Los Angeles (2/6/10)

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

For this afternoon’s game the Red Wings were on the road in Los Angeles to face the Kings. This game featured two red hot young goalies in Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick.

There’s been some trade news to report today. To make cap space for Franzen the Red Wings traded Ville Leino to Philadelphia for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a 5th round draft pick in 2011. Tollefsen had to be put on waivers immediately and is being sent straight to Grand Rapids. He’s had some concussion and knee problems lately so hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy.

The Red Wings drew first blood in this one. Nearing the halfway point of the first period Datsyuk brought the puck into the zone and took it to the corner. Holmstrom was in front causing a distraction. Zetterberg snuck in the back door and was left wide open. Datsyuk made a great pass through middle and Zetterberg tapped it in easily for the first goal making it one to nothing Wings.

Just 16 seconds later Cleary brought the puck into the zone and tried to pass it to Filppula but he didn’t connect. The puck bounced down in the slot and Filppula circled around and fired it towards the net as Cleary continued to the goal. It hit the skate of a Kings player in front of the net and went in. Just like that the Wings had a two goal lead early in the game.

Near the end of the first period the Red Wings went on the power play when Doughty was called for a cross check. The Kings had a shorthanded scoring chance and Williams was forced to take a hooking penalty to prevent a possible goal. That made it 4 on 4 for the rest of the period. There was a face off in the Kings end with about 11 seconds to go. Detroit won the face and Lidstrom fired the puck off the back boards. It bounced to the front where Rafalski shot it. Quick stopped it but the rebound was just sitting there in front of the open net and Zetterberg popped it home. That gave the Red Wings a three nothing lead with fewer than 5 seconds to go in the first period.

About halfway through the second period Brad Stuart turned the puck over in his own end. Parse ended up with it and took it behind the net. He centered it to Frolov who one-timed it right in front of the net. Jimmy Howard stopped it but the rebound came right back to Frolov who put it in the net on his second try. That made it three to one Red Wings.

It was announced during the second period that Holmstrom had left with left leg injury. I’m not sure when it happened or exactly what caused the injury.

Later in the second period Howard came out to play a dump in. Somehow he put it towards his own skates and then lost it. As Howard was trying regain control Handzus came in and poked it away from him. Handzus then gathered it in and put it in the net. That was big flub by Howard and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about it. That made it three to two Detroit.

Just a few minutes later the Kings tied the game. Simmonds was working the puck down low and threw it towards the front of the net. Smyth and Stoll were both right there on the doorstep. Smyth managed to smack it into the back of the net to even the score with under four minutes left in the second period.

At some point earlier in the game Eaves had blocked a shot and must have injured his foot. He left the bench and didn’t return.

Then, late in the second period Miller was also injured blocking a shot and left the game. With Holmstrom, Eaves and Miller all out of the game, Babcock had to do a lot of line juggling.

Zetterberg and Helm both came close to scoring. They hit the same post within a few seconds of each other.

Late in the third period the Kings had a shot on goal that Howard stopped but the rebound was bouncing around. Handzus grabbed it and put it in the net for the Kings’ fourth unanswered goal. After being up three to nothing, Detroit was now trailing by one.

The Red Wings pulled the goalie at the end but weren’t able to score.

This was just about the worst outcome imaginable for the Red Wings. Playing against a team that they’re trailing in the standings they ended up losing after having a three goal lead. To make matters worse they also lost three players to injury. If they Wings had won the game they would have been seven points behind L.A. in the standings. Since they lost they’re now 11 points behind. That’s a four point swing and a lost opportunity.

Losing the three forwards was probably a big factor in why the Wings lost the game. The rest of the team had to pick up the slack and by the end I think they were just plain worn out. They didn’t play badly. They hit a lot of posts and gave up some fluky goals. This is just a day that I’m sure they’d rather forget.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
64 points

Red Wings Injury Updates

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Here’s some great news for Red Wings fans. After battling concussion symptoms for nearly a year, Andreas Lilja has returned to active duty. He’s starting in Grand Rapids for about three games and then he should be ready to re-join the Wings. Now Ken Holland has unenviable task of figuring out how to clear cap space for him which will be all the more difficult with Franzen also returning soon. They will most likely have to shed a few players.

Franzen is set to return Tuesday. That’s really good news for the injury riddled Red Wings. Hopefully, he can re-gain his scoring touch quickly and help the team secure a playoff berth.

Kronwall’s knee injury doesn’t appear to be too serious. He’s expected to be a game time decision for Saturday afternoon’s game in Los Angeles.

So it looks like things are finally starting to turn around for the Red Wings health-wise. Let’s hope they stay healthy for the rest of the season.

Detroit at Anaheim (2/3/10)

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The Red Wings continued their west coast road trip tonight with a game in Anaheim. Jonas Hiller was the goalie for the Ducks and Jimmy Howard was in for the Wings. Ericsson was back in the lineup tonight after being told to sit out last night due to poor performance. This was the second night of back to back games. The Red Wings played very well last night in San Jose and got a big win and an important two points.

There was some bad news from the San Jose game however. Kronwall was out of the lineup tonight. It seems last night’s tweak reinjured his knee injury. There was no word as to how long he’d be out this time.

Anaheim scored just passed the one minute mark of the game. Whitney fired the puck from the blue line and it hit a skate on the way and changed direction. It was a fluky goal but it put the Ducks up one to nothing early in the game.

Later Ericsson threw a big check on Bodie and then they had a fight. I think Ericsson was on a mission to show that he really does want to be in the lineup. It wasn’t much of a fight but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Nearing the end of the first period Eminger shot the puck from the point. It hit Chipchura in the hand and went into the net. Howard immediately claimed that it was batted in and the officials discussed it. They went to video review for the ruling. It clearly went off his hand but you couldn’t really tell if it was batted or not. Therefore the call on the ice was upheld and the Ducks had the two to nothing lead. It was another fluky goal that Howard had no chance of stopping.

About halfway through the second period Perry had the puck down low and centered it to Ryan who whiffed on the shot. The puck went through to Getzlaf who sent it back to Ryan. He was still being left alone in front of the net. He shot again and didn’t whiff this time. He put the puck in the back of the net. Datsyuk was the closest player but Ryan managed to get a few feet of separation on him. It wasn’t that much but it was enough. The Red Wings were down three to nothing.

Near the end of the second period Koivu was called for hooking and the Wings went on the power play. Rafalski found a seam and hit Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk took it to the net and fired one that beat Hiller up high to get the Red Wings on the board. The goal came with just 10 seconds left in the period. It was then three to one Ducks.

Near the end of the game Howard went to the bench for the extra skater. The Red Wings had a few top quality chances but they weren’t able to beat Hiller who was just amazing.

One good thing to take away from this game is that the Red Wings had a ton of shots on goal; 46 of them in fact. They just didn’t seem to have the legs to keep up defensively. Offensively, they looked great though. If not for those two fluky goals this game might have been completely different. Jimmy Howard was superb once again, and the Red Wings had 29 quality scoring chances. On paper they should have won. Hiller was just too good.

This 1-3 loss brings us to:
64 points

Detroit at Los Angeles (1/7/10)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The road trip continued tonight for the Red Wings as they rolled into Los Angeles to face the Kings. Babcock continued to show confidence in Jimmy Howard by starting him for the seventh straight game. Jonathan Quick was the goalie for the Kings.

Zetterberg and Cleary were both back in the lineup for the Red Wings tonight. That’s the good news. The bad news, and it’s pretty bad, is that Holmstrom broke his foot yesterday in practice and will be out up to a month.

The game started with a flurry by the Kings. Howard came up huge with several saves in the opening seconds of the game.

Near the end of the first period the Red Wings had a power play. They weren’t able to score on it but just after it expired they scored with just 0.2 seconds left in the period. Rafalski shot first and Quick sent the rebound out to the other side. Filppula quickly shot it again and it went through the five hole but hit Quick’s leg and bounced out to the side of the net. Cleary was right there on the doorstep and he banged it in for the late period lead.

There was no scoring in the second period but there were a ton of chances for the Kings at the end of the period. Jimmy Howard tried to clear the puck but turned it over near the net. He dove back to make the save and then made about five more during a huge scramble. The Red Wings recovered and got the puck out of the zone but Bertuzzi had to take a penalty in the process.

On the Kings’ power play there was another crazy scramble in front of the Red Wings net. Jimmy Howard was absolutely incredible during these sequences. The shots ended up 27 to 6 in the second period alone. Not a good period for the Wings but a truly brilliant one for Jimmy Howard.

Through two periods the shots were 37 to 19 in favor of the Kings. However quality scoring chances were 7 to 8 in favor of the Wings. A very unusual scenario for the Red Wings!

The third period looked like the Kings were on the power play all the time. The Red Wings could not keep the puck in the Kings’ end at all. The Kings were getting crazy amounts of shots on goal and the Wings weren’t doing a thing to stop it. Jimmy Howard was their only hope and he stopped one incredible scoring chance after another. This game should have been 10 to 1.

Midway through the third period, Howard got hit in the elbow by a hard shot and it stung him. Play was stopped for a short time but he shook it off and stayed in the game.

Then, with less the five minutes to go in the game the Kings were on the power play. Stoll shot wide and the puck bounced off the backboards to Brown who shot it again. The shot didn’t go directly toward the net but through the crease about a foot off the ice. Smyth whacked it out of the air and into the net breaking Jimmy Howard’s incredible shutout and tying the game.

From that point on the Red Wings started to apply some offensive pressure. With the game winding down Quick came out to play a dump in but it went to the corner. He thought he was going to just wait for it to come to the trapezoid but he didn’t count on the speedy Darren Helm flying in to play it. Helm got it and Quick scurried back to his net. Helm fought for it in the corner, won the battle and took it to the net himself. With just 17 seconds left in the game Helm shoved the puck towards the net and somehow got it by Quick on the short side to take back the lead.

The Kings pulled their goalie for the last few seconds of the game but the Red Wings held them off.

Wow! What a win! This was the definition of the goalie stealing a game and what an important game, too! The Wings desperately needed to get two points in regulation tonight since the Kings are another team they’re chasing in the standings.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the Red Wings get outplayed as badly as they did in the third period. Luckily, Jimmy Howard proved that he is a world class goalie and the rest of the guys, especially Helm, worked their tails off at the end of the game.

This game would have been tough to watch if it weren’t Jimmy Howard’s performance. Thanks to him it was pretty exciting.

The shots on goal ended up 52 to 25 in favor of the Kings. I just can’t say enough about the game Howard played.

The Red Wings are still three points behind the Kings for the 8th playoff spot but they do have a game in hand. Hopefully, they can continue to chip away at the lead and end up comfortably in the playoffs by the end of the season.

This 1-2 win brings us to:
50 points

Laraque Suspended For Five Games

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

The NHL suspended Georges Laraque for five games today for the intentional knee on knee hit to Kronwall. That’s nothing compared to the amount of time that Kronwall is going to miss but it’s about as much as they could reasonably give him. Kronwall will miss four to eight weeks with a sprained MCL. Let’s hope Laraque learns from this experience and starts to play with a little more honor.

Kronwall Out Four Weeks / Laraque A Gutless Coward

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The update on Kronwall is not great, but not as bad as it could have been. He has a sprained MCL but he has no ACL damage so that’s relatively good news. He’s expected to miss at least four weeks.

Georges Laraque intentionally stuck his leg out to hit Kronwall knee on knee in last night’s game against the Canadiens. Of course he denies it and uses the fact that they only called tripping to back up his story.

The league is reviewing the play and will determine if a suspension will be handed down. In a case like this, when there’s obvious intent to injure, I would be very much in favor the league suspending the player for however long the injured player is out. Laraque shouldn’t play until Kronwall does. Of course we’ll be lucky if he’s suspended for a game or two.

That was just a purely gutless move on Laraque’s part. He went out there on that shift with one goal. He wanted to even up the Canadiens’ chances by taking out some Red Wings players. The Kronwall hit happened right after Laraque had just high sticked Helm in mouth. It was the very same shift! There’s no place in hockey for that kind of dishonorable play. I’m disappointed and he should be ashamed. There’s no reason he couldn’t have gone out on that shift and cleanly hit Helm and Kronwall. That would have had a big positive impact on his team. He wouldn’t have cost his team six minutes of penalty time and two goals and it would have been awesome instead of spineless.

Three Red Wings Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Tonight was the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony for 2009. It was a very special night for Red Wings fans as three Red Wings were inducted. Brett Hull, Luc Robataille and Steve Yzerman were all part of the 2001/2002 Stanley Cup winning Red Wings team and were all part of this year’s induction class. Brian Leetch was also inducted as well as Lou Lamoriello in the builder category.

Jason Williams Out For Eight Weeks

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Jason Williams fractured his fibula in Saturday night’s game against Toronto. He fell awkwardly and twisted his leg underneath him as he went down. He’s expected to miss at least eight weeks. The injuries just keep piling up for the Red Wings.