Archive for November, 2008

Pittsburgh at Detroit (11/11/08)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The Penguins came to town today for a Stanley Cup Finals rematch.  It was particularly strange for Hossa who switched teams this off season.  Osgood started for Detroit and Fleury was in net for Pittsburgh.  This game was also the first game back for Franzen who returned after spraining his knee.

Early on in the first period the Penguins drew first blood.  Rafalski was stripped of the puck in his own end and it wound up on the stick of Crosby who beat Ozzie for the goal.

The Red Wings evened things up when McCarty jumped on a loose puck and banged it home for his first goal and point of the year.  Kronwall had taken a shot that popped up into the air.  One of the Penguins gloved it down but they couldn’t clear it.  Malty directed it to McCarty who was in the right place at the right time.

Just a few minutes later Detroit scored again in text book Red Wings fashion.  It was a power play goal shot by Lidstrom from the point and tipped down in front by Holmstrom.  This is the same goal you’ve seen them score a hundred times, but it never gets old.

The second period started with Detroit on a power play thanks to a penalty that carried over from the first.  It took almost the entire two minutes but they were able to score again.  Hudler did some fancy stick handling and moved the puck around his defender in front of the net then sent it to Franzen who was presented with a nearly wide open net.  He roofed for the relatively easy goal.  It sure didn’t take long for him to get back into the swing of things after missing a few games.

A few minutes after  that the Penguins scored a goal of their own.  It was a wrap around shot that banked in off the skate of one of the Penguins.  It almost looked like he might have kicked it a bit, but they didn’t stop play for a longer review so they must have decided it was good.

Near the end of the second period Hossa passed to Datsyuk who wound up for a huge one-timer.  Not his normal type of of shot but it was an absolute bullet.  Holmstrom was in front of the net blocking Fleury’s vision.  He didn’t have much chance of stopping it.

In the third period Detroit registered another power play goal.  Hudler made a sweet pass to Zetterberg driving up the middle.  He connected right at the side of the net and Zetterberg just had to tip it in.  They really made it look easy.

Later in the third period the Penguins had an extended 5 on 3 power play.  The moved the puck pretty well and Malkin was able to score with a hard wrist shot that beat Osgood.

That goal got the Penguins buzzing.  They took the puck away from the Red Wings and Staal scored a goal to bring it back to a one goal game.  That’s hard to imagine because the Red Wings had seemingly dominated almost the entire game.  

Then Hudler took a shot from the point that Fleury got most of but not enough.  It dropped down behind him right near far post and it trickled in.  It was a great job by Hudler to put the Wings back up by two.

As if that wasn’t enough scoring, the Penguins again brought the game to within one goal with just over four minutes left in the game.  It was Staal again.  This time he had the puck in the high slot and made a nice shot through traffic.

As the clock ticked down and with their own net empty, the Penguins took a shot on Osgood.  The puck hit somebody in front and there was a mad scramble for it.  With just 22 seconds left to go it was knocked into the net by none other than Jordan Staal.  He tied the game and scored a natural hat trick.  Unbelievable.  What an epic collapse.  The Red Wings defense had seemed to be playing pretty well for most of the game but when the Penguins stepped it up in the third the Wings couldn’t keep up.

Then with just 3.3 seconds left, Rafalski was called for hooking (of course it was Staal that he hooked).  That gave Pittsburgh a 4 on 3 power play to start the overtime period.

The Red Wings killed off the penalty In the OT.  Staal wasn’t done yet though.  He took the puck away from Datsyuk (which just doesn’t happen).  He made a brilliant pass to Fedotenko who shot it past Osgood for the overtime game winner.

So after being up 5 to 2 at one point, Detroit ends up losing 7 to 6.  Even though we got a point out of this game it’s still really tough to swallow.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a player so completely own a period like Jordan Staal in the third.  There seemed to be nothing that the Wings could do stop the Penguins.  They even caught up in the shots on goal department after being way behind at one point.  The Wings played pretty much the same way the whole game but the Penguins turned it on big time in the third and the Red Wings had no answer.  You can pretty much give Staal credit for the win in this game.  One thing’s for sure, there’s no coasting to a win against the Penguins.

This 7-6 overtime loss brings us to:
21 points

New Jersey at Detroit (11/08/08)

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Marty Brodeur was out with a torn bicep so Kevin Weekes was in net for the Devils.  Osgood got the start for Detroit.  The Red Wings were coming off a five day layoff.  They hadn’t played since Vancouver the previous Sunday.

Early in the first period there was a pretty good fight between McCarty and Clarkson.  Lilja laid a big hit on one of the Devils players and Clarkson took exception to it.  He was giving Lilja some grief so McCarty came over to go with him.  This was one of the longest fights I’ve seen in a long time.  They grappled and wrestled for what seemed like about five minutes, but they said later that it was a minute and thirty-five seconds.  A lot of punches connected before they finally went to the ice and the linesmen stepped in.  I may be biased but I think McCarty got the better of Clarkson.

Just a few minutes after the fight Detroit scored.  Rafalski released a shot from the blue line that hit somebody and deflected wide.  It went off the back boards to Hossa who shot from a really bad angle but somehow got it through Weekes for the goal.

In the second period the Devils got on the board.  It was a shot from the point that was tipped in by Parise right in front of the net.  Osgood never had a chance.

A few minutes later Hossa struck again.  It was a breakaway with Holmstrom going to the net and Hossa carrying the puck.  The defenseman focused on Holmstrom so Hossa to the shot and beat Weekes through the 5 hole.

The Devils had a couple of power plays at the end of the second and Detroit had a lot of trouble clearing the zone especially on the first one.  Luckily Osgood made some spectacular saves to keep the score two to one Wings.

In the third period Maltby scored to give Detroit a two goal lead.  A shot by Lilja hit a skate and stopped.  Maltby picked it up and shot it passed Weekes for his first goal of the year.

From that point on Detroit really closed the door on the Devils.  I don’t think they even had another shot on goal after that which was a good eight or nine minutes.

Osgood was phenomenal in this game.  In fact, except for a few minutes where Detroit couldn’t clear the puck out of their own end, the entire team looked really good.  There was no rust that you sometimes see after a long road trip.  I guess the extra time off really helped this time around.

This 3-1 win brings us to:
20 points

Detroit at Vancouver (11/02/08)

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

For this game Detroit was in Vancouver.  Osgood started for the Red Wings and Luongo was in net for the Canucks.

The game started very uneventfully.  There were lots of whistles in the first few minutes which meant there was very little flow to the game.  Some big hits were thrown around by the Canucks and there was a fight between McCarty and Brown.  The fight may have been the result of a play in which it looked like McCarty had hit Luongo but in reality it was nothing serious.  The fight was nothing serious either.  They traded some punches but neither guy landed many of them.

Later in the first period Detroit scored a nice power play goal.  Hudler passed to Zetterberg and he dished it to Samuelsson.  The puck movement was so quick that Luongo didn’t react to the shot in time to glove it.

In the second period the Red Wings got another power play goal.  Rafalski released a slap shot from the blue line into a crowded crease.  It may have bounced off a Canuck player.  All the traffic made it tough for Luongo to see.  That put the Red Wings up two to nothing.

Near the halfway point of the second period Vancouver got on the scoreboard.  They won a face off in Detroit’s end.  The Sedin twins teamed up to score the goal with a very quick pass from the back boards right to the front of the net.  It was a really fast play that was over before Osgood had a chance to do much about it.

Near the end of the second Vancouver took back to back cross-checking penalties giving Detroit a 5 on 3 power play for 1:35.  Zetterberg scored a goal before the first penalty expired.  He walked it in toward the crease and roofed it on the glove side.  The Wings still had 45 seconds of power play to work with.  Zetterberg hit post on one attempt, but they weren’t able to score again before the second power play expired.

The third period started with Detroit on the penalty kill for an infraction near the end of the second.  They killed off that penalty but later in the third the Canucks scored just after the end of a power play.  Osgood was in position for the shot but it went off the back boards and came straight to the other side of the net where there was no one except Wellwood who had all day to take his shot.  He lifted it over Osgood into the top corner of the net.  That made it three to two.

The Canucks tried unsuccessfully to tie the game right up until the buzzer.  They prevented Detroit from scoring an empty net goal so the game ended three to two.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
18 points