Archive for October, 2009

Detroit at Calgary (10/31/09)

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

The Red Wings wrapped up their five games road tonight with a Halloween game against the Flames in Calgary. The goalies were Osgood and Kiprusoff. Leino was a healthy scratch and Ericsson was out because he wasn’t feeling well. Uh oh, put him in quarantine! Also out was Filppula who, as it turns out, broke his wrist on the play where he left the game in Edmonton. He won’t need surgery but will miss about six weeks with a cast on his wrist. In were Meech, Maltby and Abdelkader. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were on different lines for this game because Filppula was out. Babcock didn’t want both Datsyuk and Zetterberg to be tired at the same time if there was no Filppula to put in. That kind of implies that Babcock puts Filppula in the same category as Datsyuk and Zetterberg. That’s quite an implied compliment! Lidstrom and Rafalski were paired up tonight to try to shut down Iginla.

As has become the (very disturbing) custom, the Wings were caught off guard at the beginning of the game. Right off the opening puck drop the Flames starting taking it to the Red Wings. The Wings were on their heels for the first 30 seconds and the Flames came inches away from scoring. Osgood saved at least one golden opportunity from happening for the Flames.

In the second minute of the game Lebda flipped the puck over the glass attempting to clear it down the ice. He got the automatic two minute penalty for delay of game. The Red Wings did a good job killing off the penalty against the most potent power play in the league.

Just as the first period ended Kiprusoff made an amazing save to stop Draper who had received a pass from Eaves on a two on one breakaway. Thanks to that save, and several other great ones by both Kiprusoff and Osgood, the first period ended with no goals.

Late in the second period Calgary scored the first goal of the game. Bourque got the puck down low and worked it around behind the net. He threw it towards Osgood and it popped up in the air, hit somebody in front of the net and bounced in. There wasn’t anything Osgood could have done about that one. Even in slow motion I couldn’t tell exactly how the puck ended up in the net.

Just 35 seconds later the Wings tied it up. Draper dropped one off for Stuart at the point. Stuart brought it to the top of the circle and ripped it. He just flat out beat Kiprusoff.

Less than a minute later Datsyuk passed one across the ice to Holmstrom in the high slot. Holmstrom ripped one and burned Kiprusoff again. That made it two to one Red Wings.

That score held until the end of the period despite some really good last second chances by the Flames. Osgood stopped them all and held the lead.

In the third period Jason Williams’ stick came into the bench area and caught Brad May in the face while he was just sitting there minding his own business. The way he reacted looked pretty bad. It seemed to have caught him right in the eye with end of the stick blade. Hopefully, it’s just a cut around the eye and not an injury to the actual eye.

With just over a minute to go in the game Kiprusoff left the ice for the extra attacker. The Flames turned the puck over to Maltby and he put it into the empty net from the blue line to wrap up this one.

The Red Wings played a really good game tonight after the opening 30 seconds or so. The goal of the road trip was to win three out of five games. Well they only won two of them but two of the losses were overtime losses so they still ended up with six out of ten possible points so this was a very successful road trip.

This 3-1 win brings us to:
5-4-3
13 points

Detroit at Edmonton (10/29/09)

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Red Wings faced the Edmonton Oilers tonight on the fourth game of their five game road trip. Jimmy Howard got the start for tonight’s game after a great win in the last game against Vancouver. Khabibulin was the goalie for the Oilers. Eaves and Helm were back in for this game; Maltby and Abdelkader were out.

The Oilers were battling the flu as one player was confirmed having the Swine flu and eight others had flu like symptoms. The Wings took all possible precautions to prevent catching it. They sprayed down all the surfaces in their dressing room and used some special mouthwash. Everybody was trying to avoid shaking hands with people and they were also being careful to wash their hands often. Hopefully that’ll be enough.

The Oilers came into this game basically unable to score. In their last three games they only had two goals. They needed 42 seconds to score against the Red Wings. In that time they had three great scoring chances. Howard made two fantastic saves but he was out of position after the second one and the rebound was put into the net by Jacques. It wasn’t Howard’s fault. He made a great save and the Red Wings defense didn’t help him out at all.

Then Stuart put a huge hit on Ganger. It was a clean hit but Peckham came in and tried to start fighting with Stuart. Peckham ended up getting called for roughing and the Red Wings went on the power play.

After one of the commercial breaks Ken Daniels described a tradition that I’d never heard of but it was something I thought was just so cool. The tradition apparently was started 50 years ago by Red Wings trainer Lefty Wilson and it’s still going to this day. It’s meant to emphasize the point that you win as a team and you lose as individuals. So the next game after a win the jerseys are hung up with team logo face forward and after a loss they’re hung up the other way, with player’s names facing forward. What a great way to visually point out the importance of teamwork. I love it!

Later in the first period Zetterberg made a good play on Penner to force him to the corner but he got the puck back to Horcoff who quickly shot it. Howard stopped the shot but he didn’t control the rebound and Penner stepped up and knocked it into the net. That gave the Oilers a two nothing lead.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi was called for hooking. On the power play Hemsky shot one over Howard’s glove hand and into the top corner of the net. The Oilers were moving the puck at will and Howard had to move back and forth across the crease so he wasn’t set for the shot. That made it three to nothing Oilers.

About one minute into the second period Hemsky took off on a breakaway after a Red Wings turnover. He beat Howard for the Oilers’ fourth goal of the night. It was not looking good for the Red Wings.

A few minutes later Helm took the puck into the zone and ripped one from the top of the circle. He beat Khabibulin to break the ice for the Red Wings and make it four to one Oilers.

Later in the second period the Oilers had a power play. There was a big pile up in front of the net. The officials felt that Howard never covered the puck so there was no whistle. Eventually the puck ended up in the net. Five to one Oilers.

Then Filppula was run into the boards hard and went straight off the ice. That was a huge loss for the Red Wings as he’s been one of the few players who’s been consistently effective.

Then Zetterberg shot the puck from along the boards. It hit Khabibulin in the skates and bounced out. It then hit Chorney in the skates and bounced into the net. It was a lucky break for the Wings but it was still five to two Oilers.

In the third period Draper backhanded a pass to Ericsson who ripped one from the point and beat Khabibulin. It was a heck of a shot and it brought the Wings to within two goals.

A couple of seconds later Datsyuk fed Bertuzzi with Holmstrom in front of Khabibulin. Bertuzzi shot from the slot area into the top corner of the net. Suddenly the Red Wings were within one goal of tying the game with over 12 minutes left to go.

A few minutes later Patrick Eaves scored his first goal as a Red Wing in a very timely fashion. It was a beauty of a shot. Helm took it into the zone and drew the attention of two Oilers. He dropped it off for Eaves who had to fight to control it and somehow got off a great shot through everyone that burned Khabibulin for the game tying goal.

The Red Wings continued to pressure and nearly scored the game winning goal several times. Khabibulin thwarted them every time until regulation time ran out. The Wings got a point that was pretty much the definition of stolen. Talk about turning it on late in the game.

During the overtime period the Red Wings’ attack continued. They had many chances but couldn’t score. At the other end Howard stayed strong supported by some great play by Lidstrom and others. The game headed to a shootout.

Gagner was the first shooter and Howard stonewalled him. Jason Williams went next. It was close but Khabibulin got a piece of it and stopped him from scoring. Hemsky was next for the Oilers. He made some moves but Howard didn’t bite and stopped it. Datsyuk made a few small head fakes and shot but Khabibulin didn’t buy it. Patrick O’Sullivan was next. He hit the post and then it went in. Zetterberg was next for the Wings needing a goal to stay alive. He shot and Khabibulin stopped it for the win.

The Red Wings only got one point but they have to feel good about even getting that. To come back and tie this game was quite an accomplishment.

Filppula never returned to the game. His injury was described as an upper body injury. Hopefully it won’t be anything long term.

This 5-6 overtime loss brings us to:
4-4-3
11 points

Detroit at Vancouver (10/27/09)

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Red Wings were on the road tonight playing the Vancouver Canucks. Osgood was in goal for the Wings and Luongo was in for Vancouver. Bertuzzi was moved to a line with Filppula and Cleary. May and Abdelkader were in for this game in place of Helm and Eaves.

It only took 30 seconds for Vancouver for to open things up on the Red Wings. They took a shot from the point that Osgood stopped. The puck hit the boards and bounced back out to the front of the net. It took a second for people to realize where it was. Filppula went after it but he wasn’t able to reach it in time. Henrik Sedin came in and shot it. Somehow it got between Osgood’s pads and into the net.

A few minutes later Ehrhoff took a shot from along the boards at a bad angle and Osgood misplayed it. The puck went in and suddenly the Canucks were up two to nothing. Babcock made the decision at that point to pull Osgood and put in Jimmy Howard. Osgood was clearly having a bad night and it’s better to stop the bleeding early before it gets out of control.

The Wings were very aggressive after that and had some great scoring chances but Luongo made some insane saves to keep the Red Wings off the board.

The Canucks got the first power play when everybody was crashing the net. Lebda came in and seemed to trip over the post and fell into the net dislodging it. He was called for delay of game. It wasn’t obvious on TV that it was intentional but I guess the referee felt that it was. The Wings were able to kill it off so no harm done.

Shortly after the penalty kill the Red Wings got on the scoreboard. It was a great passing play from Datsyuk across the ice to Zetterberg who tapped it back to Holmstrom in the middle. Luongo followed Zetterberg so Holmstrom had a wide open net and buried it. That made it two to one Vancouver; a score that held until the end of the first period.

Early in the second period Ryan Johnson stumbled while trying to get around Lidstrom and lost his balance. He fell to his knees and went full speed into the boards. It was terrible crash and he seemed to be knocked out for a few seconds. He sort of tucked his head a little so it looked like he hit the boards sort of with the back of his neck. It looked really bad. They brought the stretcher out and took him to the hospital. After the period ended they announced that he was alert and feeling well and was only going to the hospital as a precaution. His mom happened to be at the game so she was going with him. That must have been really scary for her seeing that happen to her son!

About halfway through the second period there was a big scrum in front of the net and Howard came up with a huge save. After the whistle May ended up in a fight with Glass. They each landed several punches in what I would call a draw. Offsetting fighting majors were assessed.

There was no scoring in the second period.

In the third period the Red Wings tied the game. Holmstrom was in front of Luongo and Edler forced him into the goalie. In the meantime Kronwall released a pinpoint shot that picked the top corner and beat Luongo while he was distracted. The puck was by him before Holmstrom fell into him but he was pushed anyway so it wasn’t really his fault.

Soon after the goal the Canucks went on the power play. Our old friend Mathieu Schneider ripped one from the point that beat Howard to give the lead right back to Vancouver.

Just a few seconds later Williams hit Datsyuk streaking into the zone. Datsyuk stopped quickly and cut towards the slot. He let one go with Leino screening in front and got it between Luongo’s legs to re-tie the game three.

A bit later Filppula made a great move to split the defenders and move in on goal. Luongo poke-checked the puck away from him but he had already been hooked so the Wings went on the power play. On the power play Rafalski fed it to Datsyuk near the point. He stepped up to the top of the circle and shot it with Holmstrom in front. Luongo never had a good look at it and it beat him to give the Wings the lead for the first time of the night.

Then Stuart was called for boarding on a very questionable call made by the referee at center ice and not the one that was right next to the play. Ericsson was already in the box for tripping so the Canucks had a 5 on 3 power play for a minute and three seconds. During the power play Edler got the puck from the point to Henrik Sedin down low. Howard couldn’t get reset in time and Sedin scored. That tied the game four.

The Canucks stayed on the power and a few seconds later Howard made a fantastic toe save to hold the tie. The Wings ended up killing the rest of the penalty.

With about five minutes left in the game the Red Wings were on the power play after Zetterberg was high-sticked. Bertuzzi passed it from the point to Filppula down low and then drove towards the net. Filppula made an incredible pass to Williams on the other side of the crease. Williams had snuck in and I don’t think anybody other Filppula noticed him. He had easy tap in with Luongo looking the other way. That gave the Wings the lead five to four.

Luongo went to the bench with about a minute left in the game to get the sixth attacker on the ice. They had some good chances but Howard was rock solid and held the lead. The Wings won the game four to five. It was their first road win of the season.

The Red Wings looked really good in this game, especially Datsyuk, Filppula and Howard. It was great to see them finally generating some results offensively. They weren’t soft goals either. To score that much against such a great goalie is really encouraging. You have to be impressed with Howard for coming into the game down two goals and still getting the win. He’s looking better and better each time we see him.

This 4-5 win brings us to:
4-4-2
10 points

Detroit at Colorado (10/24/09)

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings moved on to Denver to play the Avalanche in the second game of their five game road trip. The Avalanche had just played the night before. Anderson was their goalie and he was also their goalie the previous night because Budaj was out with the flu. Jimmy Howard was the goalie for the Wings.

For most of the first period play went back and forth without much offense developing at either end. The puck seemed to be pinballing all over the place and nobody could really control it for very long.

With 6:26 left in the first period Zetterberg was high-sticked by Stastny and cut on the nose. Stastny got the automatic double minor so the Wings had four minutes of power play time to work with.

The Red Wings generated a ton of offense on the power play but weren’t able to score. They moved the puck very well and were in Colorado’s end for about two full minutes at one stretch but Anderson had an answer for every shot on goal.

With about a minute and half left in the first period Lebda high-sticked Stewart and was given a double minor. The Avs would have their chance at four minutes of power play time.

The first period ended with no score.

The Avs had 2:26 of carry over power play time on a fresh sheet of ice to start the second period. The Wings did a great job of killing off the rest of the power play time and the score remained zero to zero.

Shortly after the power play ended Draper was in front of the net and Cleary sent the puck his way. It looked like it hit Draper in the skates. He was able to come up with it and muscle it into the net for the first goal of the night. That made it one to nothing Red Wings.

Later in second period the puck was in the Red Wings end. Ericsson and Rafalski were trying to get control of the it and get it out but they couldn’t come up with it. Rafalski passed it to Ericsson who gloved it and dropped on the ice but he fanned on it with his stick and Stewart stole it from him. Stewart passed it to Galiardi in front of the net. He chipped it up with a backhand and put over Howard and into the net tying the game at one each. It was obviously very frustrating for Ericsson since he was the one who turned it over.

There was no more scoring in the second period so they went to intermission still tied at one. Howard made some nice saves in the final minute of the period to preserve the tie. He was having a pretty good game. He looked very relaxed and reliable out there. After two periods Detroit was outshooting the Avs 28 to 16 but the score didn’t reflect it.

In the first few seconds of the third period Holmstrom was called for hooking. On the power play the Avs pretty much had their way with the Red Wings defense. Howard was forced to make save after save and was also aided by a post at one point.

About halfway through the third period Chris Stewart took the puck into the Red Wings end. He got around Lebda and snapped it from about the top of the circle. The shot beat Howard to give the Avalanche the lead two to one.

Later in the period the Red Wings had close to four consecutive minutes of power play time and weren’t able to score thanks to Anderson’s goaltending and Colorado’s defense doing a great job clearing the puck.

With three minutes left the Red Wings got another power play when Stastny was called for tripping. That was the Wings’ seventh power play attempt of the night. When the power play was down to two seconds left and about a minute left in the game Detroit pulled their goalie before a faceoff in the Avalanche end. They also took their timeout to set up the play. However, the Wings lost the faceoff and it came to Stastny who had just exited the penalty box. He took it up ice and scored the empty net goal giving the Avs the two goal lead.

That was all she wrote for this game. The Red Wings power play was terribly ineffective tonight although they did have a lot of shots. The team as a whole had a ton of shots on goal but Anderson was just too good. I thought that once again Bertuzzi had a great game but just hasn’t been able to finish. His strength and speed are both there; he just needs to work on his accuracy. Howard played pretty well for the most part. He gave them a chance to win but in this case that wasn’t enough.

The Red Wings goal for this road trip was to win at least three of the five games. They’re going to have to sweep the rest of them to do that now. They’ve got some things to work on if they’re going to make that happen.

This 1-3 loss brings us to:
3-4-2
8 points

Detroit at Phoenix (10/22/09)

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings were in Phoenix to take on the Coyotes at the unfortunately named “Jobing.com Arena”. No offense to the Coyotes but that has to be worst stadium name on the planet. If that’s the name of the highest bidder I say you go with the second highest bidder.

This is the first stop on Detroit’s five game road trip. Datsyuk returned to the lineup tonight which will hopefully help a lot both offensively and defensively. He only missed two games but it seemed like much more than that. Osgood was in net for the Wings and Bryzgalov was the goalie for the Coyotes.

The Red Wings started the game with a ton of energy. They were looking great and generating a lot of offense. Early on Datsyuk looked like his old self with a glorious scoring chance that was stopped by Bryzgalov. Then at the other end the Wings had some trouble getting the puck out of their own end and the Coyotes ended up nearly scoring. Luckily Osgood stayed with the puck and was able to stop it.

Towards the end of the first period Holmstrom was called for slashing. Within a few seconds of the start of the power play Aucoin ripped one from the blue line. Osgood stopped it but it bounced up in the air and Lombardi was there to knock it out of the air and into the net. It was close to crossbar height but not above it so the Coyotes were up one to nothing on the power play goal.

With less than a minute to go Jovanovski was called for interference. Osgood went to the bench for the extra skater on the delayed call. By the time play stopped the Wings had less than 30 seconds left in the period to work on the power play. Right off the faceoff Zetterberg shot from the point. Holmstrom was in front of the net and the puck deflected off Datsyuk’s stick and then Holmstrom’s stick and in to the net to tie the game.

That ended the first period with the scored tied at one. Osgood had done a great job just to keep the score tight. Although Detroit had a lot off offense, they gave up a few good chances. Luckily Osgood bailed them out as necessary.

Nearing the halfway point of the second period the Red Wings scored what was probably the most beautiful goal of the year so far. Zetterberg passed the puck ahead to Datsyuk on the rush. Datsyuk pulled up along the boards about even with the faceoff dot. Lebda had joined the rush and Datsyuk made a perfect pass across the ice right on his tape. Lebda just had to tap it to redirect it by Bryzgalov who never had a prayer of stopping it. That was Lebda’s first goal of the season and it sure was a beauty with assists by Datsyuk and Zetterberg. That made it two to one Red Wings.

A few minutes later Upshall was called for slashing. After the whistle Maltby got knocked to the ice. He had words with Aucoin who may have got in a few punches. Nothing really developed. Maltby got two minutes, Aucoin got four and Upshall got two minutes for the original infraction. The Wings ended up with a power play but weren’t able to convert.

There was no more scoring in the second period. The Wings had another power play when the period ended. They started the third 50 seconds of carry over time but that was also killed off by the Coyotes.

With 2:40 left in the game Phoenix drove the net. There was a mad scrum in Osgood’s lap and the puck ended up going into the net. It looked like it went in off of Vrbata’s skate but didn’t look like he kicked it. The goal was awarded to Prucha though so Vrbata must have not touched it at all. Mike Babcock was extremely hot that the goal was allowed because he felt Osgood was interfered with by Vrbata. He had a legitimate argument but you could also argue that Vrbata was pushed into Osgood.

The game stayed tied until the end of regulation thanks to some great saves by Osgood during the final minute of the third period.

In the overtime period Aucoin brought the puck into the Red Wings zone and shot it. Osgood blocked it with his pad but the puck continued. It hit Osgood’s stick and redirected into the net to give the Coyotes the win.

Osgood played a great game tonight. Also, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi all had really good nights. As a whole I thought the team play with a lot of energy but they had a lot of defensive break downs. Osgood was great at bailing them out throughout the night but it shouldn’t have to come to that.

This was a very disappointing loss because it really did seem like the Wings played well enough that they should have won. At least they were able to get a point out of it.

This 3-2 overtime loss brings us to:
3-3-2
8 points

Colorado at Detroit (10/17/09)

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Tonight a talented young Colorado Avalanche came to Detroit to face the Red Wings. The Avs have been off to a great start this season but the Red Wings have been perfect at the Joe. We can’t say that they’re perfect at home because one of the two losses in Sweden was considered a home game but at Joe Louis Arena they’re undefeated.

Datsyuk was still out for this game but he’s expected back for the next one. Osgood was in net for the Wings and for the Avs it was Craig Anderson. Anderson is a big part of why they Avs have been winning; he’s just starting to come into his own and he entered this game with the best save percentage in the league. The Avs have been winning even though they’ve been outshot by an average of 9 shots per game so you really have to give Anderson a lot of credit for the wins.

Early in the game Adam Foote took a puck up high that stung him for a few minutes. It might have caught him in the jaw or the side of the face. He stayed on the bench after leaving the ice and he wasn’t bleeding so it wasn’t too bad.

Helm and Abdelkader were doing some good work together early in the first period. Then Helm took the puck to the net. He skated into the slot with all kinds of traffic in the way. He tried to stick handle to his backhand but lost the puck. Luckily he lost it to the trailing Abdelkader who slid the puck under everybody and into the net. That gave the Wings the early lead one to nothing. That was Abdelkader’s first regular season goal of his career (he’s only had playoff goals up until that one).

Later in the first period Brad May fought with Cody McLeod. It was a good fight with both guys landing a few haymakers. I’d call it a draw punch-wise but I think it gave more of a boost to the Wings than it did to the Avs.

It was a great first period for the Red Wings. They outshot the Avalanche 13 to 5 and did a really good job on the forecheck. They seemed to have a lot more energy right from the start of the game than they’ve had in any game so far this season.

Zetterberg was hooked near the end of the first period so the Red Wings had almost a minute and a half of power play time to start the second. The Red Wings were in control on the power play. They kept the puck in the Avalanche end and were moving it at will. Bertuzzi owned the front of the net. Adam Foote was trying to defend him but it looked like he was trying to move an Oak tree. Cleary passed from the top of the circle to Zetterberg at the bottom of the circle. Zetterberg sent it towards the net and Bertuzzi tipped it in to give the Red Wings the two to nothing lead. That was Bertuzzi’s first goal of the season. He’s been looking better and better every game in my opinion and it was nice to see his efforts finally pay off with a goal.

Throughout the second period the Red Wings continued their domination of the Avalanche. They were outworking and outskating the Avs every shift.

The Red Wings were called for too many men on the ice near the end of the second period so the Avs had about a minute and a half of power play time to start the third period. The Wings successfully killed off the penalty. The Avs had a pretty good scoring chance just after the penalty expired but Osgood made a nice glove save to preserve the score.

Zetterberg, Cleary and Bertuzzi had a glorious scoring chance in the third period. It was all set up by a nice takeaway by Zetterberg. He ended up getting a great feed from Bertuzzi for a one-timer but Anderson snagged it out of the air with his glove.

Williams was high-sticked just after a faceoff and cut pretty badly, so the Wings had four minutes of power play time. Williams went straight to the dressing room with a towel on his face to get stitched up.

The Red Wings didn’t score on the power play but they had several good chances and mostly continued their domination of the Avalanche.

Halfway through the third period the Avalanche broke the shutout. McLeod shot with Lebda defending him. Lebda got his stick on McLeod’s stick but the shot still made it through. It went between Osgood’s legs and into the net. That made it two to one Red Wings with over ten minutes left in the game.

A few minutes later Duchene brought the puck into the Red Wings end with Stuart guarding him. He used Stuart as a screen and shot the puck. Osgood didn’t see it until it was too late so the game was tied at two.

Then Leino set up Williams who took the puck to the net. He drew the defense and the goalie to one side. Then he put the puck in the goalie’s pads and it bounced off and sat in front of the wide open net. Leino couldn’t get a handle on it because he was blocked off the puck by his defender. But Filppula came out of nowhere and smacked it into the net. That gave the Wings the one goal lead again making it three to two. It also took a little wind out of Colorado’s sails.

With just two and half minutes left Detroit got caught in a bad line change and ended up outnumbered in their own end. It was a three on two. Osgood followed the guy with the puck but he passed it across to McLeod who had nobody guarding him. McLeod shot the puck and beat Osgood who didn’t have much of a chance to get back over to that side of the net in time. That tied the game again making it three all.

The tie held until the end of regulation. Colorado got a point that I honestly don’t think they deserved. They were badly outshot and outplayed throughout this entire game. I don’t really know how they even stayed in this game. I guess that’s their M.O. this season since they’ve been outshot in all of their games so far and have won most of them.

Colorado had a little more jump than the Wings in the overtime. I think they were energized just because of making it to OT and the Wings were probably really let down by it. Neither team scored in the OT though so it was time for a shootout.

Jason Williams went first and released a nice snapshot that burned Anderson on the glove side. Then came Svatos who faked out Osgood and beat him. Zetterberg went next. Anderson stayed with him and stoned him. Next it was Hejduk. He beat Osgood putting the Avs up by one. Leino went next and Anderson stopped him which ended the game.

That’s another win by Colorado in a game in which they were pretty much dominated. I don’t know how they continue to do this but I can’t believe it can get them very far. This will catch up with them as the season goes on.

It was a huge disappointment for the Red Wings to only get a point out of this game even though they played very well. It was by far their best game of the season to this point. At least they have that to build on for next time.

They’re off until Thursday now as they head out on their first road out west this season. They’ll be meeting the Avalanche again next Saturday in Colorado.

This 4-3 overtime loss brings us to:
3-3-1
7 points

Los Angeles at Detroit (10/15/09)

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The Los Angeles Kings visited Joe Louis Arena tonight to play the Wings. Draper and Maltby were back in the lineup and Brad May was out as a healthy scratch. Datsyuk was also out with an upper body injury. They didn’t make much of a big deal about the injury so it’s probably not anything too serious. Jon Quick was the goalie for the Kings and Osgood was in net for Detroit.

For all the talk about urgency after the debacle of the previous game, the Red Wings got off to another sluggish start in this one. Within the first minute the Kings had two great scoring chances. On the second one the puck bounced off the post and hit Osgood in the butt. It then rolled toward the net and Osgood dove on it just in time.

The Kings got the first power play and they made the most of it. Osgood had the initial shot which he took up high in the chest. The puck then dropped to the ice but Dustin Brown stayed with it and put it into the net. With the exception of Helm, the Red Wings didn’t seem to be at all motivated up to that point in the game.

As the first period wore on, the Red Wings seemed to develop a little bit of jump, mostly from the third and fourth lines. Sometimes I wish we had a whole team of Helms.

Early in the second period Detroit went on the power play. They had one good scoring chance but Bertuzzi’s shot got away from him and it sailed up over the net by a mile. It seemed like nothing would go right for the Red Wings.

A few seconds after the power play ended there was a faceoff in the Kings end. Abdelkader won it back to Ericsson and he shot it toward the net. It may have hit the stick of a Kings player and changed direction slightly. Then it went off the inside of Quick’s skate and into the net. Finally, the Wings got a break and it tied the game at one.

Near the halfway point of the second period the Kings took a penalty for too many men on the ice and the Red Wings made them pay. Lidstrom shot the puck from the blue line with Holmstrom battling in front of the net. He tipped it by the goalie and into the net. It rolled slowly over the goal line and Cleary was right there to escort it into the net. He gave it a shove for good measure but it was already across the line.

Then the Kings game back strong with a breakaway and another good rush a few seconds later. Osgood came up big with two or three great saves to preserve the two to one lead.

The lead held until the end of the second period. The Wings seemed to be getting better as the game went on. Bertuzzi and Jason Williams were both doing some good things but just not getting the bounces.

In the third period Stoll was called for holding Draper, which Draper embellished and probably should have been penalized for as well. The Kings were on the power play at the time so it was 4 on 4 for a few seconds. Zetterberg won the first draw back to Lidstrom. He shot the puck and Zetterberg deflected it. It changed direction and went past Quick for the third Red Wings goal. That also marked Nick Lidstrom’s 1000th point of his career. That’s a heck of a milestone. There will probably be some sort of pre-game ceremony in the near future to celebrate the achievement. He also got a huge ovation when they announced the goal and the milestone.

Halfway through the period the penalty parade continued and gave us 1:10 of a Kings 4 on 3 power play. The Wings were able to kill off the penalties and hang on to their two goal lead.

A short time later the Kings scored on a deflection in front of the net. O’Donnell shot from the blue and the puck glanced off Lidstrom’s right leg. It changed direction and went by Osgood. He had no chance to stop it. That brought the Kings to within one. The goal was awarded to Justin Williams so I guess it must have hit his stick on the way to Lidstrom’s leg.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi stole the puck in the Kings end. He couldn’t quite get control of it though and ended up leaving it in the slot. Maltby stepped up and ripped it into the net. That made it four to two Wings and gave Bertuzzi his second assist of the season and Maltby his second goal.

At the end of the game the Kings had a power play and they pulled their goalie for a two man advantage. They weren’t able to score though and Rafalski got an empty net goal.

After another bad start the Red Wings really seemed to wake up as the game progressed. Hopefully, that’s a sign that they’re regaining their confidence.

This 2-5 win brings us to:
3-3-0
6 points

Detroit at Buffalo (10/13/09)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings were in Buffalo to take on the Sabres. Ryan Miller was the starting goalie for the Sabres and Chris Osgood was in net for the Wings. Draper was a healthy scratch and Helm was in.

The Wings got off to a sluggish start and the Sabres were badly outshooting them. Luckily Osgood was amazing. He made several great saves early on.

Then Stuart was called for slashing and on the Sabres scored on the power play. Osgood stopped the initial shot but the rebound landed right in front of Stafford who popped it home.

A few minutes later the Wings went on the power play. Kronwall sent the puck towards the crease and Filppula deflected it into the net to tie the game at one.

By the end of the first period Detroit was outshooting the Sabres eleven to eight. The tied scored held so it was still one to one heading into the second.

In the second period the Red Wings seemed to slack again and Osgood was coming up big just like in the first period. Then there was a delayed offside in the Sabres end so the Wings couldn’t touch the puck. Myers took the puck from his own end all the way to the net and tried to stuff it home but Osgood blocked it out. The rebound came out front and Kaleta shot it and scored to give the Sabres the two to one lead.

A few minutes later Vanek brought the puck in with Lidstrom defending him. Vanek held up and Lidstrom stayed right with him. He shot the puck and Lidstrom put his stick down to try to block it. The puck hit Lidstrom’s stick and changed direction suddenly. Osgood was surprised by the sudden change in direction and it got by him. That gave the Sabres a two goal lead.

A few minutes after THAT Osgood was again making some brilliant saves and the puck came to MacArthur right in front of the net. He released a very quick sweeping shot from close range that got under Osgood and made it four to one Sabres. It really didn’t look like he was going to shoot the puck. It had gone off his skate and he kicked it toward his stick. It looked like he was going to stick handle it and instead he swept it right into the net. Maybe Osgood should have been ready for it but that would have been asking a lot. It’s hard to blame him for that one.

A few seconds later the Sabres scored again. Roy brought the puck across the crease and Osgood followed him. Roy tried to forehand to backhand and lost the puck in front of the open side of the net. Vanek followed and put it in. Suddenly it was five to one. I’m blaming Brad Stuart for that one since he was covering Vanek. Osgood can’t be everywhere at once, he needed a little help from the rest of the team.

The Red Wings pulled Osgood and put in Jimmy Howard after that goal but I don’t think Babcock was really blaming Osgood. The Wings were just looking poor offensively and defensively. Goal tending wasn’t the issue.

With a few minutes left in the second period Filppula made a great rush to the net and got tripped up. He was awarded a penalty shot on the play. He shucked and jived but Miller stayed with him and stopped his shot easily.

The second period ended with the Sabres still up five to one. They had outshot the Red Wings in the second period 18 to 4.

In the third period the troubles continued. Kaleta had the puck in the corner and fed it to Gaustad who was standing in front of the net like he owned it. He redirected the puck into Howard’s pads and then took a second whack at it sending it through the five hole and making it six to one.

Halfway through the third period Rafalski threw the puck toward the net with Holmstrom in front. Zetterberg and Holmstrom both got a stick on it and it was deflected past Ryan Miller and into the net making it six to two.

That was pretty much it for this one. The Red Wings looked a little more energetic in the third but it was far too little too late. They looked pretty terrible overall but I thought Helm and Filppula looked good and believe it or not, Osgood did, too. Let’s hope we don’t see many more games like that one. It looks like the Stanley Cup hangover finally hit!

This 2-6 loss brings us to:
2-3-0
4 points

Washington at Detroit (10/10/09)

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings faced the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena. This is the first game without Franzen. Patrick Eaves finally got his chance to play as a Red Wing. Brad May was also in and Abdelkader was recalled from Grand Rapids. Meech was in as well. Osgood was our starting goalie and Jose Theodore was in net for the Caps.

Early in the first period the Red Wings gave up a very soft goal. Bradley shot the puck from below the face off dot near the wall. It looked like it hit Osgood and slowed down a little but it got through him somehow and trickled into the net. It was one to nothing Washington.

Nearing the end of the first period, the Red Wings evened things up. They got the puck to the front of the net and it turned into a mad scramble with everybody whacking at it. Theodore was trying to cover it up but he couldn’t get control. The puck ended up on the ice right in front of Theodore’s outstretched legs. Leino came charging in and chipped it up and into the net. After scoring the goal Leino got nailed in the face by Sloan. I’m sure he was still smiling though!

With a minute left in the first period Washington went on the power play. Osgood stopped a point blank shot from Ovechkin. It was a beautiful play by the Capitals but the save was even better. It was a give and go play that left Ovechkin with a nearly wide open net. Osgood kicked out his leg and got the puck with his toe to absolutely rob Ovechkin.

The period ended with the score still tied and the Capitals still with about a minute of power play time.

In the second period the Red Wings were playing very well. After a slow start to the first they seemed to be really moving their feet and doing some good things in the second. Towards the end of the period they went on the power play again. Jason Williams let one rip from the point. It looked like it deflected slightly off the skate of a Washington player and went in. That gave the Wings a two to one lead and gave Williams his first goal since returning to a Red Wings uniform.

Early in the third period, with the Capitals still on the power play, Morrisonn scored to tie the game at two goals each. Patrick Eaves had just brought the puck down to the Capitals end and had a shorthanded scoring attempt. He was shoved off balance and ended up falling into the net and knocking it off its moorings. The officials let the play continue because Washington had control. They brought the puck into the Red Wings end and Morrisonn shot it. Osgood was screened and couldn’t see the puck until it was too late.

Past the halfway point of the third period the Red Wings went back on the power play. Datsyuk made a brilliant pass across the slot and back to Holmstrom. He released a bomb that beat Theodore and took back the lead for the Wings.

The Capitals pressured hard for the rest of the game but Detroit just shut them down. The lead held and the Red Wings one three to two.

The Red Wings looked great tonight. They had a slow start but they really ramped it up as the game went on. I much prefer that type of game over the fast start followed by the epic collapse like we saw in the first two games of the season. Bertuzzi had a noticeably good game as did the entire Filppula line. The Wings did a great job of coping with the loss of Franzen. They also shut down Ovechkin very effectively. I hope to see a lot more games like the one in the future.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
2-2-0
4 points

Terrible News

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Apparently, during the game against Chicago, Franzen tore his ACL on what looked like a harmless play. In fact he finished the game and even scored the game winning goal after the injury. Unfortunately for the Wings it is serious though and will require surgery. Franzen is expected to miss four months in recovery. The only good news is that he’ll be back before the playoffs. This also makes some room for Abdelkader and will increase the ice time of a lot of other guys.