Archive for December, 2009

St. Louis at Detroit (12/9/09)

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The Red Wings played host to the St. Louis Blues tonight. Jimmy Howard got the start again as he’s been on a hot streak. For the Blues, ex-Red Wings Ty Conklin was in net.

Just 10 minutes before the start of the game the Red Wings had to change uniforms because St. Louis had brought their dark jerseys and Detroit was also dressed in their dark jerseys. Apparently they had arranged it ahead of time but somebody in the Red Wings organization forgot. That was quite a disruption of their routine to have to go change so late before for the game.

Early on in the first period the Blues had the puck in deep behind the Red Wings net. McDonald battled for it and came away with the puck. He passed it to Colaiacovo in the slot. There was a lot of traffic between him and the net so he passed it to Boyes who one-timed it into the net giving the Blues the early lead.

In the second period Brad May was high sticked by the Conklin as he cleared the puck. May took the goal stick right in the chops and was gushing blood. It was not intentional but there was some discussion as to whether there should have been a penalty anyway. After consulting the rule book it sounded like there should not be a penalty in this situation since Conklin was playing the puck. It was a good non-call but a tough break for Brad May.

To add insult to injury Bertuzzi was called for holding a few seconds later. The Wings seemed to get a little fired up by that turn of events. I think they had as many or more shots on the Blues’ power play than the Blues did. When Bertuzzi came out of the box he was hit with a nice long lead pass for a good scoring chance. Conklin spread his legs out and had the puck under his pad. Zetterberg came screaming in and poked it into the net from under Conklin’s pad. It was no goal because the referee had lost sight of the puck and was in the act of blowing the whistle. It was the right call, however unfortunate. The puck was indeed covered up for a fair amount of time.

Shortly thereafter the Blues were called for delay of game when they knocked the net off intentionally. During the power play Polak hit Datsyuk from behind and was called for boarding. Detroit had a 5 on 3 power play for a full minute. The Red Wings were not able to capitalize on the power play though.

Throughout the rest of the second period and all of the third, the Red Wings continued to take shot after shot without ever getting one past Ty Conklin. He got the shutout and the Wings lost one to nothing.

This was a really frustrating game. The Wings didn’t play badly but the Blues defense was great. Conklin was incredible. The Red Wings continued to have trouble finishing. They hit several posts and had a ton of shots that were blocked. Jimmy Howard played very well, too. The only thing he didn’t do was score goals.

I don’t understand this slump that they’re in right now. It’s lasting too long to be bad luck. I know they have a lot of injuries but that can’t be considered much of a factor when they have as many chances as they’ve been having. They’ve had so many glorious scoring chances and just can’t seem to follow through on them. I sure hope they turn things around soon.

This 1-0 loss brings us to:
14-11-5
33 points

Detroit at New York Rangers (12/6/09)

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings traveled to New York City to face the Rangers. Both teams were on the second night of back to back games. Jimmy Howard was the starter for the Wings and Lundqvist was the goalie for the Rangers. Rafalski was back in the lineup tonight having recovered from his back spasms so Kindl was out. Leino was also out and Brad May was in.

The Red Wings had their dads with them again for this game although some of them had their sons or mentors instead of their fathers. They were hoping to show them a win tonight after they saw them lose at home and then lose in a shootout last night in New Jersey.

The Red Wings had a much better start in this game they had in the previous two. They put tons of offensive pressure on the Rangers. There was one sequence where the puck went all the way across the net mouth about two inches from the goal line. It was just incredible that it stayed out since there were about five people standing in the crease.

After all that pressure and good play the Wings still ended up falling behind. Higgins took the puck into the zone and passed it across to Boyle in the slot. Boyle redirected it and got it up. It hit Howard in the shoulder but still got by him and into the net. The Rangers had the first lead of the game.

The first period ended with the Wings down one to nothing after soundly outplaying the Rangers. It seems like lately in the first periods of games the Red Wings either play terribly and end up way behind, or they play very well but make one small mistake and still end up behind. Luck has not been on their side lately.

Early in the second period Callahan had a breakaway with Ericsson chasing him. Ericsson hooked him and Callahan was awarded a penalty shot. He made a nice move but Jimmy Howard didn’t bite. He got his pad down and stopped the puck nicely.

Later in the second period the Red Wings went on the power play. The Rangers killed it off but just after it expired the Wings tied the game. Zetterberg shot it with Holmstrom in front. It went by Holmstrom and hit Lundqvist. Then it bounced out front and Datsyuk put it past the goalie to tie the game at one.

That score held until the end of the period so they went into the second intermission with one goal each.

In the third period Zetterberg was called for tripping when he made a nice hip check on Sean Avery who was practicing for his new career in Hollywood. This was after some legitimate penalties were not called even though they led to scoring chances for the Rangers. Luckily the Red Wings were able to kill it off so no harm done.

Just after that power play Bertuzzi was called for high sticking. On that power play the Rangers had a ton of scoring chances. Avery missed an open net at one point. Howard came up huge to stop about four or five shots in just a few seconds and help the Red Wings kill off the penalty.

The Red Wings broke the tie with about two minutes left in the game. It all started when Lidstrom made a great play on Gaborik to prevent a scoring chance and then did a beautiful job of protecting the puck and clearing it out to Zetterberg who took it into the Rangers’ zone. Holmstrom went to the front of the net and Zetterberg passed across to Cleary. He shot it from about the goal line and somehow the puck got into Lundqvist’s pads and made it through into the net. That gave the Wings the lead with only a few minutes left in the game.

The Rangers pulled their goalie with a little over a minute to go. As they tried to score Rozsival was called for interfering with Zetterberg. So the Rangers had to pull the goalie just to get back to even strength. With just over six seconds left Draper got an empty net goal to seal the deal.

The Wings played pretty well in this game. Jimmy Howard did a fantastic job. Stuart also had a good game and made one huge hit on Anisimov. It was a great win and it was also nice that the dads finally got to see them win.

This 3-1 win brings us to:
14-10-5
33 points

Detroit at New Jersey (12/5/09)

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings were on the road in Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center to face the Devils. The goalies were Osgood and Brodeur. Rafalski was still out with back spasms so Kindl was playing again. Brad May was out tonight and Patrick Eaves was in. Ericsson was good to go after twisting his knee a bit in the game Thursday night. I thought he had rolled his ankle but apparently it was the knee. Luckily it wasn’t serious.

The Red Wings had their dads along with them tonight. They joined the team Thursday night in Detroit and are accompanying them on this New York / New Jersey road trip. Hopefully the Wings can show their dads a better performance tonight than they did on Thursday.

The Devils were on the second half of back to back games after beating the Lighting here at home last night. The Red Wings should be more rested since they haven’t played since the day before yesterday. The way their schedule’s been lately though I’m sure they’re pretty burned out.

In the first period Parise brought the puck into the Red Wings zone and dropped it back for Zajac. He dumped it to the corner and Parise chased it down. Osgood was out to cover the side of the net where Parise had the puck. He didn’t shoot it though because Langenbrunner was wide open at the faceoff dot on the other side of the ice. Parise passed it across to Langenbrunner who shot it quickly. There was no way Osgood could get back over to that side of the net in time so the Devils took the lead one to nothing with about four and a half minutes left in the first period.

A few minutes later the Devils entered the Red Wings end with three on two. Oduya had the puck. He brought it towards the net and shot it. Osgood didn’t seem to be expecting him to shoot. He left the five hole open way too long and the puck went between his legs and into the net. Osgood was thinking pass and Oduya surprised him. It should have been a pretty easy save but instead the Devils were up two to nothing.

Eaves was absent at the start of the second period. He had crashed heavily into the boards in the first period. He crashed feet first and since he was recovering from a foot injury the thought was that he may have reinjured it. When he left the ice though, it looked like they were working on his face. That probably wouldn’t have been enough to sideline him though unless he broke a bone. He did rejoin the team later in the period so hopefully he’s fine. He was wearing a cage when he came back out so I think the problem was his head, not his feet.

About halfway through the second period Helm took a hit at the Devils’ blue line and fought to regain the puck. He took the puck toward the net and shot it. Brodeur stopped it but the rebound bounced to Draper who chipped it back at Brodeur. Brodeur got most of it but the puck ended up stalled on the ice behind him. Draper muscled his way to it and pushed it into the net. That brought the Wings back to within a goal of tying the game. It was a really great job by Helm and Draper. They showed some real grit on that play.

Later in the second period the Devils brought the puck into the Red Wings end. Zharkov shot it and Osgood stopped it. The rebound hit Ericsson in front of the net and dropped to the ice. Before Osgood could cover it Niedermayer swung at it and knocked it into the net. That put the Devils up three to one and probably really hurt the Red Wings’ morale. You don’t win very many games in which you give up three goals to the Devils. Brodeur is just too good.

With a little over a minute left in the second period Elias was called for holding Lidstrom. On the power play Stuart shot from the point. Holmstrom redirected it with the heel of his stick and it went between Brodeur’s legs and into the net. That was a huge goal to get the Wings back into the game with half a minute to go in the period.

Early in the third period Brad Stuart made what will almost definitely be one of the top ten plays of the week. Pandolfo brought the puck in and shot it. Osgood got a piece of it but it bounced up and dropped in behind him just a few inches in front of the goal line. Stuart came flying in and swept it away just before it would have crossed the line. It was a great job by Stuart to save a goal and keep the Wings in this game.

About halfway through the third period Abdelkader had the puck along the boards in the Devils’ end. He threw it towards the net with Eaves standing near the bottom of the face off circle. Eaves redirected the puck perfectly to put it between Brodeur’s legs and make this a brand new hockey game. With just over 10 minutes left they were tied at three.

With about 30 seconds left in the game it looked like the Wings were going to score. The puck was on the ice heading for the goal line but Brodeur dove back for it and stopped it with his stick. Holmstrom had been hit in the back and driven down onto Brodeur. Brodeur didn’t like that and got up feisty, pushing and shoving Holmstrom. Nothing much came of it though.

That was the best chance for a game winner but it wouldn’t go so they went to overtime. It was a huge accomplishment for the Wings just to get a point out this game after being down early and battling back.

There were some very close calls in the overtime period especially at the Red Wings’ end. Nothing made it into the net though so the teams headed to a shootout.

Datsyuk was the first shooter in the shootout. He walked in with the puck and just ripped it beating Brodeur. Parise went next and did some trickery. He kicked his leg and then went forehand to backhand to forehand. He had Osgood all turned around. It was an impressive shot and it beat Osgood. Then Zetterberg came up and shot but Brodeur got it with the pads. Langenbrunner went next. He stick handled too much and never got off a shot. Bertuzzi was up and he did his move where he swings way out to the wall and then comes in backwards. He shot over the net. Zajac was up for the Devils and Osgood stopped him so they went to another round. Leino was up for Detroit and Brodeur stopped him. Elias was up for the Devils. He went back and forth a little to get Osgood moving, made a few dekes and beat Osgood for the winner.

It was a nice comeback for the Red Wings to get the point after having a pretty bad first period. Osgood played pretty well except for the one goal where he wasn’t ready. Stuart had a great game as did Helm, Draper, Abdelkader and Eaves. Hopefully they can get a win tomorrow night so their dads don’t have to see them lose three times in a row.

This 3-4 overtime loss brings us to:
13-10-5
31 points

Edmonton at Detroit (12/3/09)

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The Edmonton Oilers were at the Joe tonight to face the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard was in for the Wings as he’s been on a hot streak. Jeff Deslauriers was the goalie for the Oilers. Rafalski was out with back spasms so Jakub Kindl made his NHL debut.

The Red Wings fathers were with the team today as they’ll be joining them on the New York road trip for the weekend.

Early in the game the Oilers scored a fluke goal. Visnovsky brought it into the zone but kind of lost control of it. It hit Zetterberg’s stick and bounced up. Lebda hit it with his stick and it bounced forward and down landing right in front of Howard and bouncing into the net. The Oilers had the early lead one to nothing. I believe that was Kindl’s first shift. It wasn’t his fault but it’s probably a little bit disheartening just the same.

With about two and a half minutes left in the first period Robert Nilsson took a pass near the faceoff circle. He made a move around Ericsson and then faked out Jimmy Howard and scored. It was quite a play; he made a few people look silly.

With almost no time left in the first period Lidstrom made and incredible pass from his own corner to hit Bertuzzi perfectly at the Oilers’ blue line. Bertuzzi took the puck in and passed it back to Cleary in the slot. Cleary one timed it and scored with just nine tenths of a second left in the period. That brought the Wings back to within a goal.

Detroit had a few good chances in the first period but Edmonton had a lot more. They also had more shots on goal even though the Red Wings had a power play and the Oilers did not. In short, the Oilers were playing really well and Detroit was just trying to keep up. It was huge that they were able score the late goal to get back in the game.

In the second period Abdelkader was the recipient of a high hit. I didn’t see a great replay but it looked like he was hit in the face. He went down hard but he seemed fine. Right after that Maltby and May got into a scuffle with a few of the Oilers. The end result was a power play for Edmonton but Detroit was able to kill it.

Later in the second period the O’Sullivan tried to make a centering pass but it hit Datsyuk’s stick and redirected towards the net. Howard was already moving to position himself for a shot from the other side of the ice. He wasn’t able to close the five hole in time and it puck rolled right through and into the net. It was another fluky goal and it put the Oilers back up by two.

Just a few minutes later O’Sullivan brought the puck in on Howard who somehow got caught way out of the crease. O’Sullivan went around him and put the puck in the net. That made it four to one Oilers.

After the second period the Red Wings were still being badly outplayed. The Oilers were playing well and were also getting lucky bounces. The Wings needed three goals just to tie.

In the third period Ericsson left the game injured. It looked like he might have rolled his ankle a little bit. Hopefully, it won’t be serious. Pretty soon they’ll just have to take the entire Griffins roster and put them in lineup.

That was about it for this game. The Red Wings didn’t play very well. I think the bad bounces might have taken the wind out of their sails a little bit. This continues the trend of the Wings playing poorly when their dads are watching.

This 4-1 loss brings us to:
13-10-4
30 points