Archive for October, 2009

Chicago at Detroit (10/8/09)

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Tonight the Blackhawks were in town for the Red Wings’ home opener. After dropping two in a row to St. Louis in Stockholm, the Red Wings were ready to come out swinging.

One new thing for the Red Wings this year was the organist at the Joe which I thought sounded really cool. A much crappier change was the name of the Fox Sports Detroit studio which is now being called the Call Sam studio. It’s apparently named after some lawyer who paid a lot of money. Blech.

Huet was the goaltender for Chicago and Osgood was in for Detroit. Meech was also in for the first time this season.

Brad May was added to the Red Wings lineup yesterday to fill the role of enforcer. Abdelkader was sent to Grand Rapids to make room for him. May made his presence felt right away with a pretty nice fight against Smolenak. It was a good fight and I think the edge went to Brad May.

Chicago scored first early in the second period. Sharp had the puck behind the Red Wings net. He threw it out front and it bounced around a little bit, hit a few skates and ended up with Versteeg who sent it back towards the net. Sharp had moved to the front of the net and tapped it in. It was a really quick play and no fault of Osgood’s. That made it one to nothing Hawks.

A few minutes later Draper was called for hooking. Seven seconds into the power play Cleary was called for cross checking. The Wings killed off both penalties giving up only one shot on goal. It was all thanks to some great shot blocking by Kronwall and Stuart and a few good saves by Osgood. That penalty kill gave a big boost to the Wings.

Just a few seconds after the penalty kill the Hawks took a penalty. That was a golden opportunity for the Wings to capitalize on the momentum shift and get back the goal they had given up earlier. The Red Wings had a few good shots on the power play but weren’t able to score.

A few minutes later Detroit went on the power play again. Lidstrom was attempting a pass across the slot but the puck hit Madden’s skate and redirected right into the net. That tied the game at one each.

Nearing the end of the second period Draper scored with a beautiful shot. He brought the puck towards the faceoff dot and threaded the needle over Huet’s shoulder into the top of the net. That made it two to one Red Wings.

Just when it looked like the Hawks were going to score a goal, Bertuzzi’s back checking saved the day. At the other end of the ice Leino was making a pest of himself for Campbell who had to take a penalty to stop him. On the power play Datsyuk shot from the point with Holmstrom in front of the net. The puck bounced through Huet and stopped near the goal line. Franzen skated through behind Huet and finished it off to the give the Wings a three to one lead.

About halfway through the third period Williams was called for a questionable slash. On the power play Versteeg scored after Stuart had lost his stick. That brought the Hawks back to within one. During the Hawks power play Ericsson blocked another shot with his left ankle and had to be helped off the ice after the eventual goal. He went straight to the dressing room. It was the same ankle that he hurt in game one against St. Louis.

With 1:38 left Kronwall was called for holding. The Blackhawks pulled their goalie for a six on four power play. They scrambled to try for the tying goal while the Wings tried for the empty netter whenever they got the puck. Neither happened so the scored held.

Osgood looked really sharp in this game. Kronwall and Stuart also had noticeably good games. I was happy to see Bertuzzi contributing and looking a little more lively.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
1-2-0
2 points

Detroit at St. Louis (10/3/09, Stockholm, Sweden)

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Today the Red Wings and Blues faced off in the second game of their back to back series in Stockholm, Sweden. St. Louis was considered the home team for this game. Jimmy Howard got the start in net for the Wings and Ty Conklin was in for the Blues. Ericsson was back in the lineup today so his ankle injury yesterday must have been nothing serious.

Just 30 seconds into the game Rafalski threw a puck at the net with Holmstrom in front. Conklin got a little bit tangled up with Holmstrom even though he wasn’t in the crease. The puck hit Holmstrom in the hip and deflected into the net to give the Wings the early one to nothing lead. There was a review to determine if he had batted the puck in with his glove but it was clear on the replay that he did not so the goal stood.

Only a few minutes later Detroit scored again. Zetterberg was working the puck along the back boards. He turned around and quickly centered it towards Cleary. He was set up right in front of the crease and tapped it past Conklin. The Wings were up two to nothing at that point.

A few minutes later the Wings were on the power play and Williams fired one from the blue line. Cleary redirected it into the net but his stick was above the crossbar so the goal was waived off.

Towards the end of the first period Detroit got into some penalty trouble. The Blues ended up with a 5 on 3 power play for over a minute. Shortly after the first penalty expired the Blues scored. There was a mad scramble in front of the net. McDonald shot it from the along the goal line. Tkachuk and Boyes were both in front of the net causing trouble. Howard ended up on his stomach and somehow Tkachuk poked the puck into the net. That brought the Blues back to within a goal.

The first period ended with the Wings up two to one. The Wings looked better in that period than they did in yesterday’s game. There were a lot of hits and scrums after the whistle. The game had kind of a nasty edge to it.

Early in the second period Abdelkader was called for tripping. On the power play Boyes one timed a pass from Kariya and sent the puck to the front of the net. Howard made the initial stop and then things got crazy in the crease. The puck bounced around a little. Tkachuk took a whack at it and sent it to the other side of the net. Then McDonald ended up poking it into the net to tie the game at two each.

A few minutes later Detroit was on the power play. Zetterberg won the draw back to Jason Williams who quickly passed it to Kronwall. He one timed it over Conklin’s glove into the back of the net. That put the Wings back up by one.

Later in the second period Boyes took a shot. Howard was in good position but somehow the puck got between his legs and slowly trickled across the goal line. Steen was there to give it an extra shove but it had already crossed the line tying the game three.

Just 13 seconds later Berglund shot one that also beat Howard. It should have been an easy stop but somehow it got through him and into the net. It seemed like Howard hadn’t re-focused after the previous goal. Suddenly the Wings were trailing four to three. The Red Wings used their timeout after that goal.

Lebda was rocked in the corner by Tkachuk in the second period. He left the game and didn’t return. That’s the second straight game where the Wings were short one defenseman from the second period on after losing Ericsson in the previous game.

In the third period Detroit seemed to have more energy offensively but St. Louis was playing very tight defense. Howard had settled down nicely after giving up the two weak goals earlier in the game.

More than halfway through the period Datsyuk was called for hooking and the Blues went on the power play. Johnson shot one from the point with Tkachuk in Howard’s face. Tkachuk tipped the puck perfectly and redirected right into the top corner of the net. That one was pretty much unstoppable and it put the Wings down by two goals with about eight minutes left in the game.

A few minutes later Datsyuk intercepted a pass right in the slot in front of the Blues net. He turned and fired it instantly but Conklin made a brilliant glove save to rob him.

With about a minute left Tkachuk was called for delay of game. With the goalie pulled, the Red Wings had a two man advantage for nearly a minute. They weren’t able to score however as the Blues continued to dominate defensively.

The game ended with the Blues winning five to three. It was pretty bad showing for the Wings for the second straight game. There are plenty of possible excuses for these two losses including the poor ice conditions and losing a defenseman in the second period of both games. Hopefully, these second period collapses aren’t going to be the trend for this season.

This 3-5 loss brings us to:
0-2-0
0 points

St. Louis at Detroit (10/2/09, Stockholm, Sweden)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The first game of 2009-2010 season got under way today in Stockholm, Sweden. The Wings were considered the home team for this one and the Blues will be home team in tomorrow’s game.

There were some new old faces for the Red Wings in this game, namely Jason Williams and Todd Bertuzzi. Also added was Patrick Eaves who was on the roster for this game but didn’t play for some reason. Gone from the Wings this year are Samuelsson, Hudler, Kopecky, Chelios and Hossa. Helm was out with an injured clavicle, Abdelkader was in. The goalies for this game were Osgood and Mason.

I got a kick out of the announcers talking about things that the Red Wings will *HAVE* to be better at this year such as goals against and the penalty kill. Now, I don’t dispute that those numbers were bad last year and will hopefully improve. It just seems funny to make it sound so imperative when they did go to game 7 of the Stanley Finals last year with those numbers. Just think what they could have accomplished if those number had been better! I guess maybe they might have made it to game eight! :-)

The Red Wings started the game with a lot of pressure in the Blues’ end. Both teams looked a little rusty but the Wings seemed to be dominating play.

The Blues were the first to score. Their fourth line was out on the ice. They got the puck in deep behind the Red Wings net. Winchester had the puck, got it to the side of the net and passed it to McClement right in front of Osgood. McClement nailed it with a very hard and quick shot. It was a real bang bang play. Osgood didn’t have much of a chance.

A few minutes later Detroit returned the favor. Draper sped up ice along the boards with the puck and got around his man using the referee as a blocker. Polak was trying to stick with Draper and got tangled up with the referee who reached out and held on to him! I guess he was trying not to fall or something, but if a player had done that he’d have been in the box for two minutes. I don’t think the Blues were too happy about it. After Draper got around Polak he took a shot that was stopped by Mason. The rebound dropped next to Mason right in front of the net and Ericsson put it home to tie the game at one.

A short time later Franzen was called for a trip. On the ensuing penalty kill Maltby stole the puck and moved in on a breakaway. He took a shot on Mason and beat him for a shorthanded goal. That made it two to one Red Wings.

That score held through the rest of the first period, thanks to the Blues killing off a 5 on 3 Red Wings power play.

Early in the second period Steen followed through on a shot and caught Kronwall in the face next to the eye. There was blood running all the way down his face so Steen got a double minor.

Near the end of the second minor, Leino received a pass from Cleary just inside the blue line. He moved towards the slot, released a hard wrister and beat Mason high on the glove side making it three to one Wings. It was a beautiful shot. I hope to see a lot more of that this season.

A few minutes later Cleary had a point blank backhand attempt that looked like it should have been an automatic goal but Mason flashed the glove and snatched it away. That was an amazing save.

Then Franzen was called for high-sticking and during the power play Kariya released a bomb of a wrist shot that got by Osgood for the Blues’ second goal.

A few minutes later the Blues fourth line scored again. McClement took a shot that Osgood stopped. The rebound came out in front where it was essentially surrounded by Red Wings. Every Red Wing on the ice was basically right there and yet somehow Crombeen skated through them all and knocked the puck into the net to tie the game. It was some pretty sloppy rebound control by the entire team on that play.

From there the Red Wings just sort of fell apart. They turned the puck over a lot, couldn’t get in sync offensively and just basically looked bad. After a few minutes of playing like that the Blues capitalized by stealing the puck at the Wings’ blue line. Oshie took it and passed it to Kariya who scored for the second time of the night and made it four to three Blues.

The second period ended with the Blues still leading the Wings four to three.

In the third period it was announced that Ericsson had left the game at some point during the second period with an ankle injury. That’s terrible news for the Wings. Hopefully, it won’t be anything serious.

There was no scoring in the third period so the Wings lost this one four to three. I thought the Red Wings looked pretty rusty. At times they looked good and they seemed to have good energy but they were just a little out of sync in my opinion.

This 4-3 loss brings us to:
0-1-0
0 points

Game On!

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The 2009-2010 season starts today for the Red Wings in Stockholm, Sweden.  The Wings will be playing the St. Louis Blues.

Today’s game starts at 3:00 PM Eastern Time and is being televised on Versus.

They also play tomorrow at 3:00 PM and that game will be televised on the NHL Network.

I’ll post recaps of both games as soon as possible.

Everybody buckle up, it’s Red Wings Hockey season once again.  Let’s Go Red Wings!!!