Archive for November, 2009

Anaheim at Detroit (11/14/09)

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

The Anaheim Ducks came to Detroit tonight to play the Red Wings. Hiller was the goalie for the Ducks and Howard was in for the Wings as Osgood still had flu symptoms. Howard was coming off two strong performances in his first crack at back to back starts.

This game had a fast pace right from the start. Both teams seemed to have a lot of jump. Detroit was really buzzing for a goal and had several scoring chances in the first five minutes alone.

In the first period Selanne was called for roughing and the Red Wings went on the power play. Kronwall released a shot from the point. It hit an Anaheim player and changed direction, and then it hit Cleary’s stick up high near his hands. It changed direction again and bounced into the net giving the Red Wings the one to nothing lead. Hiller didn’t have a chance on that one the way it was bouncing around. They stopped the game to review the goal to see if Cleary gloved it in but the call on the ice was upheld.

In the final minute of the first period there was a scuffle in front of the Anaheim net. Ericsson and Perry came close to fighting but never threw any punches. When it was all sorted out Getzlaf had some extra time for unsportsmanlike conduct after crosschecking Zetterberg several times after the whistle. The Wings went on the power play. Just 10 seconds into it Rafalski shot from the high slot. Holmstrom was in front of the net waiting for a tip. The puck hit Niedermayer’s stick and changed direction slightly but it got through the five hole on Hiller. Getzlaf had been given a double minor so his second penalty started right after the goal.

The period ended with the Red Wings up two to nothing. They also had power play time left on the board for the start of the second period. Detroit outshot Anaheim 17 to 6 in the first period.

Approaching the halfway point of the second period Ericsson had the puck behind his own net. He attempted to pass it up ice but instead he hit Getzlaf with it right next to the net. Getzlaf knocked it down and passed it to Perry who was moving up in the slot. Perry quickly shot the puck beating Howard and bringing the Ducks to within a goal of tying the game.

That was the only goal of the period. Howard made some good saves to hold the lead. Brad Stuart also made a very nice diving play on Selanne to save a goal.

In the third period Cleary was the victim of what in my opinion was a really bad call. He was called for interference after battling for the puck with Wisniewski. He didn’t take his hand off the stick or trip him or hook him. They were just jostling for position using their shoulders. Apparently at random, they decided Cleary had done something wrong.

On the Ducks’ power play Jimmy Howard turned the puck over attempting to clear it. Getzlaf passed it to Ryan down at the goal line. He shot from the bad angle and somehow got it in behind Howard to tie the game at two each.

Then Parros took a run at Ericsson. He left his feet and slammed his head into the glass. He was called for roughing but it probably could have just easily been boarding or charging.

On the ensuing power play the Red Wings were moving the puck very well and doing a good job keeping it in the Anaheim zone. Rafalski made a beauty of a pass from the high slot to Datsyuk near the bottom of the circle. Datsyuk just tapped it and deflected it into the top corner of the net giving the Wings back the lead three to two.

Just a few seconds later Anaheim tied it up again. They had the puck in Detroit’s end and it finally came back to Getzlaf. He passed it to Lupul in the high slot who shot it and beat Howard under his pad. That tied it up at three all.

A few minutes later the Red Wings were really buzzing for a goal. They had just hit the crossbar on the previous shift. Cleary made a great play to protect the puck along the boards and get it into the zone. He passed it to Zetterberg who shot it but Hiller made the save. The rebound dropped right in front of Hiller. Zetterberg stayed with it and picked up his own rebound and shot it again. This time he buried it in the back of the net and the Red Wings were back up by one with about 10 minutes left in the game.

Then Zetterberg was called for a slash and during the Ducks’ power play the Red Wings had too many men on the ice. It wasn’t caught at first and the Ducks’ bench was going bananas. Finally, Helm tried to sneak off the ice but the linesman was standing right by the bench and saw that there were still four Red Wings out there. That gave the Ducks a 5 on 3 power play for over a minute.

On the power play Getzlaf blasted one that caught the top corner of the net and tied the game again. The Ducks still had nearly a minute of power play time but the Wings killed off the rest of it.

Just as the penalty expired the Red Wings entered the offensive zone. Cleary passed across to Zetterberg who shot one that beat Hiller up high and took back the lead. It didn’t look like Zetterberg got all of it. The puck was sort of off speed and wobbling. I don’t think Hiller could really tell where it was headed.

Then Bertuzzi shot that looked for all the world like a goal. The crowd started yelling and the horn even sounded for a second but it hadn’t gone in.

At the other end the Ducks hit a post and then Helm brought it back the other way. Helm just brought it into the zone and ripped it. Hiller got a little of it but he didn’t stop it and it rolled into the net behind him. That put the Red Wings up six to four.

Hiller was pulled with about minute and 15 seconds left. As time was winding down Zetterberg was on the ice. Mickey Redmond referred to him as “Curly Fries” because of the Arby’s promotion in which they give away a free order of curly fries to any fan that brings in the box score the day after a Red Wings player gets a hat trick. Zetterberg had two goals. Kronwall picked up the puck in his own zone and flipped to Zetterberg with about five seconds left in the game and an empty net at the other end. Zetterberg took it towards the empty net and shot it from just past center ice. He put it in the net with just seven tenths of a second left. Curly fries for everyone! I wonder what they’d say if I went to my local Arby’s here in Tampa and asked for my free curly fries.

Well, this was a really entertaining game. The Red Wings outplayed the Ducks terribly but thy Ducks just kept hanging around just like they always seem to do. Luckily the Wings had more mojo tonight. Lots of Red Wings had great games tonight including Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Rafalski, Stuart and Kronwall. They’re really putting together a pretty good streak now and looking great especially considering all the missing players.

This 4-7 win brings us to:
23 points

Vancouver at Detroit (11/12/09)

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Detroit had the second of back to back games tonight. After pummeling the Blue Jackets nine to one last night, the Red Wings hosted the Canucks tonight. Maltby and Osgood were both having flu symptoms. Jimmy Howard started in net for the Wings for the second night in a row because Osgood was sick. Luongo was the goalie for the Canucks. Howard played very well last night so it’ll be a good test to see how he feels on the second night in a row. Drew Miller was in for the first time as a Red Wings tonight after being picked up off waivers from Tampa.

Early on in the game Brad May fought with Rick Rypien. It was a great fight. No dancing around, they were both throwing them fast and furious. May took the early lead in the fight but Rypien came back strong and May ended up with the jersey up trying to protect his face. He was still recovering from the eye injury and he was also cut in a fight last night. It was a pretty exciting fight though; one of the better ones for the Red Wings so far this year (which isn’t really saying much, I know).

Late in the first period Detroit was on the power play. Zetterberg had the puck in the corner with Holmstrom in front of the net. He sent the puck towards the net and Holmstrom redirected it in. It went in and out so quickly that Holmstrom put it in one more time just to be sure, but it was in the first time. It was one to nothing Red Wings.

In the second period Abdelkader was called for high-sticking. It was unintentional but that’s life. On the power play Bieksa shot from the point. The Wings were in good position defensively but the puck hit Mason Raymond’s skate and ricocheted into the net to tie the game at one each.

About halfway through the second period Stuart was called for high-sticking. As it turns out it was Samuelsson’s stick that came up and hit his own player. In fact, Stuart actually caught part of the stick up high himself. This is a frustrating call but it gets worse. The referee who was standing by the goal looking right at the play saw exactly what happened. He didn’t call anything. The referee from center ice is the one who called it. I understand the center ice ref making a call if he somehow has a better view than the other ref but in this case he obviously didn’t since he GUESSED at what happened. Mickey Redmond made an excellent point that the ref with the better view should be able to go talk to the other ref, tell him what happened and wave off the penalty. This doesn’t seem to happen though. I challenge Commissioner Bettman and the head of officials, Terry Gregson to encourage the closer ref to take action if he knows that the other ref has made the wrong call.

After two periods the score was still tied at one. Vancouver was badly out-shooting the Wings but they also had four power plays to the Red Wings one so it wasn’t as bad as it looked on paper.

In the third period Stuart made a great pass from his own end to hit Zetterberg in stride. Zetterberg drove towards the net and backhanded a shot that beat Luongo on the short side up high were there was almost no room whatsoever. It was a precision shot and a thing of beauty. That made it two to one Wings.

The Wings held that lead until near the end of the game when the Canucks pulled their goalie. Jimmy Howard played the puck to Kronwall who cleared it up the ice off the glass. The puck hit a stanchion, took a funny bounce and rolled into Vancouver’s empty net. That was Jimmy Howard’s first career assist.

So the Red Wings won what turned out to be a really gritty game. Vancouver played well but Jimmy Howard was fantastic and the Red Wings scored enough to stay in control. Zetterberg and Stuart both had great games as well.

This 1-3 win brings us to:
21 points

Detroit at Columbus (11/11/09)

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings were in Ohio to square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and Steve Mason was in for the Blue Jackets. The Red Wings claimed Drew Miller off waivers today from Tampa Bay. He was picked up to add some depth in order to compensate somewhat for the injuries.

The Red Wings wasted no time getting her going in this one. Mickey Redmond had just finished saying how important it was for the Wings to score first. It was just passed the one minute mark of the first period. The Jackets tried to clear the zone but it hit Zetterberg. He took a shot that ended up in Cleary’s skates right in front of the crease. Cleary got control of the puck and put it behind Mason giving the Wings the early one to nothing lead.

Just a few minutes later Datsyuk took a shot and Mason misplayed it. It went off his glove and into the net for the Wings second goal.

Brad May danced with Jared Boll at center ice. It wasn’t much of a fight since May fanned on his first punch and fell down. Boll landed a few after May fell and May ended up cut. He left the ice for repairs and they each got five minutes of penalty time.

A few minutes later the Jackets turned the puck over in their own end again. It came to Lebda at the point and he fired it. Draper redirected it in front of Mason and suddenly it was three to nothing Detroit. That was it for Mason as he was replaced by Garon.

Not much later Detroit went on the power play. Just 19 second into it Kronwall fired from the blue line. Bertuzzi was in front of the net screening Garon. He couldn’t see the puck well enough and it went into the net. That was the fourth goal of the night for the Red Wings and there was still more than seven minutes left in the first period.

When the second period started the Red Wings were up four to nothing and Mason had been put back in net for the Blue Jackets.

It was more than halfway through the second period when Columbus finally got on the board. Umberger sent the puck from the corner to the front of the net. It went all the way through the crease to Nash who tapped it in. Pahlsson’s stick was right behind Nash’s so if Nash hadn’t scored Pahlsson would have. That made it four to one.

Then Datsyuk made a brilliant backhand pass that found Bertuzzi flying up the slot. He double clutched and fired it beating Mason and making it five to one Wings. It was great to see Bertuzzi score a goal. He’s been playing so well but nothing seems to go in for him no matter how wide open the net. Hopefully, this will help cure the snake bite.

Just a few second later Zetterberg passed it Leino and he kicked it ahead to his stick. Then he made a nice move and shot the puck beating Mason for the Red Wings’ sixth goal. Every goal scored to that point in the game was the third goal of the season for the player scoring it. To quote Mickey Redmond, “That’s pretty something.”

In the third period Kronwall let one go from the top of the circle with Cleary screening in front. I don’t think Mason ever saw it. It went in just under the crossbar and down. That made it seven to one.

Then Abdelkader scored after entering the zone with Holmstrom in a two on one. He took it all the way and scored with a shot through the five hole. At this point the rest of the game was just a formality.

Abdelkader scored again near the end of the game on an end to end rush.

That was the last goal of the game. The Red Wings won nine to one. It was one of those nights for the Blue Jackets. The Red Wings looked really great in this game but the Blue Jackets didn’t seem to be there so it wasn’t a very good benchmark. It’s definitely a good game for the Wings to build upon. It should be a good confidence builder for a lot of players.

This 9-1 win brings us to:
19 points

Three Red Wings Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Monday, November 9th, 2009

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

Jason Williams Out For Eight Weeks

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

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

Detroit at Toronto (11/7/09)

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

The Red Wings and the Maple Leafs met tonight in Toronto. The starting goalies were Osgood and Gustavsson.

There was some good news for the Red Wings on the injury front. Brad May returned to the lineup. It was a relief to find out that he didn’t have a serious eye problem.

Tonight was Hall of Fame night. There was a pre-game ceremony for this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Brett Hull, Lou Lamoriello, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman were all on hand along with Hall of Fame members from past years. They introduced the inductees and did a ceremonial puck drop.

The Red Wings got off to a bit of a rocky start as the Maple Leafs had several scoring chances in the first five minutes of the game. Chris Osgood was playing well and stopped them all with the assistance of a post on one occasion.

In the second five minutes of the game the Red Wings seemed to get their legs under them and had several scoring chances of their own. Gustavsson stopped all of them as well though.

Just past the 10 minute mark Primeau entered the zone with speed. Draper was on him but he fell down. Primeau took it to the net. He shot it and beat Osgood giving the Leafs the one to nothing lead.

With 25 seconds left in the first period the Maple Leafs scored again. Things got sloppy in the Red Wings end. The puck was bouncing around and ended up getting pushed through Osgood’s legs and stalling between him and the goal. Kessel skated through and finished it off giving the Leafs the two to nothing lead.

Early in the second period, with the Red Wings on a power play that was just about to expire, Stempniak and Stajan brought the puck into the Red Wings zone. They passed it back and forth a few times and then Stempniak passed to Finger in front of Osgood. Finger elevated the puck and caught the top corner of the net over Osgood’s glove hand. It wasn’t technically a shorthanded goal but the penalty had just expired so it might as well have been. That made it three nothing Leafs.

Later in the second period Jason Williams went down with his right knee twisted underneath hem. It looked really bad. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he broke his knee. He was basically carried off the ice without putting any pressure on his right leg. Not good news for a team already troubled by injuries. They later reported that he had been taken for x-rays.

The Red Wings did not find a way to score and the period ended with the Maple Leafs still winning three to nothing. At the end of the period the Red Wings were on the power play so it carried over to the third period. A few seconds before the penalty was over the Leafs were called again. Detroit had a 5 on 3 but it was only for a few seconds and the Leafs killed it. The Wings had some excellent scoring chances on the power play but Gustavsson made several incredible saves to keep Detroit off the board.

A few minutes later Rafalski passed it to Cleary who was going to the net. It was a perfect pass and Cleary made the most of it. He put it in the top corner of the net, finally beating Gustavsson and bringing the Wings within two goals. It was Cleary’s 100th career goal so congratulations to him!

After the goal Detroit seemed to have some momentum going their way but then they were called for too many men on the ice. The Leafs went on the power play and the Red Wings were unable to clear for a long time. The penalty killers were out of gas. Kessel shot the puck from the top of the circle. Mitchell was in front of the net and he tipped it down and in. That gave Toronto a three goal lead again.

A few minutes later Ponikarovsky shot and scored through Osgood’s five hole to give the Leafs a five to one lead. With about seven minutes left, this game was essentially over.

The Wings lost the game five to one. They didn’t play very well tonight either offensively or defensively. The Leafs had just played the night before but you’d have thought it was the Red Wings that had. At times they picked it up and played well but only in short bursts. The play of Gustavsson was huge for Toronto. For the Red Wings I thought that Helm played well and Lebda had “one of those nights”.

This 1-5 loss brings us to:
17 points

San Jose at Detroit (11/5/09)

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

The Red Wings and the Sharks faced off tonight at Joe Louis Arena. Ericsson and Rafalski were both feeling better today so they were back in the lineup. Nabokov was the Shark’s goalie and Osgood was in for the Wings. Just like the Red Wings, the Sharks had several key players out of their lineup due to injury.

Tonight was Budd Lynch bobble head night. Every fan got a Budd Lynch bobble head in honor of the 60th anniversary of Budd’s association with the Red Wings. He also did a ceremonial puck drop before the game. Congratulations to Budd Lynch!

The Red Wings looked pretty good in the first period but neither team scored. The Sharks only had a couple of good scoring chances. On those rare occasions Osgood stood strong. Detroit had several really good scoring chances but just weren’t able to finish.

Most of the second period went by with no scoring. When they were approaching five minutes left in the period the Sharks entered the Red Wings end on the rush. Ericsson stumbled which opened up a little room for the puck carrier, Callahan. He passed it back to Couture who let fly a hard shot that beat Osgood and gave the Sharks a one to nothing lead.

The Red Wings continued playing well throughout the second period but still didn’t score. The period ended with Sharks up by one. The Sharks were slightly outshooting the Red Wings but the Wings had more scoring chances.

Early in the third period the Red Wings finally scored. It was a Zetterberg goal but it was set up by the hard work of Helm. He had been working like a maniac to keep the puck in the offensive zone. He finally got it back in deep to Eaves who wrapped it around the net and then passed it to Lidstrom at the point. Lidstrom shot and Nabokov stopped it with his left toe. The puck was under his skate but the referee didn’t blow the whistle. Zetterberg came flying in off the bench and pushed the puck from under Nabokov’s skate into the net. The Sharks probably weren’t happy about the slow whistle but that’s life. It was a great hard working goal for the Wings and it tied the game at one.

The tie held until the end of regulation.

In the overtime period the Red Wings continued to work hard and play with incredible energy. The Sharks were on their heels for most of the OT but the Wings just couldn’t score. The Sharks didn’t really get any scoring chances since the Wings kept the play at the other end. Neither team scored so it was time for a shootout.

In the shootout Datsyuk went first. He deked and then elevated the puck over Nabokov’s pad and scored. Then Osgood stopped Dan Boyle. Next was Jason Williams. He had a good shot but Nabokov stopped him with the pad. Ryane Clowe came up next and Osgood stopped him, too. Zetterberg was the third shooter for the Wings. He came in fast, faked out Nabokov and scored a beauty of a goal for the win.

This was the best game I’ve seen the Red Wings play in a long time. It was great to see the jump they had. They were all at the top of their games. Helm was incredible. Bertuzzi had a ton of scoring chances and he must be starting to think that he’s cursed because none of them went in. Osgood was excellent, and so were Datsyuk and Zetterberg. The Red Wings just keep improving and that’s great to see.

This 1-2 win brings us to:
17 points

Boston at Detroit (11/3/09)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The Boston Bruins came to town to take on the Red Wings tonight. Osgood was in net for the Wings and Tim Thomas was in for the Bruins. Ericsson was still out with the flu and Rafalski was having flu-like symptoms as well. Doug Janik was brought up from Grand Rapids to fill in on Defense. Brad May is still seeing doctors about his eye which has some bleeding in it after he was hit by Jason Williams’ stick while sitting on the bench.

The Wings were able to get through the first few shifts of the game without giving up a goal. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s something they’ve had trouble doing lately.

About halfway through the first period Osgood showed us some magic when Marco Sturm had the puck right in the crease. He had two scoring chances from point blank and Osgood made two spectacular saves.

Later in the first period Sturm was called for hooking and the Wings went on the power play. On the very first faceoff of the power play Datsyuk it to Bergeron but the puck didn’t go far. Zetterberg jumped on it and fired one that surprised Thomas. It was a power play goal for the Wings and it took just two seconds to score it.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi got the puck in his own end. He looked up ice and saw Datsyuk so he tossed the puck to him up in the air to get it by the defender in the neutral zone. Datsyuk corralled it and got control but he didn’t have time to shoot it so he dropped it back for the trailing Holmstrom. Homer pushed it into the net and scored the Red Wings second goal. It was a sweet play and it gave the Wings the two to nothing lead.

There was no scoring in the second period. There were a few good chances at both ends including one by Boston that hit a post. The Red Wings also killed off another penalty at the end of the period.

The third period featured a bit of a penalty parade towards the end, but still no more scoring. Boston pulled their goalie with about a minute and fifteen seconds left but to no avail.

Osgood got the shutout and the Red Wings notched another win. They played very well tonight especially considering all the injuries. Osgood was fantastic, obviously, but it was a good team effort all around; a great win!

This 0-2 win brings us to:
15 points