Archive for February, 2010

Ottawa at Detroit (2/13/10)

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

The Ottawa Senators were in town tonight to face the Red Wings in their final game before the Olympic break. There was a lot of lineup news tonight. First off Filppula was out of the lineup with a sore groin. Eaves was still out with his ankle sprain. Kronwall had his new knee brace so he was in the lineup. Maltby was in but he’s nursing a shoulder problem that may require season ending surgery. Brad May had been put on waivers yesterday as a first step in clearing cap space for Lilja. The goalies for tonight’s game were Brian Elliott and Jimmy Howard.

Before the game started they had a ceremony to honor all of the Olympians in tonight’s game and there a lot of them. Counting Babcock there were 13 Olympians in the game tonight. They had the kids of the Red Wings players and staff come out wearing the Olympic jersey for each country represented and then announced the players from that country. It was pretty cool. The kids did a great job and really seemed to enjoy it. It must have been quite a thrill for them.

The Senators came into this game absolutely on fire. They had won 13 of their last 14 games including a stretch of 11 in a row. They have an overflowing bounty of points and Detroit is in dire need of them. Both teams wanted to finish on a high note heading into the break but for Detroit it was critical.

Halfway through the first period Draper took a faceoff deep in the Senators’ zone. He won it but got tied up so Maltby grabbed it and sent it back to Stuart at the point. He shot it and Elliott looked like he had it covered but Meech slapped at it and knocked it out from under his glove and back to the slot. Maltby chased it down and buried it for the first goal of the game putting the Red Wings up one to nothing.

Later in the first period Detroit was on the power play. Zetterberg made a great play at center ice to get the puck and enter the zone. Datsyuk got the puck and tried to center it for Zetterberg but it squirted all the way through to Lidstrom at the point while Datsyuk circled around behind the net to the same side of the ice as Lidstrom. Lidstrom fired what Elliott expected to be a shot but was really a pass to Datsyuk. He tipped it perfectly into the top corner of the net. It was just an incredible tip; it shouldn’t even be possible.

A few seconds later Howard made a huge save when the Senators had a breakaway chance. That would have been a game changer if Howard hadn’t stopped it.

Nearing the halfway point of the second period the Senators got the puck in deep. Howard came over to the post and Kovalev chipped the puck but not towards Howard. Instead he chipped it towards the slot much like Meech did in the first period. Regin was standing right on the doorstep and when the puck came to him he chipped it in easily making it two to one Red Wings.

In the second period Holmstrom left the game because his bruised left knee was bothering him. I don’t know if he aggravated it during the game or if it was just sore from playing. Not good news though.

Just past the halfway point of the second period Detroit was on the power play. The Senators tried to clear the zone but Miller made a nice play to keep it in and passed it ahead to Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi took it towards the side of the net and made a sweet pass to Cleary through the crease and right between Elliott and Carkner. Cleary tapped it home perfectly to give the Wings the two goal lead once again.

In the third period Datsyuk had a shot that did not score but was so amazing that it deserves mention. As he was skating by the net he put the puck back between his own legs which made it look completely like he was about to make a brilliant pass to somebody behind him. The only thing is he didn’t pass it or drop it off. With his stick between his own legs and the puck behind him he shot the puck on net. It was just incredible. It surprised Elliott but he recovered quickly enough to stop it anyway. I have a feeling we’ll see that move again. It’s bound to work more often than not.

With about a minute and half left Ottawa pulled their goalie. To clear the puck from the Red Wings’ end, Datsyuk chipped it up high through the air to center ice. Chris Neil tried to catch it but he missed and it dropped to the ice right in front of Franzen. He took off towards the empty net and put it in for the insurance goal making it four to one.

The Red Wings played a very complete game tonight. From end to end they worked hard and played like a team. Most importantly, they were able to get the early lead in the game and then hold on to it. They never let up and held the lead the entire game. Things have really been looking up the last few games.

The Wings now head into the Olympic break on a high note and hopefully can continue the trend afterwards. They don’t play again until March 1st.

Now we get to see our favorite players switch up teams and go at it. Enjoy the Olympics, everybody!

This 1-4 win brings us to:
68 points

San Jose at Detroit (2/11/10)

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The San Jose Sharks came to Detroit for tonight’s game. Holmstrom was back in the lineup. Eaves and Kronwall were both still out. This was Franzen’s second game back. He said he felt really good in the last game so hopefully his energy level isn’t a concern. Nabokov was in net for the Sharks and the Red Wings continued to go with Jimmy Howard who has still been playing very well even when the team loses.

The Sharks are probably the Red Wings favorite opponent this years as they’ve beaten them all three times they’ve played them.

The game had a physical edge right from the start. Helm got leveled along the boards and then Brad Stuart took a big hit. Franzen was also delivering some big hits. Both teams were finishing their checks and playing with a lot of energy.

Clowe elbowed Filppula in the head and was called for it so the Red Wings had the first power play. The Wings had a few good chances but the Sharks were able to kill off the penalty.

A few minutes later Detroit had a good penalty kill of their own thanks in part to an amazing save by Jimmy Howard.

Later in the first period Detroit went on the power play. Zetterberg brought the puck into the zone and dished it back to Franzen without even looking at him. Franzen ripped it and Nabokov got a piece of it with his glove but the shot was so hard that it still got through and into the net giving the Wings the lead.

Just a few seconds after that, Wallin fired the puck from the blue line off the backboards. Howard was out to challenge expecting a shot on net and Thornton moved in behind him. The rebound came right to Thornton who had a wide open net because of how he had positioned himself behind Howard. Just that quickly the Sharks tied the game at one.

The Red Wings had a big push for the last several minutes of the first period. Datsyuk was playing like his hair was on fire; he was just everywhere. He was throwing the body around, getting great chances and just looking awesome. Franzen was also playing really well. In fact it seemed like every line was getting great scoring chances.

Then, at the end of the period, just when the Red Wings really had some momentum going, Helminen was left wide open in front of the Wings’ net. Mitchell got the puck to him and Helminen put it in the net easily because Howard was over at the other side of the net covering the guy with the puck. That gave the Sharks the lead with just 10 seconds to go in the period.

The Red Wings played great in the second period. They had chance after chance and tons of energy. They didn’t score but they did build a lot of momentum that would hopefully carry over to the third period.

In the third period the Red Wings continued to play better than they have in weeks. They had tons of shots and scoring chances and Nabokov had to stand on his head to preserve the lead.

Then with about seven minutes left in the game Jason Williams brought the puck into the zone and made a nice toe drag move around his defender. He released a blistering shot that went into the net and back out so quickly that the referee didn’t notice it and neither did the goal judge. Play continued for a few more seconds and at the next whistle it was reviewed and called a good goal. That tied it up at two with the Wings looking incredible.

A few minutes later Ericsson fought with Clowe. It was a fairly long fight but there weren’t that many punches. That was a big boost to the fans and the team. Not that they needed it. I think Clowe had been aggravating Ericsson all night and he had finally just had enough of it and dropped the gloves.

Datsyuk had a breakaway a few minutes later and was hooked down entering the zone so the Wings had a power play with about five minutes left in the game. The Sharks killed it off but the Red Wings continued the pressure. They weren’t able to score though and the game stayed tied until the end so Detroit secured a point and went to overtime.

In the overtime Datsyuk drew another penalty with 2:21 left. Again Nabokov and the Sharks stopped the Wings’ power play. That was pretty much it for the overtime period as neither team scored. Detroit ended up with 52 shots on goal to the Sharks’ 26. It was just an amazing effort by the Wings.

In the shootout Datsyuk went first. He made some moves and shot it but hit the post. Pavelski was up next. He came in stopped short to try and throw off Howard but he stopped the shot. Williams came up and made a nice move that Nabokov just barely stopped. Nabokov ended up in the net and the puck was right on the goal line. Clowe went next and missed the net. Bertuzzi was last up for the Wings and Nabokov stopped his shot as well. Then it was Marleau for the Sharks. He deked and shot beating Howard for the game winning goal.

This was the most exciting game I’ve seen in a long time. The Red Wings had so much energy and the competition level was playoff quality. Detroit really deserved to get two points tonight but getting one is better than nothing. As well as they played you can’t really complain. This was one of the most complete games I’ve seen from them this season. Let’s hope they can keep this momentum rolling on Saturday when the Senators come to town.

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

Detroit at St. Louis (2/9/10)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The Red Wings came into St. Louis tonight with something to prove after giving up a three goal lead on Saturday in Los Angeles. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and for the Blues it was Chris Mason. The big news was that Franzen did indeed return to the lineup. That’s huge for the Wings; they really need him. Holmstrom was not able to go tonight so he was out of the lineup.

In the opening seconds of the game Bertuzzi was called for holding. The Red Wings did a good job killing off the penalty to avoid getting into trouble early.

Brad May and Brad Winchester dropped the gloves and went at it in the first period. Winchester had grabbed May’s jersey near the collar and was sort of shaking him and throwing a jab each time. May was throwing haymakers. I think May landed fewer punches but they were higher quality.

Between the early penalty kill and then the fight, the Red Wings had some momentum going.

Later in the first period there was a faceoff deep in the Blues’ end. Helm won it back to Ericsson at the point. He shot the puck as Draper skated through the crease behind Mason. The puck hit a few people along the way and then hit a few skates, the last one being Draper’s. It went into the net and Draper got credit for it. It was a lucky goal and a nice break for the Red Wings. It was later pointed out that the puck was dropped unfairly and should have been done over but that’s the breaks I guess.

The Blues had a power play at the end of the period and then a huge push after the Wings killed it off. The Red Wings weathered the storm and held the Blues off the board. The Blues had almost double the shots on goal as the Red Wings did so they were very lucky to have the lead.

In the second period Detroit had just finished a power play when the Blues took over. Perron came out of the box and got the puck at the point. He made a few moves on his defender and shot the puck. Kariya was in front of the net causing havoc. It looked like it hit Jason Williams and redirected slightly. It was just enough to put it in the back of the net and tie the game at one each.

Late in the second period there was a hooking call coming to Detroit which I felt was very nitpicky. Before the Red Wings could touch the puck the Blues had a couple of shots at it. Kariya had gone to the front of the net and the puck just happened to bounce right to him. He banged it home and gave the Blues the lead late in the period.

In the third period Cleary was called for holding as he was losing his balance and falling down. On the power play Johnson skated into the Red Wings’ end. It looked like he was going to pass all the way across the ice and that’s what Howard was expecting. Howard started to move across the crease but the puck didn’t go very far. Instead of crossing the ice it was deflected into the net by McDonald. That made it three to one St. Louis.

After that the Red Wings amped up the pressure. Jason Williams had an amazing chance at a wide open net and Colaiacovo got his stick in the way. It was a perfect shot but just bad luck for Williams. Then Stuart chipped one up that almost came down behind Mason but it landed on top of the net instead.

The push didn’t last long though as St. Louis went on a power play and then really started playing with a lot of jump. The Red Wings weathered that storm and then pushed back.

Franzen sent the puck across hoping to connect with Datsyuk in the middle. The puck went all the way across the ice where Zetterberg picked it up and centered it again. The puck hit Datsyuk’s skate and redirected into the net. That brought the Wings back to within a goal.

Late in the third period Detroit was pressuring again. Rafalski made a great move to avoid his defender and keep the puck in the zone, and then he got it to Filppula down low. Filppula threw it to the front of the net where Bertuzzi was literally being covered by every single Blues player on the ice. There was a huge scrum in front of Mason and somehow through all of that the puck trickled across the goal line. Filppula got credit for the game tying goal. There was a lot of contact with the goaltender but it wasn’t Bertuzzi’s fault since he was being shoved and hammered by Blues players.

The tie held until the end of regulation so it was time for some four on four action. Unfortunately, although it was wild and crazy, nothing could be decided in the overtime so it was on to another shootout. I’m really starting to get tired of shootouts and three point games.

St. Louis went first in the shootout and McDonald was first up for them. He came in with speed and Howard came way out to challenge and stopped him. Datsyuk was first for Detroit. He went back and forth with it and lost control at the last second. He still got his shot away but missed the net. Oshie was next and he scored through Howard’s five hole. Then Williams came up for the Wings and made a sweet move and scored high on the short side. Boyes was up next and he totally faked out Howard and put the puck around his outstretched pad. Zetterberg was next but he was stopped by Mason so St. Louis won the game.

This game was strange. The Red Wings played well at times and poorly at other times. All of their goals were either ugly or lucky or both. Mason played a great game which made it tough. It was awesome the way the Red Wings fought back to tie the game but frustrating that they were in that position in the first place. Oh well, they got a point and that’s better than nothing.

This 3-4 overtime loss brings us to:
65 points

More Red Wings Injury Updates

Monday, February 8th, 2010

The biggest news is that Johan Franzen is definitely going to be in the lineup for tomorrow night’s game. Woo hoo! He’s been out for most of the season with a torn ACL and he’s been sorely missed. Hopefully, his presence will provide some much needed offense.

In other good news, Drew Miller, who hurt his ankle blocking a shot, is expected to play tomorrow. His injury must not have been too severe.

The bad news is that Kronwall won’t play, but only because he’s waiting for a new knee brace. I guess that means that once he gets the brace he’ll be ready to go. All things considered that news could have been a lot worse.

In other bad news, Holmstrom might play but they won’t decide for sure in until tomorrow, and Patrick Eaves most likely will not play because of a sprained ankle.

Detroit at Los Angeles (2/6/10)

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

For this afternoon’s game the Red Wings were on the road in Los Angeles to face the Kings. This game featured two red hot young goalies in Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick.

There’s been some trade news to report today. To make cap space for Franzen the Red Wings traded Ville Leino to Philadelphia for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a 5th round draft pick in 2011. Tollefsen had to be put on waivers immediately and is being sent straight to Grand Rapids. He’s had some concussion and knee problems lately so hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy.

The Red Wings drew first blood in this one. Nearing the halfway point of the first period Datsyuk brought the puck into the zone and took it to the corner. Holmstrom was in front causing a distraction. Zetterberg snuck in the back door and was left wide open. Datsyuk made a great pass through middle and Zetterberg tapped it in easily for the first goal making it one to nothing Wings.

Just 16 seconds later Cleary brought the puck into the zone and tried to pass it to Filppula but he didn’t connect. The puck bounced down in the slot and Filppula circled around and fired it towards the net as Cleary continued to the goal. It hit the skate of a Kings player in front of the net and went in. Just like that the Wings had a two goal lead early in the game.

Near the end of the first period the Red Wings went on the power play when Doughty was called for a cross check. The Kings had a shorthanded scoring chance and Williams was forced to take a hooking penalty to prevent a possible goal. That made it 4 on 4 for the rest of the period. There was a face off in the Kings end with about 11 seconds to go. Detroit won the face and Lidstrom fired the puck off the back boards. It bounced to the front where Rafalski shot it. Quick stopped it but the rebound was just sitting there in front of the open net and Zetterberg popped it home. That gave the Red Wings a three nothing lead with fewer than 5 seconds to go in the first period.

About halfway through the second period Brad Stuart turned the puck over in his own end. Parse ended up with it and took it behind the net. He centered it to Frolov who one-timed it right in front of the net. Jimmy Howard stopped it but the rebound came right back to Frolov who put it in the net on his second try. That made it three to one Red Wings.

It was announced during the second period that Holmstrom had left with left leg injury. I’m not sure when it happened or exactly what caused the injury.

Later in the second period Howard came out to play a dump in. Somehow he put it towards his own skates and then lost it. As Howard was trying regain control Handzus came in and poked it away from him. Handzus then gathered it in and put it in the net. That was big flub by Howard and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about it. That made it three to two Detroit.

Just a few minutes later the Kings tied the game. Simmonds was working the puck down low and threw it towards the front of the net. Smyth and Stoll were both right there on the doorstep. Smyth managed to smack it into the back of the net to even the score with under four minutes left in the second period.

At some point earlier in the game Eaves had blocked a shot and must have injured his foot. He left the bench and didn’t return.

Then, late in the second period Miller was also injured blocking a shot and left the game. With Holmstrom, Eaves and Miller all out of the game, Babcock had to do a lot of line juggling.

Zetterberg and Helm both came close to scoring. They hit the same post within a few seconds of each other.

Late in the third period the Kings had a shot on goal that Howard stopped but the rebound was bouncing around. Handzus grabbed it and put it in the net for the Kings’ fourth unanswered goal. After being up three to nothing, Detroit was now trailing by one.

The Red Wings pulled the goalie at the end but weren’t able to score.

This was just about the worst outcome imaginable for the Red Wings. Playing against a team that they’re trailing in the standings they ended up losing after having a three goal lead. To make matters worse they also lost three players to injury. If they Wings had won the game they would have been seven points behind L.A. in the standings. Since they lost they’re now 11 points behind. That’s a four point swing and a lost opportunity.

Losing the three forwards was probably a big factor in why the Wings lost the game. The rest of the team had to pick up the slack and by the end I think they were just plain worn out. They didn’t play badly. They hit a lot of posts and gave up some fluky goals. This is just a day that I’m sure they’d rather forget.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
64 points

FanPulse Released for the iPhone

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

A new iPhone app called FanPulse has just been released and I think you’re going to like it. It allows sports fans to connect with each other and keep up with their favorite teams.

Check out the list of features:

  • FanPulse is best way to follow your favorite teams and to talk to your friends before, during and after the game.
  • Check-in to games to chat and trash-talk with friends who are also watching – it’s like being at the game together!
  • Can’t watch a game? Get scores and breaking news sent straight to your iPhone.
  • An app that delivers not just scores, but unique commentary from this blog!

You will find posts on FanPulse if you add the Red Wings as one of your favorite teams.

If you have an iPhone you should download FanPulse and check it out as soon as possible. The first 2,000 downloads will be entered into a raffle to win one of twenty $50 iTunes gift cards.

You can find FanPulse here: FanPulse. Check it out!

Red Wings Injury Updates

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Here’s some great news for Red Wings fans. After battling concussion symptoms for nearly a year, Andreas Lilja has returned to active duty. He’s starting in Grand Rapids for about three games and then he should be ready to re-join the Wings. Now Ken Holland has unenviable task of figuring out how to clear cap space for him which will be all the more difficult with Franzen also returning soon. They will most likely have to shed a few players.

Franzen is set to return Tuesday. That’s really good news for the injury riddled Red Wings. Hopefully, he can re-gain his scoring touch quickly and help the team secure a playoff berth.

Kronwall’s knee injury doesn’t appear to be too serious. He’s expected to be a game time decision for Saturday afternoon’s game in Los Angeles.

So it looks like things are finally starting to turn around for the Red Wings health-wise. Let’s hope they stay healthy for the rest of the season.

Detroit at Anaheim (2/3/10)

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The Red Wings continued their west coast road trip tonight with a game in Anaheim. Jonas Hiller was the goalie for the Ducks and Jimmy Howard was in for the Wings. Ericsson was back in the lineup tonight after being told to sit out last night due to poor performance. This was the second night of back to back games. The Red Wings played very well last night in San Jose and got a big win and an important two points.

There was some bad news from the San Jose game however. Kronwall was out of the lineup tonight. It seems last night’s tweak reinjured his knee injury. There was no word as to how long he’d be out this time.

Anaheim scored just passed the one minute mark of the game. Whitney fired the puck from the blue line and it hit a skate on the way and changed direction. It was a fluky goal but it put the Ducks up one to nothing early in the game.

Later Ericsson threw a big check on Bodie and then they had a fight. I think Ericsson was on a mission to show that he really does want to be in the lineup. It wasn’t much of a fight but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Nearing the end of the first period Eminger shot the puck from the point. It hit Chipchura in the hand and went into the net. Howard immediately claimed that it was batted in and the officials discussed it. They went to video review for the ruling. It clearly went off his hand but you couldn’t really tell if it was batted or not. Therefore the call on the ice was upheld and the Ducks had the two to nothing lead. It was another fluky goal that Howard had no chance of stopping.

About halfway through the second period Perry had the puck down low and centered it to Ryan who whiffed on the shot. The puck went through to Getzlaf who sent it back to Ryan. He was still being left alone in front of the net. He shot again and didn’t whiff this time. He put the puck in the back of the net. Datsyuk was the closest player but Ryan managed to get a few feet of separation on him. It wasn’t that much but it was enough. The Red Wings were down three to nothing.

Near the end of the second period Koivu was called for hooking and the Wings went on the power play. Rafalski found a seam and hit Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk took it to the net and fired one that beat Hiller up high to get the Red Wings on the board. The goal came with just 10 seconds left in the period. It was then three to one Ducks.

Near the end of the game Howard went to the bench for the extra skater. The Red Wings had a few top quality chances but they weren’t able to beat Hiller who was just amazing.

One good thing to take away from this game is that the Red Wings had a ton of shots on goal; 46 of them in fact. They just didn’t seem to have the legs to keep up defensively. Offensively, they looked great though. If not for those two fluky goals this game might have been completely different. Jimmy Howard was superb once again, and the Red Wings had 29 quality scoring chances. On paper they should have won. Hiller was just too good.

This 1-3 loss brings us to:
64 points

Detroit at San Jose (2/2/10)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The Red Wings were out west tonight for a game against the San Jose Sharks. The Goalies were Jimmy Howard and Evgeni Nabokov. Thankfully, Kronwall was not seriously hurt on the dangerous looking play in the previous game so he was still in the lineup. Holmstrom returned tonight as well. He was still the leading goal scorer even after missing 13 games so it’s really huge to get him back. Ericsson was a healthy scratch tonight after not performing up to expectations so far this season. They decided to let him watch the game from the press box and put Meech in on defense to replace him.

In the first period, Heatley brought the puck into the Red Wings’ end and fired one that hit Howard up high. Howard had trouble controlling it and the rebound dropped to the ice right next to him. Joe Thornton was driving the net and shoved it across the line to give the Sharks the early one to nothing lead.

A few minutes later there was another situation where Howard wasn’t able to corral a rebound after a shot by Heatley. Again Thornton was on the doorstep and put the puck around Howard and into the net. At that point it wasn’t even halfway through the first period and the Sharks were up two to nothing.

Not long after that the Red Wings got the puck in deep and Filppula dug it out of the corner and got control of it. He moved towards the side of the net and made a sweet pass to Cleary who was pretty much wide open in front of the net. Cleary tapped it in to put the Red Wings on the board.

Nearing the end of the first period the Red Wings had a two man advantage for about a minute and a half after a tripping call and a delay of game. Datsyuk threw it to the net and the rebound came to Holmstrom right in front. He whacked at it and Nabokov blocked that one, too. However, the second rebound came to Zetterberg at the side of the net and he banged it home. It was a great power play goal and the second point of the night for Holmstrom in his first game back. That goal tied the game at two.

There was no scoring in the second period.

In the third period the Red Wings were on the power play. The Wings were pressuring and the puck ended up down low near the goal line. Meech fired it and bounced it off of Nabokov’s back and into the net. That gave the Red Wings the lead three to two.

A few minutes later the Wings took a two goal lead when Rafalski spotted Eaves down low all by himself. Rafalski made a beautiful pass and Eaves put in the net easily. That was the fourth unanswered goal for the Red Wings.

During the third period Ken Daniels announced that Kronwall had left the game because of a “slight tweak”. He said it was nothing serious and I certainly hope that’s true.

The Sharks pulled their goalie but the scored held and the Red Wings won it four to two. What a great road win for the Wings, especially after being down two to nothing. They really showed some heart tonight. It sure was a much needed two points! Let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come for the remaining games before the Olympic break. The Red Wings really need a big push for these last few games to go into the break in decent shape.

This 4-2 win brings us to:
64 points