Archive for October, 2008

Detroit at San Jose (10/30/08)

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Detroit played one of their arch rivals, the San Jose Sharks tonight. The Sharks are now coached by ex-Red Wing assistant coach Todd McClellan.  He accepted their offer just days after winning the Stanley Cup with Detroit. Ty Conklin was in net for The Red Wings and Evgeni Nabokov got the start for the Sharks.

In the first period the Red Wings did not look very good.  The Sharks dominated in the face off circle, puck possession, and shots on goal.  Conklin was again fantastic in net.  Lilja made a horrible turnover right in front of his own goal and Conklin made an amazing save.  I suspect Lilja will still spend the night in the doghouse and I’d say he deserves it.

In the opening seconds of the second period Hossa surprised Nabokov with a quick shot that beat him for a goal.  It was the Red Wings turn to be leading in a game in which they were being outplayed.

The Sharks got on the board in the second period as well.  Thornton gained control of the puck along the boards behind the net and he passed it to Marleau who was charging up the slot for the quick goal.  It was a great setup by Thornton.

Then the Sharks scored again.  There was a scrum around the net and they were all banging away at Conklin.  Apparently it was poked in by Jamie McGinn who was credited with his first goal in the NHL in just his second game.

Immediately after the goal Hossa was called for tripping so the Sharks got a power play on top of the to add insult to injury.  The Sharks scored again on the power play to make it three to one.  They beat Detroit to the puck after a dump in and centered for a quick shot and a seemingly easy goal.  The Sharks were just dominating and seemed to be out Red Winging the Red Wings.

The Sharks continued pouring it on in the third period.  It was another example of the Sharks dumping it in and then winning the battle for the puck and scoring a goal.  If you’re keeping score, that’s four in a row without an answering goal by the Red Wings.  Something tells me there’s some tough practices in the Red Wings’ future.

With 32 seconds left Detroit scored a very nice but meaningless goal.  It was a give and go between Kopecky and Rafalski that worked like a charm.  Rafalski got the goal.  It was a great quick passing play that they could have used a lot more of throughout the game.  After that Detroit pulled the goalie to try and climb back within one.  However, time expired with the Red Wings losing four to two.

Even though the Red Wings have been getting points there hasn’t been too much to like about the last several games.  The only bright spot is how well Hossa is playing and how well he’s gelling with his new line mates.  We’ve seen west coast slumps early in the season before for the Red Wings.  It’s not anything to worry about and I’m confident that Mike Babcock with have his team continually improving throughout the season.  The cup hangover will not be an excuse.

This 4-2 loss brings us to:
16 points

Detroit at Anaheim (10/29/08)

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The last two Stanley Cup champions, Detroit and Anaheim, faced off for Wednesday night’s game.  Osgood was in net for the Red Wings and J.S. Giguiere was in for the Ducks.

Midway through the first period Detroit struck first with a power play goal.  Hossa made a soft pass to Datsyuk in the slot.  Datsyuk just redirected it towards Holmstrom and the net.  Homer let it go between his legs and past Giguiere.  The Red Wings showed excellent teamwork on that game.

A few minutes later the penalty parade began.  The Red Wings had three penalties in less than a minute.  Anaheim had a 5 on 3 for about a minute and a half.  They scored a goal before the first penalty expired.  Getzlaf made great pass to Selanne who roofed it in behind Osgood.  The third penalty started after that goal so they still had 41 seconds of 5 on 3.  Detroit killed the next penalty and then the Ducks still had over a minute of power play.  Detroit killed that off, too.  After so much 5 on 3 time it was pretty lucky just to still be tied at one.

With just 1:42 left in the first period Pronger released a bomb that beat Osgood during 4 on 4 play.  The goal was waved off however because of gaolie interference.  Selanne got the penalty on the play because he knocked Samuelsson into Osgood.

After an exciting first period the score was tied at one.

Early in the second period McCarty and Brad May went at it.  Neither one connected too many times, maybe about once each.  It wasn’t much of a fight but it’s the thought that counts.  :-)

Hossa and Datsyuk teamed up for a goal again in the second.  Datsyuk was going hard to the net and Hossa made a really hard pass to him.  Datsyuk tipped it in.  The play was so fast and the pass so hard that Giguiere never had a chance.

Then later in the second Detroit got another power play goal and again it was redirected in front of the net.  This time it was Rafalski who passed to Zetterberg in front of the net.  Zetterberg got the goal by tipping it past Giguiere.  That put the Red Wings up by two goals.

Near the end of the second Anaheim had another 5 on 3 power play.  Before the end of the first penalty Selanne passed in front of the net and the puck went in off of Lilja’s skate.  That brought the Ducks back within one.  Before Anaheim’s power play ended they took a penalty to even things up for an extended 4 on 4.

The second period ended with the Red Wings up three to two.

Detroit failed to capitalize on two Ducks penalties that resulted in a short 5 on 3.  Then the Ducks got a power play and Selanne scored again giving him a hat trick and bringing the Ducks back even with the Wings.

Then Anaheim scored an even strength goal.  They got the puck in deep and Getzlaf passed to Perry.  Perry passed to Sutherby in the slot who buried it.  The Ducks had the lead for the first time in the game.

With less than a minute and a half to go Detroit tied it up.  Cleary made the pass from in deep to Zetterberg who was charging the net.  Zetterberg roofed it perfectly and Cleary took a huge hit in order to make the pass.  He got up slowly but it looked like he was alright.

For the third time in a row the Red Wings ended up tied with their opponent at the end of regulation.   

In the OT the Ducks drove the net and Osgood poke checked the puck into the air.  Beauchemin swatted it out of the air and into the net to end the game.  There was a review to see if he hit it with a high stick, but they let the goal stand.

Detroit continues to play well only part of the time.  They took way too many penalties and made a lot of sloppy plays and turnovers.  At least they got a point tonight, but they definitely have room to improve.

This 5-4 overtime loss brings us to:
16 points

Detroit at Los Angeles (10/27/08)

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Tonight Detroit was in Los Angeles to play the Kings which is Kyle Quincey’s new team.  They said he’s averaging 20 minutes of ice time per night so that’s great for him.  Osgood was in net for Detroit and Labarbera was in for the Kings.  

Franzen was out after injuring his knee in the game against Chicago. They don’t think there’s any ligament tears, just a sprain.  He’s expected to miss three to four weeks.

Detroit had a power play early in the first period.  After the power play ended the Red Wings were still moving the puck in the offensive zone and the returning player hadn’t entered the play yet.  The puck was loose in the middle and Zetterberg knocked it in for the early goal.

About halfway through the first period the Kings scored a power play goal.  The puck went between Osgood’s legs and then sat there in the crease.  At that point it was an easy goal for the Kings to punch in.

Early in the second period ex-Red Wing Kyle Calder scored a goal for the Kings.  So, even though they badly out shot and out chanced the Kings, the Red Wings were down two to one.

Halfway through the second period Detroit had a 5 on 3 power play for a full two minutes.  They weren’t getting much done until Hossa took things into his own hands.  He accelerated between two Kings players at the blue line leaving them in his dust, walked in, and snapped it into the net.  He’s really finding his groove now.  It sure is a treat to watch!

Less than a minute into the third period L.A. scored again.  They passed across the ice and it bounced off Lidstrom’s skate and right into the net.  That put the Kings on top three to two.

With just under two minutes to go and Detroit down by one, Filppula stole the puck as the Kings were trying to bring it out of their own end. He drove the net and buried it.  It was a great individual effort by Filppula to tie the game at three.

The tie held until the end of regulation so once again the Wings went to overtime.

At the end of OT the score was still tied so we got a chance to the see the Wings in a shootout for the second game in a row.

Osgood stopped their first shooter, Dustin Brown.  Then Datsyuk scored for Detroit.  Moller went next for the Kings and Ozzie stopped him.  Then came Zetterberg and he scored which ended the shootout with a Wings win.  Zetterberg looked like he did the same move that Datsyuk did and got the same result.

This 4-3 win brings us to:
15 points

Detroit at Chicago (10/25/08)

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Detroit started Ty Conklin for this game since it was the second half of back to back games.  Khabibulin was in net for the Blackhawks.  Lilja was back in tonight after missing only two games following his emergency appendectomy.  McCarty was in as well for the first time this season because Maltby was out.

Detroit scored early in this game.  It was on a power play and Franzen got the puck near the corner.  He brought it towards the net and banked it in from behind off the goalie’s skates.

Chicago answered with their own power play goal towards the end of the first period.  It was a juicy rebound to an open area on the open side of the net.  Conklin had no chance to get back over in time.

Even though the period ended even, Chicago seemed to have more energy and more good scoring chances.  The stats said that the Red Wings had more chances but it seemed like Chicago was really playing hard.

During the first intermission they unveiled the new throwback jerseys that Detroit and Chicago will wear on New Year’s Day for the Winter Classic which is played outdoors.  This season it’ll be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Early into the second period Chicago scored on a lucky shot.  It looked like Conklin had it but it snuck between his legs and trickled into the net.  Just like that Detroit was behind.

Marian Hossa scored another power play goal for Detroit in the second period.  They really showed how it’s done on that one, great puck movement capped off with a great shot by Hossa.  That tied it up at two.

The tie didn’t last long however.  Havlat had the puck behind the net and he walked it out front, and put it in the top corner of the net over Conklin’s glove.

The Hawks continued pouring it on.  Right off of a face off they took a shot that was deflected and went into to the net.  At that point the Red Wings were down four to two.

The second period closed with Detroit down by two and missing Franzen.  He collided knee on knee with one of the Chicago players and left the game.  It’s not known yet how serious it is.

In the third period the Red Wings scored to close within one.  Kronwall ripped one from the point.  It looked like it changed direction in flight and it somehow got past the goalie.

It only took a few seconds after that goal for the Wings to score again.  This one was another highlight goal.  Great work between Hossa and Datsyuk.  Hossa made a great feed to Datsyuk in the middle and then Datsyuk lured Khabibulin out of position and put the puck around him.  It was a thing of beauty.  That tied the game up at four.

Halfway through the third period the Red Wings took back the lead.  Kronwall shot and the rebound came to Samuelsson with a wide open net.  He had a terrible angle tough for right handed shooter and he missed the net.  Luckily, the puck went straight through the crease to Jiri Hudler who was standing on the other side.  He had plenty of time to handle the puck and put it in.  All this took place in just a couple of seconds and it was all happening in behind the goalie who was still pretty far out of the net because of his positioning for Kronwall’s original shot.

A few minutes later Chicago ended up with a 5 on 3 power play.  They moved the puck well and Kane scored to tie the game at five.

Regulation ended with the game still tied so they headed to overtime.

Overtime didn’t settle anything so we went to a shootout.  Conklin stopped Kane, then Datsyuk beat Khabibulin.  Then Toews beat Conklin and Habby stopped Zetterberg.  Conklin stopped Sharp and then Habby stopped Hudler.  Still no winner.  Conklin stopped Havlat’s shot and then it was Hossa’s turn.  He came into the slot and just ripped it.  He went high on the glove side to beat the goalie and score the game winner.

This 5-6 win brings us to:
13 points

Atlanta at Detroit (10/24/08)

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Tonight Atlanta played Detroit for just the tenth time in history.  The game started with a bang when the Red Wings got a Power play just 23 seconds in.  Atlanta was attempting to clear and Zetterberg made a great play to knock the puck down and keep it in the zone.  A few passes later it came back to Zetterberg in front of the net.  He picked a corner and made it look easy, giving the Wings an early one to nothing lead.

Later in the first Atlanta attacked and took a shot that Osgood stopped.  The rebound came right back out in front and bounced off of Lebda’s skate and into the net.  That tied the game at one apiece.

Just a few seconds later Marian Hossa showed his old team what he’s capable of.  He stole the puck at the blue line just before the Thrashers would have brought it out.  Then he made a series of incredible moves which resulted in the goalie diving towards him and leaving the net exposed.  He went forehand to backhand one last time and I swear he was already behind the net at that point.  It was a truly amazing goal and an impressive individual effort.  This goal will surely be one of the highlight goals of the year.  Even though he scored the game winner in OT the other night, this one, to me, had more of an impact.  I could almost feel him becoming a Red Wing after that goal.  That kind of effort will go a long way towards becoming accepted on a new team.  Not only that, but it also must have really hurt the morale of the Thrashers.

In the second period Detroit scored another beautiful goal.  Hossa made a great pass to Kronwall who carried the puck in deep.  He made a really unexpected and difficult pass back to Hossa right in the middle of the slot.  Hossa one-timed it into the net.  It was a bang bang play that you wouldn’t really expect to see between Kronwall and Hossa, but it sure was pretty.

Just over a minute later the game turned ridiculous when the Red Wings scored AGAIN.  Franzen shot the puck and Zetterberg, all alone at the side of the net, put it into the top corner making it four to one.  The Red Wings were really firing on all cylinders at that point.  

In the third period Atlanta scored a goal during a 5 on 3 power play making the score four to two and leaving them with 1:33 left on the power play.  Then Detroit put the puck in the seats from their own end so the Thrashers had another 5 on 3 power play and this was a long one.  Ozzie made some saves and got lucky with a goal post and the Wings were able to kill off the 5 on 3.  Then Atlanta got a penalty and Detroit went on the power play.  Several more penalties and no goals later the game settled down into a rhythm again.

With 3:49 left in the game Atlanta scored again to bring them within one goal of tying the game.  It was kind of a scrum in front of the net and Sterling whacked at it.  Osgood got a piece of it but not enough and Sterling poked it again to make sure it crossed the line.

The Thrashers pulled their goalie at the end of the game and Cleary scored the empty net goal to wrap up the game.  The game ended with the Red Wings winning five to three.

This 5-3 win brings us to:
11 points

St. Louis at Detroit (10/22/08)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

For tonight’s game Zetterberg was back in the lineup and Lilja was out after having his appendix removed.  Ty Conklin got the start in net against Manny Legace for the Blues.

The Red Wings opened the scoring in the first period.  Samuelsson had the puck behind the net and he fed it to Zetterberg who was essentially unguarded right in front of the net.  

For some reason when Ty Conklin plays, the Red Wings seem to have a lot of defensive breakdowns.  Luckily, Conklin has been just brilliant.  He made half a dozen great saves in the first period alone, which kept the score one to nothing after 20 minutes.

In the second period the Red Wings capitalized on a power play with a textbook goal.  It was a bang bang play with very crisp passing from Datsyuk, to Hossa, to Holmstrom.  Detroit really tightened things up defensively in the second.  St. Louis didn’t get nearly as many chances as they had in the first.

Near the end of the second period Detroit made them pay on another power play.  Homer was in front screening Legace and Lidstrom released a bomb from the point.  Legace never even saw it.  That made it three to nothing.

Right after Detroit’s goal, St. Louis got a power play and scored just before the end of the period.  It was a great pass to Tkachuk in front of the net.  He was right on top of the goal and poked it in.

In the middle of the third period Boyes came out of the box after his penalty expired and received a breakaway pass.  He came in on Conklin and fooled him for the second goal for the Blues.  

With about five minutes to go Franzen took the puck at the blue line from a Blues player whose stick broke.  Franzen made a great individual effort, wasting no time, and burned Legace with a quick wrister for the Red Wings fourth goal.

The Red Wings got another penalty at the end and with less than a minute and a half left the Blues got another goal to bring them within one.

Then the Blues pulled their goalie and with about 40 seconds to go there was some insanity in front of the Red Wings net.  The Blues had several whacks at it but Conklin kept it out.  St. Louis battled right to the end but they weren’t able to score again before the end of the game.  The Red Wings won four to three.

This 4-3 win brings us to:
9 points

New York Rangers at Detroit (10/18/08)

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Tonight was Ted Lindsay night at Joe Louis arena.  It was the counterpart to Alex Delvecchio night which was held last Thursday.  They unveiled some new artwork similar to the one the other night.  Earlier in the day they also unveiled another concourse statue of Ted to match the ones of Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe.

Zetterberg was out with a sore groin and Brad Stuart was also out with a bruised leg after blocking a shot in the last game.

Meech made the most of his opportunity filling in for Stuart.  He ripped one from the point about 30 seconds into the game.  The shot was redirected by Samuelsson and into the net giving the Red Wings the early lead.  The shot hit the bottom of the crossbar and down into the net.

Just a few minutes later Filppula entered the zone and shot the puck.  All the Rangers were focused on the shot and Franzen was pretty much ignored coming up the middle.  Lundqvist stopped the shot but the rebound came right to Franzen and he buried it.  That made it 2 to 0 inside of four minutes.

The Rangers got into the game before the midpoint of the first period.  The Red Wings were all digging for the puck in the corner and nobody bothered with Callahan.  Gomez made a nice pass to him and he was wide open against Osgood with all kinds of time and space to pick his shot.  Osgood made a move and Callahan beat him.

In the second period the Red Wings scored again.  Hossa passed to Lidstrom who took the shot which was then deflected by Holmstrom and then off the skate of a Ranger player.  Homer got credit for the goal.

A couple minutes after the Wings goal, the Rangers scored an answering goal.  The Wings were focusing on Gomez and he passed it to the open Dawes who beat Ozzy.

The second period ended with the Red Wings winning 3 to 2.

Early in the third period the Rangers scored to tie the game at 3.  They had some sustained pressure  with four or five good chances and finally Rozsival popped it in.

Just a few minutes later New York took the lead when Voros shot from behind the net and banked it in off of Ozzy.  After that Mike Babcock took his timeout to settle things down a bit.

Towards the end of the third period the Rangers were called for too many men on the ice.  The Red Wings made them pay with a power play goal to tie it up again.  Kronwall took a shot from the point that was stopped by Lundqvist but he offered up a juicy rebound that was driven home by Hudler.

At the end of regulation the score was still tied but it didn’t take much overtime to decide a winner.  Just a few seconds in, Datsyuk made a great pass to Hossa in front of the net.  Hossa scored for his first goal as a Red Wing and his 300th goal of his career.  As an overtime game winner it couldn’t have come at a better time.

This 5-4 win brings us to:
7 points

Vancouver at Detroit (10/16/08)

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Tonight was Alex Delvecchio night at Joe Louis Arena.  They had a nice ceremony honoring him before the game and they unveiled some new artwork with pictures honoring his career.  There was a ceremonial puck drop, and they put out a new statue today of Alex which is similar in style to the one of Gordie Howe.

In lineup news, Zetterberg was out tonight with a minor groin injury (if there is such a thing).  Helm was called up from Grand Rapids to fill out the roster.

Vancouver scored first when a shot came back off the boards to the side of the net and Osgood couldn’t get back over in time.  There was nothing Ozzie could have done about that one.  

After that the Red Wings were buzzing and their pressure resulted in a power play.  During the power play Datsyuk ripped a shot that looked like it hit the crossbar but Mickey Redmond immediately called it.  He said it sounded like a back bar clank.  On the replay it was clear that he was right.  It hit the back bar inside the net and came out so fast that nobody noticed it.  They reviewed the play and awarded the goal.  It was redirected by Holmstrom though so he got credit for the goal and Datsyuk and Lidstrom got the assists.  

Vancouver scored again not long later.  It was another redirection.  Ozzie was in position but it was directed down just in front of him.  There wasn’t much he could have done about that one either.

That ended the first period scoring.

In the second period the Red Wings tied it up with a power play goal by Rafalski.  There was a hard shot off the back boards that came back to Rafalski who one-timed it for a great goal.

The Red Wings took the lead when Dan Cleary came out of the penalty box and was sprung for a breakaway.  He was one on one against Luongo who stopped the first shot but Cleary got another whack at it as he went by and poked it through.  It was a great example of persistence by Cleary sticking with the play even after he took his shot.

After that Osgood made a series of spectacular saves to keep the Wings on top and the period ended with the Red Wings up 3 to 2.

The Canucks tied it up early in the third after the Red Wings turned the puck over.  It was about a three on one entering the zone.  Ozzie stopped the first shot but the rebound came back to the trailing skater who drove it home.

The tie held until the end of regulation so the game went to overtime.  It took less than 30 seconds in the overtime period for the Canucks to score.  It was ANOTHER hard shot off the back boards that came back to the front.  Osgood was beat to the short side on this one.

It wasn’t a very good performance by the Wings but it seemed like one of those nights where a bunch of crazy stuff goes wrong.  Oh well, it happens.  Time to forget about and think about Saturday.

This 4-3 overtime loss brings us to:
5 points

Detroit at Carolina (10/13/08)

Monday, October 13th, 2008

The Red Wings got off to a pretty good start tonight against Carolina.  Ty Conklin was given his first start of the regular season as a Red Wing.  He saw a few crazy bounces in the first ten minutes of the game, but luckily nothing went in the net.  By the end of the first period he looked pretty comfortable and made a few really sharp saves.

The Red Wings drew first blood when Lidstrom scored a power play goal on their first opportunity.  The first period ended with the Red Wing up 1 to 0.

Early in the second period Corvo scored for Carolina to tie the game at one.  It was a nice wrister that beat Conklin high on the stick side.  A few minutes later Carolina had another chance but Conklin made beauty of a pad save.  The light came on and the horn sounded but the puck wasn’t in.  Play continued while the horn blew and the fans were cheering.  It was a great job by Conklin and the rest of the Red Wings to stay focused and not give up another goal during all that commotion.

Later in the second the Red Wings scored again on the power play with a great tic-tac-toe play from Rafalski to Hossa to Holmstrom in front of the net.  Both passes and the goal seemed take a total of about a second.  It was a really crisp, perfectly executed play.  It was nice to see a couple of assists on a goal, which hasn’t happened much yet this year.

Conklin continued to look sharp in the second period.  He made some great saves including a 2 on 1 shorthanded breakaway chance.

In the third period Conklin continued to shine when called upon.  He made a great save against Brind’Amour and then a few seconds later on Kaberle.  The Red Wings held onto their lead for the rest of the period and Zetterberg got the empty net goal at the end to make it 3 to 1.

This was definitely Conklin’s night.  He played very well in his first game as a Red Wing.  It sure is nice to have such a qualified backup goalie.

This 3-1 win brings us to:
4 points

Kyle Quincey Gone On Waivers

Monday, October 13th, 2008

The Red Wings had to put Kyle Quincey on waivers this weekend even though it was almost definite that he would be claimed by someone.  Unfortunately, he was snatched by the L.A. Kings today.

It’s a shame that we had to lose him.  He’s a great player and was a big part last season’s cup team.  He’ll be missed.  That just speaks to the depth of the Red Wings that a player of his caliber is put on waivers.  I’m sure he’ll have great success in the future and will fit in very well with the Kings.  He’ll probably get a lot more ice time now, so that’s one good thing.  We wish him all the best (except when he’s playing against the Red Wings)!