Archive for April, 2010

Detroit at Columbus (4/9/10)

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Tonight was the second half of the home and home with Columbus. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and Steve Mason was the goaltender for Columbus.

The first period had a great pace and a lot of scoring chances both ways but no goals were allowed.

In the second period Jimmy Howard had some help from a few goal posts and there were a lot of blocked shots but there were still no goals allowed by either side. The Wings were outshooting the Jackets 22 to 18 at that point.

There was an exciting moment in the third period when Helm was awarded a penalty shot. He came in fast but Mason poked the puck away before he got a shot off. The Wings had a ton of shots in the third but Mason remained strong.

Regulation time ended with no score so they went to overtime.

In the overtime period the Wings and the Blue Jackets both had power plays, although it was a short one for the Jackets. Neither team was able to score in the overtime either so they had to determine a winner by shootout.

The Jackets went first in the shootout. They started with Nash. He hesitated long enough for Howard to commit and then put the puck around his pad and in. Datsyuk came up, made a nice move and beat Mason high over the glove. Then Voracek went. Howard stayed with him and didn’t give him anything. Williams made a nice move but Mason didn’t bite. Huselius shot one that Howard gloved. Kronwall shot a backhander that went wide. Umberger shot and Howard stopped it. Bertuzzi was up next. He came in slowly skating from side to side and faked a few shots. Finally he shot one high that Mason got a piece of but it hit the post then hit Mason in the back and then went into the net ending the game.

So the Red Wings won it in the shootout and that gave them 100 points for the 10th season in a row. It’s nice to see them continue that streak since they have the longest currently active run of 100 point seasons. At one point in the season it didn’t look like that would hit that mark this year and then they went on an absolute tear.

This was a pretty exciting game even though there wasn’t any scoring. It was a superb dual between two great goalies. Howard had a relatively easy night facing 22 shots while Mason had to turn away 45. This game didn’t really mean much to either team since the Jackets are out of the playoffs and the Wings have clinched. The only thing left to play for was the 100 point mark for the Wings.

This 1-0 win brings us to:
100 points

Columbus at Detroit (4/7/10)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The Columbus Blue Jackets came to Detroit tonight to play the Red Wings. The goaltending matchup was Jimmy Howard against Steve Mason. Lebda was out of the lineup tonight in favor of Lilja.

Early in the first period Filppula took the puck away in his own end and Bertuzzi brought it to the Blue Jackets’ end. He dropped it back for Kronwall who ripped one as Stuart went to the front of the net. Mason had trouble seeing it and it found the back of the net to make it one to nothing early in the game.

A few minutes later the Wings were caught in a change. Lidstrom tried the outlet pass up the middle but Umberger picked it off and started toward the net as Lidstrom was heading out of the zone. Umberger stepped around Lidstrom and shot the puck perfectly into the top corner tying the game at one.

Eaves hit Pahlsson as he was falling along the boards and the Columbus players didn’t like it. Some of them went after Eaves and he ended up fighting with Russell. Helm was involved, too. Luckily Helm didn’t get in the face as he had a freshly broken nose from the previous game. The fights didn’t amount to much. The Wings did end up with a power play out of it but weren’t able to score.

Late in the first period a Blue Jackets’ pass hit a skate and bounced between Filppula and Lilja to Pahlsson right in the slot. He shot it quickly before Howard could react and scored to take the lead.

A few seconds later Blunden crushed Stuart with a big hit and was called for boarding. Luckily, Stuart didn’t seem to be hurt on the play. The Wings had 1:03 of power play time left over to start the second period.

There was no scoring in the second period thanks in part to some monster saves by Steve Mason and Jimmy Howard. There was also a fantastic defensive play by Lilja. He saved a goal by sweeping the puck away after it got in behind Jimmy Howard.

There was also a scary incident when Kronwall went down awkwardly after hitting a rut during a race for an icing. He got up liming and it looked like he might have hurt his knee. He stayed out there though and didn’t miss a shift so hopefully it was nothing.

In the third period the Wings had a power play when Blunden was called for tripping. It was a pretty soft call because it looked like Ericsson was falling down anyway but Blunden’s stick was between his skates. On the power play Zetterberg fired the puck and it hit Holmstrom’s skate in front and bounced down and into the net tying the game at two.

After the goal Umberger complained so much that he was given an unsportsmanlike penalty. On that power play Lidstrom launched a rocket that hit Datsyuk’s stick and went into the net to take the lead just forty seconds after they had tied the game.

A few seconds later Cleary ripped one and scored again for the third goal in 1:16. Suddenly the Wings were up four to two. Brassard was given a game misconduct for complaining after that goal. The reason they were so hot was that they didn’t think the original penalty should have been called in the first place. They really lost their composure. It was probably the culmination of a very frustrating season for them.

Shortly after that goal Blunden scored after making a beautiful move on a give and go play and beating Jimmy Howard.

There was no more scoring after that so the Wings ended up winning three to four after a crazy third period.

It wasn’t the cleanest win I’ve ever seen but they got the job done. That was the home finale for the Wings. Two more road games and then it’s the playoffs.

This 3-4 win brings us to:
98 points

Detroit at Philadelphia (4/4/10)

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Detroit was on the road today to play the Flyers in Philadelphia. Osgood got the start for the Wings to give Jimmy Howard the day off. Howard (and the rest of the Wings) had just played the day before. Brian Boucher was in net for the Flyers.

Very early in the game, Franzen lost the puck at center ice and Carcillo ended up with it. He took it to the net and shot high on Osgood’s glove side. It looked like one that Osgood should have had but it made it into the net. That was just 17 seconds into the game.

A few minutes later Laperriere hit Helm along the boards. It looked like Helm either caught the shoulder in the face or else hit his face on the glass and the ended up bleeding quite a bit. He had to go to the bench for repairs. It looked like he had a broken nose since they had so much trouble stopping the bleeding. When the repairs were done he had his nose packed with gauze. It looked like a mostly clean hit but as Eddie Olczyk mentioned, Laperriere left his feet on the hit so it could have been called a charge but I didn’t think it was that bad.

A bit later the Wings got caught deep in Philly’s end and the Flyers had a four on two the other way. Laperriere passed to Timonen in the slot. Osgood was playing a shot from Laperriere all the way, as he should. Kronwall wasn’t able to take the pass away so Timonen was left with a wide open net and buried it making it two to nothing Flyers early in the first period.

Later the Wings entered the Flyers’ zone and everybody went to the front of the net. Kronwall shot from the point and the puck ended up bouncing around. Cleary tried to tip it in but Boucher blocked it. Cleary whacked at it again and this time got it into the net. That put the Wings on the board and made it a one goal game.

Just a few minutes after that goal, Cleary took the puck to the net. He shot it but it was blocked by Boucher and went back to the point where Rafalski put it back on net. Boucher stopped that one, too but the rebound dropped down near the crease where Helm pounced on it and backhanded it into the net to tie the game at two. The broken nose didn’t seem to be bothering Helm too much.

Late in the first period Franzen and Hartnell came together, hesitated a second and then just attacked each other. Hartnell ended up down on the ice with Franzen on top of him and they wrestled for a while until the referees pulled them apart.

That was about it for the eventful first period. The Wings were outshooting the Flyers 17 to 9. This game was a bit nasty. There were some huge hits and both teams seemed pretty grumpy. Also the puck was really bouncing strangely. I don’t know if the ice was bad or what but everybody seemed to be having a tough time with the puck.

Less than a minute into the second period the Flyers scored again. They got the puck in deep and shot one that Osgood blocked. Rafalski tried to clear it back but accidentally put it right in the slot. Giroux was right there and ripped one that beat Osgood to make it three to two. That goal should have never happened because Laperriere should have had an unsportsmanlike penalty at the other end. After a collision with Datsyuk they both fell to the ice with Laperriere on top of Datsyuk. When he got up he intentionally pulled off Datsyuk’s helmet. It was a pretty cheap move.

Late in the second period our old friend Ville Leino dug the puck out from behind the Red Wings’ net and got it to Timonen. He passed it through the slot to a wide open Asham standing on the in front of the crease on the other side of the net. Asham tapped it in to give the Flyers the two goal lead again.

The Wings ended the period on a power play so they had a little over forty seconds of the man advantage left over to start the third. Detroit was really outplayed in the second. The Flyers had caught up to nearly even in shots on goal and they had 10 more hits than the Wings.

Early in the third period van Riemsdyk made an errant pass that was picked off by Zetterberg. He took it to the Flyers end and passed it ahead to Williams. He dropped it back to Datsyuk who pulled it in and snapped a wrister that just flat out burned Boucher high on the stick side making it three to four Flyers. It was a great play all around and a heck of shot by Datsyuk.

The battle continued throughout the third period but the Wings weren’t able to tie the game. They pulled Osgood and applied some major pressure for about the final 30 seconds but the Flyers held them off.

I think the Flyers were definitely the more desperate team in this game. They have reason to be desperate since they have a very tenuous grip on the eighth playoff spot in the East. The Wings played pretty well but the Flyers played a gritty game. Also, Osgood was a little too rusty, I think. The early first period goal was a tough one to give up. Without that goal it would have been a different game.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
96 points

Nashville at Detroit (4/3/10)

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

The Nashville Predators squared off today against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Pekka Rinne.

The Red Wings started this game on fire. Right from the start the whole team looked like they were shot out of a cannon.

Late in the first period the Wings had a power play. Datsyuk had the puck in the offensive zone. He lost an edge and went down. While down on the ice he made a perfect pass to Holmstrom. He passed it to Franzen in the slot. Franzen sent it to Rafalski. He double clutched put it in the corner of the net. It was a fantastic scoring play that was all started by Datsyuk making an awesome play from flat on his ass. He didn’t get an assist but we know it all set up by Pavel.

Early in the second period the Wings killed off a Nashville power play but afterwards they got pinned in their own zone. They were tired and Filppula and Lilja were limping from blocking shots. Weber fired from the point and the puck hit Holmstrom’s stick along the way. Howard couldn’t see a thing because there was too much traffic and the puck went in the net to tie the game at one.

Later in the second Erat circled around the net with the puck while Stuart stuck to him like glue. He took the puck to slot and then turned around and shot it. The puck hit Zetterberg’s skate and bounced into the net. There was nothing Howard could have done about that one. That made it two to one Predators.

With about four minutes left in the second period the Wings dumped the puck into the zone and Datsyuk took it away. He passed it to Holmstrom who sent it back to Lidstrom. Lidstrom fired a bomb that beat Rinne and re-tied the game at two each.

With less than a minute left in the second period the Predators were pressuring in the Red Wings end. Draper had a broken stick and couldn’t do much to help. Boyd passed from down low to Dumont who fired the puck and beat Howard for the go ahead goal making it three to two Predators.

After two periods this game was really even. The shots and scoring chances were almost exactly the same. However, it seemed like Detroit was playing better and Nashville was getting some lucky bounces.

The Wings continued playing well and had a lot of great chances in the third. Nashville had a chance that went between Howard’s legs and then hit the post and came back out front right to him. But the score held through almost all of the third.

Then with only 36 seconds left Datsyuk scored to tie the game. The Wings had dumped it in and Franzen went after it. He got it to Holmstrom who passed it to Datsyuk. He just ripped it and beat Rinne under the crossbar to make it three all.

The Wings kept up the pressure for the final few seconds but weren’t able to score. So they went to overtime again. Are these teams well matched, or what?!

Just a few seconds into the overtime Suter got a pass and stepped up to about the faceoff dot. He was all alone. He ripped a shot and beat Howard cleanly on the stick side for the quick overtime win.

The Wings got a point but this one was kind of a bummer because it seemed like they played well enough to win and Nashville just got the lucky bounces. That’s why playoff rounds are seven games. These teams are very evenly matched and eventually the lucky bounces even out.

Nashville is back up by two points on the Wings now. Calgary can still technically catch Detroit so they still haven’t clinched a playoff spot. Maybe tomorrow!

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

Columbus at Detroit (4/1/10)

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The Red Wings played against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The Blue Jackets are currently one of the worst teams in the league but again, the Wings can’t afford to underestimate anybody. Teams with nothing to lose can sometimes play ferocious hockey. The goalies tonight were Jimmy Howard and Steve Mason.

Early in the first period the Wings scored. Franzen and Holmstrom did some nice fore-checking and took the puck away in Columbus’ end. Datsyuk got the puck and tossed it to Holmstrom near the front of the net. Holmstrom shoveled it around Mason and in to take the one nothing lead.

A bit later Howard took the puck behind the net and tried to pass it to Stuart in the corner. Dorsett intervened and Murray picked up the puck. He quickly put the puck in the net before Howard could react. That tied it up a one apiece.

After one period the game was disturbingly close. Detroit was only outshooting Columbus by one. Most of the other stats were pretty even as well.

In the second period Detroit was on the power play. Datsyuk had the puck and stepped around a few Columbus players into the slot. He had all day to shoot so he waited for an opening and then released shot that was absolutely perfect. He put it right over Mason’s shoulder and into the top of the net. Mason never had a chance. That made it two to nothing Wings.

In the third period the Wings got the puck in the net but the goal was waved off. There was a long video review as they tried to determine if it was kicked in by Bertuzzi. The play started when Zetterberg threw the puck towards the net and it went in off Bertuzzi’s skate. His foot moved slightly towards the net but after the review they decided that it was not a distinct kicking motion so it was three to one Wings.

In the third period Franzen went down to block a shot and it hit him in the right in the laces of his right skate. He was in a lot of pain and missed a shift or two. Eventually he came back out and seemed okay. Hopefully, it won’t be a problem.

Late in the third period the Blue Jackets were on a power play. Tyutin shot from the point. The puck hit Datsyuk’s skate and then was tipped into the net by Umberger. Suddenly this game that had seemed fairly one sided was one shot away from being tied.

The Blue Jackets pulled the goalie at the end and generated quite a bit of offense but the Wings kept them at bay and held on for their seventh win in a row.

Great job, Red Wings! Let’s keep this hot streak rolling right into the playoffs!

This 2-3 win brings us to:
95 points