Archive for January, 2010

Detroit at New York Islanders (1/12/10)

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The Red Wings went back on the road tonight to play the New York Islanders. They were only home for a few days after their long west coast road trip and didn’t even play a game there before heading back on the road. The goalies for tonight’s game were Roloson and Howard.

After just 1:29 of the first period the Islanders scored. They got the puck in deep behind the Red Wings net and quickly passed it back out to the slot. Moulson was there and nobody really seemed to notice him. They were all focusing behind the net and the puck came out so quickly that by the time they looked at him he had already tipped the puck in.

A few seconds later the exact same thing almost happened again. Howard was ready for it this time and stopped it with his stick.

Towards the end of the first period Helm was gathering the puck in his own end he wiped out along the boards. He made a last ditch attempt to clear it as he went down but ended up turning it over to Gervais. He then fed it to Schremp in the slot who shot it quickly and scored for the Islanders’ second unanswered goal.

The Islanders outplayed the Red Wings in the first period. The Wings only had seven shots on goal and the Islanders had 13.

More than halfway through the second period Stuart tried to pass across the ice in front of his own net. He fanned on the pass and put it on a platter for Schremp right in the slot. He was all alone in front of Howard. He made a move and got Howard to commit one way then put the puck around him the other way to make it three to nothing Islanders. A few seconds later there was a goaltending change. I don’t really think any of the goals were all that terrible, it was really just the team playing poorly in front of Howard. The change was probably just supposed to shake up the team rather than punish Howard.

After Osgood came in it continued to be a shooting gallery as the Red Wings gave up three or four really good scoring chances almost immediately.

A few minutes later Maltby was called for slashing and the Islanders had the first power play of the game. The Wings almost killed it off but with just a few seconds left the Islanders got the puck over to Streit. He stepped up and shot it beating Osgood and making it four to nothing Islanders. This game was becoming hard to watch. It looked like a different team from the San Jose game.

The Red Wings only had two shots in the second period and only nine total compared to 26 for the Islanders. It was pretty awful.

About halfway through the third period the Islanders scored again. If anybody still cares, it was a faceoff in the Red Wings end and they got the puck to Okposo. He shot it from the top of the circle and Tavares was in front of the net. He either screened or distracted Osgood but either way it was five to nothing.

A few minutes later Gervais got the puck in the offensive zone and he took a few steps along the blue line with it and ripped it. Of course it went in the net making it six to nothing. It may have hit Meech’s skate but does anybody really care?

I don’t know if the Red Wings were just worn out from the long road trip or what but this is the worst they’ve played in a long time. They just didn’t show up tonight. They were completely dominated by the Islanders. I’ve never been so happy to see time run out in a game.

This 0-6 loss brings us to:
52 points

Detroit at San Jose (1/9/10)

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The Red Wings played the Sharks tonight in San Jose. Nabokov was the starting goalie for the Sharks. For the Red Wings there was no question that Jimmy Howard would get the start after his amazing game in Los Angeles. I think it’s pretty clear that he’s now the starting goalie. He’s earned the right to be number one by playing very well and very consistently. The win in Los Angeles would not have been possible if he hadn’t played so brilliantly.

About halfway through the first period there was a faceoff in the Red Wings’ end. Thornton won the draw and got the puck to Dan Boyle who ripped it at the net. Howard stopped it and the rebound dropped next to him. Marleau was there and tried to bang it in but Howard dove and made a second save this time with the outstretched stick. The puck slid off the end of the stick and Marleau stayed with it. Howard was down and Marleau had an easy shot to put in the net and take the lead one to nothing. You can’t blame Howard for that one. He made two great saves and still didn’t get any help from the rest of the team. In fact if Marleau hadn’t scored Dany Heatley was right behind him just as uncontested as he was. I don’t know who was being covered but they sure weren’t.

In the second period the Sharks had just entered the Red Wings end when Datsyuk jumped on one of their passes, picking it off and heading up ice on a breakaway. He entered the zone and fired a wrister that burned Nabokov cleanly to get the Wings on the board and tie the game at one. It was a great individual effort by Datsyuk and it helped to energize the rest of the team.

Later in the second period Janik had the puck at the point and took it along the blue line towards the middle. He shot it down the slot and Eaves tipped it down and into the net giving the Red Wings the two to one lead. The play was reviewed to see if it was a high stick but you couldn’t see it very well on the replay and the call on the ice was upheld.

Just 1:09 later Cleary got the puck and started up ice. Lidstrom saw an opportunity and joined the rush for a three on two breakaway. Cleary carried the puck up the left wing with Filppula in the middle and Lidstrom on the other wing. Filppula went straight to the net and stopped there. Lidstrom was in position to receive a pass. Nabokov had no idea what Cleary would do. Huskins was on Cleary and he laid down for a shot block. Cleary waited until he slid out of the way then he fired off a shot, and it was a good one. It beat Nabokov giving the Red Wings a three to one lead. It was a great job all around on that play!

In the third period the Red Wings got stuck on the ice for a while after two icings in a row. Thornton won the faceoff but it went back to his own end. Boyle dropped back to take it and attempted to clear it. Eaves was pressuring him and he didn’t get it out of the zone. Instead it came to Helm who picked it up and took it to the net. He shot it and Nabokov made the initial stop but Helm stayed with it and pushed it into the net. That made it four to one Wings. Eaves didn’t get an assist on the play but he was a big part of causing the turnover.

Later in the third Cleary got into a scuffle with Setoguchi. Cleary had checked him in the back and sent him flying into the net which he didn’t really appreciate. It wasn’t really a fight although they did get fighting majors for it. Setoguchi was trying to throw punches but Cleary had him in a hold and he couldn’t get his arms free. After a few seconds Cleary took him down and that was the end of it. Cleary got the extra two minutes for interference so the Sharks got a power play out of it. The Red Wings killed it off though so no harm done.

That was pretty much it as the Red Wings kept it tight for the rest of the game and ended up with the four to one win.

The Wings played really well tonight. Jimmy Howard had another fantastic game. Luckily, he wasn’t tested nearly as much as he was in the previous game. The Red Wings played much better defensively tonight and only allowed 22 shots on goal. This was a much more Red-Wings-like game.

Now the team heads back home for a few days off before they travel to New York for Tuesday night’s game against the Islanders.

This 4-1 win brings us to:
52 points

Detroit at Los Angeles (1/7/10)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The road trip continued tonight for the Red Wings as they rolled into Los Angeles to face the Kings. Babcock continued to show confidence in Jimmy Howard by starting him for the seventh straight game. Jonathan Quick was the goalie for the Kings.

Zetterberg and Cleary were both back in the lineup for the Red Wings tonight. That’s the good news. The bad news, and it’s pretty bad, is that Holmstrom broke his foot yesterday in practice and will be out up to a month.

The game started with a flurry by the Kings. Howard came up huge with several saves in the opening seconds of the game.

Near the end of the first period the Red Wings had a power play. They weren’t able to score on it but just after it expired they scored with just 0.2 seconds left in the period. Rafalski shot first and Quick sent the rebound out to the other side. Filppula quickly shot it again and it went through the five hole but hit Quick’s leg and bounced out to the side of the net. Cleary was right there on the doorstep and he banged it in for the late period lead.

There was no scoring in the second period but there were a ton of chances for the Kings at the end of the period. Jimmy Howard tried to clear the puck but turned it over near the net. He dove back to make the save and then made about five more during a huge scramble. The Red Wings recovered and got the puck out of the zone but Bertuzzi had to take a penalty in the process.

On the Kings’ power play there was another crazy scramble in front of the Red Wings net. Jimmy Howard was absolutely incredible during these sequences. The shots ended up 27 to 6 in the second period alone. Not a good period for the Wings but a truly brilliant one for Jimmy Howard.

Through two periods the shots were 37 to 19 in favor of the Kings. However quality scoring chances were 7 to 8 in favor of the Wings. A very unusual scenario for the Red Wings!

The third period looked like the Kings were on the power play all the time. The Red Wings could not keep the puck in the Kings’ end at all. The Kings were getting crazy amounts of shots on goal and the Wings weren’t doing a thing to stop it. Jimmy Howard was their only hope and he stopped one incredible scoring chance after another. This game should have been 10 to 1.

Midway through the third period, Howard got hit in the elbow by a hard shot and it stung him. Play was stopped for a short time but he shook it off and stayed in the game.

Then, with less the five minutes to go in the game the Kings were on the power play. Stoll shot wide and the puck bounced off the backboards to Brown who shot it again. The shot didn’t go directly toward the net but through the crease about a foot off the ice. Smyth whacked it out of the air and into the net breaking Jimmy Howard’s incredible shutout and tying the game.

From that point on the Red Wings started to apply some offensive pressure. With the game winding down Quick came out to play a dump in but it went to the corner. He thought he was going to just wait for it to come to the trapezoid but he didn’t count on the speedy Darren Helm flying in to play it. Helm got it and Quick scurried back to his net. Helm fought for it in the corner, won the battle and took it to the net himself. With just 17 seconds left in the game Helm shoved the puck towards the net and somehow got it by Quick on the short side to take back the lead.

The Kings pulled their goalie for the last few seconds of the game but the Red Wings held them off.

Wow! What a win! This was the definition of the goalie stealing a game and what an important game, too! The Wings desperately needed to get two points in regulation tonight since the Kings are another team they’re chasing in the standings.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the Red Wings get outplayed as badly as they did in the third period. Luckily, Jimmy Howard proved that he is a world class goalie and the rest of the guys, especially Helm, worked their tails off at the end of the game.

This game would have been tough to watch if it weren’t Jimmy Howard’s performance. Thanks to him it was pretty exciting.

The shots on goal ended up 52 to 25 in favor of the Kings. I just can’t say enough about the game Howard played.

The Red Wings are still three points behind the Kings for the 8th playoff spot but they do have a game in hand. Hopefully, they can continue to chip away at the lead and end up comfortably in the playoffs by the end of the season.

This 1-2 win brings us to:
50 points

Detroit at Anaheim (1/5/10)

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The Red Wings continued their western road trip tonight with a game in Anaheim against the Ducks. Howard got the start for the Wings again as he’s being allowed to continue on his hot streak. Hiller was the goalie for the Ducks. Leino was a healthy scratch tonight and Brad May was in.

In the first period Detroit was on the power play and Bertuzzi turned the puck over in the neutral zone to Koivu. He took off shorthanded towards the Red Wings net. Rafalski was on him and harassing him pretty well. He got the shot away and Howard stopped it with his pads. Somehow Koivu poked at it and it came off of Howard’s pads and slid back out to the side. Koivu was able to get it back and put it in the net for the shorthanded goal.

Then a few minutes later the Ducks were pressuring hard and Jimmy Howard was all over the place trying to keep things under control. Then the puck was shot off the backboards and bounced quickly out towards the side of the net. When Howard realized where it was he started towards the post to shut down that side of the net but he wasn’t fast enough. Beleskey shot it just between the post and Howard’s outstretched skate and into the net. That gave the Ducks the early two to nothing lead.

Near the end of the first period Doug Janik fought with Troy Bodie. They got tangled up behind the Red Wings net and Janik dropped the gloves first. They grabbed on to each other and got off a few punches but mostly they were just wrestling for control. The referee moved the net out of their way so they wouldn’t fall into it. That was a nice move on his part. Eventually Janik got Bodie down on the ice and could have wailed on him but he held back and let him off easy showing what a good sport he is.

The Red Wings were pretty badly outplayed in the first period. They were outshot 10 to 15 and the Ducks had 10 quality chances to the Red Wings’ six. All things considered I think the Wings were lucky that they were only down by two goals. It could have been worse.

Early in the second period Brad May started a fight with Sheldon Brookbank. It didn’t last long because Brookbank went down almost immediately. By the time the cameras were on them May was on top of Brookbank and it was all over. They only got four minutes each so it technically wasn’t considered a fight.

Right after that Eminger lined up on Helm and checked him hard even though Helm never touched the puck. It was pretty clearly intentional. He was looking to hit Helm and was never concerned with playing the puck. The penalty boxes were filling up with three Ducks and two Red Wings and the game was taking a nasty turn.

Late in the second period Meech got into a fight with Nokelainen. Meech was sticking up for himself after a being hit by Nokelainen earlier. It wasn’t much of a fight but Meech ended up on top so I guess that counts for something.

The Wings played better in the second period but still didn’t get any goals. The Ducks still led two to nothing.

A bit past the halfway point of the third period the Red Wings were applying some pressure. Lidstrom shot from the point with Holmstrom in front of Hiller causing havoc. Hiller stopped the shot with his pads but he couldn’t see where the rebound went because of Holmstrom. Filppula saw it though and he pounced on it and put it in the back of the net to get the Red Wings on the board.

A few minutes later there was a face off in the Red Wings end. The Ducks won the draw and sent it hard around behind the net. Rafalski was there to cut it off but it looked like he tried to just angle it softly towards Helm. Instead it was jumped on by Getzlaf. He dropped it off for Perry who quickly shot it and scored putting the Ducks back up by two.

Towards the end of the third Ryan and Lebda did a little pushing and shoving and Ryan wanted Lebda to fight. Lebda wasn’t interested but Bertuzzi was. Bertuzzi dropped the gloves and took Ryan straight down to the ice. I don’t even think there were any punches it was just a takedown. As Ryan went down he pulled Bertuzzi’s jersey which came right off. That would have earned Bertuzzi a game misconduct for not using his fight strap but since it was so fast they just gave double minors instead of five minute majors. Since it wasn’t technically a fight there was no game misconduct for Bertuzzi’s jersey coming off.

The Red Wings pulled their goalie at the end but to no avail. With just a few seconds left Chipchura cleared the puck all the way down the ice and into the empty net giving the Ducks one more goal.

The Red Wings didn’t play very well tonight. They looked decent in short bursts but overall they just didn’t seem to be all that into it. They need to turn it around next game though because even though it’s only halfway through the season the playoff race has already begun.

This 1-4 loss brings us to:
48 points

Detroit at Phoenix (1/2/10)

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

The Red Wings were on the road tonight in Phoenix to take on the Coyotes. The starting goaltenders were Bryzgalov and Howard. Eaves was back in the lineup tonight after recovering from the flu.

The Red Wings looked a little sloppy to start the game. Their passes weren’t connecting very well and they were turning the puck over a lot. Phoenix was getting a lot of chances and Jimmy Howard had to make too many saves. Howard was up to the challenge though and was able to prevent his team from falling behind early.

In the first period Detroit was on the power play and they weren’t able to get anything going. Phoenix did a good job of shutting them down and they killed off the penalty. After it expired the Red Wings finally got set up and had a few chances in front of the net but Bryzgalov stopped them. Then Datsyuk got the puck to Lidstrom at the point and he released a shot. Holmstrom was in front of the net and he tipped it into the other corner of the goal. I don’t think Bryzgalov even saw it. So after being out played for most of the period, the Red Wings were very fortunate to be up one to nothing.

In the second period Phoenix had a 5 on 3 power play. The puck came to Lang down low and he passed it through the slot to Lombardi on the other side. It was a great pass and Lombardi wasted no time burying the puck in his side of the net which was mostly wide open for the split second before Jimmy Howard could move across. That tied the game at one each.

With less than 20 seconds left in the second period Datsyuk got the puck to Lidstrom at the point. Lidstrom fired it at the net as Holmstrom moved to the front. Holmstrom tipped it and got it by Bryzgalov to take back the lead.

In the third period Detroit was on the power play. Bertuzzi passed across to Datsyuk who quickly shot it into the net beating Bryzgalov to make it three to one Wings.

The Red Wings shut the door for the rest of the third period. The Coyotes had some chances but for the most part the Wings controlled the game. When the Coyotes did get it Jimmy Howard continued to be on fire and stopped everything.

Near the end of the game the Coyotes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Phoenix won a faceoff in the Detroit end but the Wings controlled. Helm got the puck and banked it off the boards to himself and took off toward the empty net. He took it into the Phoenix end and scored the empty net goal to make it four to one Red Wings.

After a bit of a rough start the Red Wings played very well tonight. This was another important game for the Red Wings since the Coyotes are ahead of them in the standings. It was critical to get two points tonight and not give up any. The Wings did a great job in that regard and hopefully they can keep this streak going and continue to have a great road trip.

This 4-1 win brings us to:
48 points