Archive for December, 2010

Detroit at Chicago (12/17/10)

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The Red Wings played the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford.

The Wings weren’t very good tonight. The Hawks took the lead early in the game and never looked back. Chicago was faster and scrappier than Detroit was. They won the battles for the loose puck, they got in the way of shots and they kept the puck in Detroit’s end for much of the game.

The shots on goal were surprisingly even but it didn’t feel that way because the Wings weren’t getting very good quality chances. Most of their shots were just desperation lobs towards the net that Crawford stopped easily.

The only Red Wings goal was scored by Eaves after Miller bounced the puck to him off the back boards. It was a nice play but that was about the only thing that worked for Wings all night.

One of the Blackhawks’ goals was an empty netter at the end. Also noteworthy was the fact that two of their goals, including the empty netter, were scored by ex-Red Wing Tomas Kopecky. The Wings could have used him tonight.

This was a disappointing game. The Hawks were missing Hossa and Kane so it was a good chance for a healthy Wings team to take advantage. Instead they were just flat outworked.

This 1-4 loss brings us to:
20-8-3
43 points

St. Louis at Detroit (12/15/10)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The Red Wings hosted the Blues tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The goalies were Howard and Halak.

The Wings looked good again tonight but at first it seemed like the scoring trouble from the Kings game had carried over to this one. In the first period the Red Wings had tons of great chances but just couldn’t get anything through Halak. It was starting to look like the entire team was snake bit.

Then in the second period Lidstrom snapped the streak and the floodgates were opened.

During the pre-game commentary it was mentioned that Datsyuk had the second most two goal games without getting a hat trick and it also came up that Lidstrom had the fifth most. Well, for Lidstrom at least, that streak was broken along with the goal drought. After his first goal he scored a power play goal and then an empty netter at end to earn his first career hat trick. It was a four point night for Lidstrom and Cleary had three points. Kronwall and Cleary also had goals for the Wings.

The game winning goal was scored by Cleary during a power play that was the result of a ridiculous crosscheck by Backes on Holmstrom. It was away from the play as Backes was going off for a change. Holmstrom was just standing there and Backes nailed him in the ribs which seemed to hurt pretty badly. Hopefully, there won’t be any cracked ribs. Holmstrom did not leave the game so that’s a good sign.

Datsyuk did a little hot-dogging on a shot in the third period. He had a breakaway and he put the stick between his legs and shot the puck from that position. He didn’t score but it was a pretty good shot. Mickey Redmond and Larry Murphy thought that some people might take offense to that because it seemed like he was rubbing it in. I don’t know about that though. The Wings were only up by two goals and the outcome was still in question so there wasn’t really anything to rub in at that point. I think that was just a legitimate attempt to surprise the goalie and score a goal. I thought it was pretty entertaining.

It’s good to see that the Wings haven’t lost their scoring touch and Lidstrom’s hat trick was awesome. It was a great night for the Red Wings!

This 2-5 win brings us to:
20-7-3
43 points

Los Angeles at Detroit (12/13/10)

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The Red Wings hosted the Kings for tonight’s matchup.  Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and the Kings went with Jonathan Quick.

I thought the Red Wings were excellent tonight.  In fact this is probably the best game they’ve ever lost and they didn’t just lose, they were shut out!  They fired everything they had at Quick and he didn’t budge.  It was an amazing display of goaltending.

At the other end Howard let in a couple that he’d probably like back but there were also a few defensive mistakes that the Kings used to their advantage.  I thought the first goal just beat him cleanly after he gave up the rebound, and the second one just barely got through him and hung on the goal line waiting to be put in.  After that the team was probably taking some chances offensively and hung Howard out to dry a few times.

Aside from a few mistakes and giving up a few odd man rushes I really thought the Wings played very well.  They were aggressive right from the start and they had plenty of energy.  The way they were playing it looked like it should have been five to nothing the other way.

Jonathan Quick was just too good tonight.  He dominated the game.  He faced 51 shots without giving up a goal.  You’ve got to hand it to him, he earned that shutout.

This 5-0 loss brings us to:
19-7-3
41 points

Detroit at New Jersey (12/11/10)

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Scoring twice in the first two minutes is a nice way to start a game. That’s what the Red Wings did tonight against the Devils. First it was Holmstrom scoring and then Cleary. Doing that against Martin Brodeur is even more impressive. The Red Wings went with Chris Osgood in net so that Howard wouldn’t have to play on back to back nights.

The Wings were pretty badly outshot by the Devils but they still seemed to be in control of the game. Zetterberg and Datsyuk also scored in the second and third periods respectively. Having the lead for the whole game allowed the Wings to not really need as many shots. They were able to just hold the puck and move it around a lot before shooting.

The Devils had their share of scoring chances though. When they attacked Osgood was very sharp. The only goal he allowed was one where he was screened and I don’t think he could see the puck at all.

It was pretty much a textbook road win for the Wings. Now they get just one day of rest and then it’s right back at it on Monday night.

This 4-1 win brings us to:
19-6-3
41 points

Montreal at Detroit (12/10/10)

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Red Wings returned to their winning ways tonight in a game at the Joe against original six rivals the Montreal Canadiens. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Carey Price. The Canadiens are a very good team and Mike Babcock said before the game that he thinks Carey Price is the best goalie in the league right now.

This was a heck of a game. The momentum swung back and forth throughout the game. The Canadiens seemed to be playing better than the Wings for much of the game but they just took way too many penalties. Datsyuk was incredible as usual and so was Jimmy Howard.

The two teams looked pretty evenly matched and the crowd did as well. There were many Canadiens fans in attendance; so many that when Montreal scored the place went nuts. They were nearly as loud as the Red Wings fans. The Wings are used to seeing this happen to the home team when they’re on the road, but it’s a rarity at Joe Louis Arena.

The Canadiens went all out in the third period trying to tie the game and the Red Wings hung on for dear life. The Wings seemed to be tiring towards the end but they managed to gut it out and Eaves scored an empty net goal to put it away.

They tiredness could be a factor tomorrow night when the Wings have to play New Jersey in their second of back to back nights.

This 2-4 win brings us to:
18-6-3
39 points

Nashville at Detroit (12/8/10)

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

You know you’re spoiled when two games in a row with no points feels like a slump. It does feel like a slump, but only because we Red Wings fans are so used to seeing them win. Let’s try to keep that in perspective.

It was division rival, the Nashville Predators who handed Detroit their third loss in a row and second regulation loss in a row. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and newcomer Anders Lindback.

The Red Wings were given the day off Tuesday after running out of gas in the loss to San Jose on Monday night. Even with the rest though, they just seemed to be out worked by the Predators.

Nashville scored the first goal of the game in the final minute of the first period. It was a demoralizing way for the Wings to end the period. Then the Predators scored again early in the second.

Datsyuk scored a beauty of a goal that showed off his hand eye coordination. He batted the puck out of the air and into the net with the shaft of his stick.

In the third period the Wings were pressing to try to catch up. They got caught in an odd man rush and Dumont beat Howard cleanly over the glove. It was a high shot up around the shoulder that’s very hard to stop.

Toward the end, with Howard at the bench for the extra man, Franzen scored with a nice wrister. That brought the Wings to within a goal but they just couldn’t get a third one to tie it up.

The Wings haven’t played well the last few games but every team goes through stretches like that. It’s nothing for the fans to worry about. The players and coaches will make adjustments and everything will be fine.

The Red Wings are still sitting comfortably atop the Western Conference. In my opinion this is the best Red Wings team since the 2001/02 season. Let’s not panic!

The Wings have back to back games on Friday and Saturday against Eastern Conference teams, Montreal and New Jersey. That should make for a welcome change of pace for them.

This 3-2 loss brings us to:
17-6-3
37 points

San Jose at Detroit (12/6/10)

Monday, December 6th, 2010

The Red Wings faced the Sharks tonight at the Joe. It was their first game back after the very successful road trip out west. When they met in San Jose last Tuesday the Wings beat the Sharks 5 to 3, so the Sharks had something to prove. Howard was in net again for the Wings but for the Sharks it was Niemi this time.

The Red Wings started the game looking pretty good but they faded fast. In the second period they were out of gas and by the third it was pretty much over.

Early in the first period, when the Sharks were lagging, Todd McClellan used his timeout to motivate his team. It was very effective. After that the Sharks got into the game and by the second period they were in charge.

I think the Wings were worn out from the road and just didn’t have the energy to keep up with the rested Sharks.

Most of the goals against were tip-ins or redirects that Howard had no chance of stopping. I thought Howard played pretty well but he didn’t get much support.

This 5-2 loss brings us to:
17-5-3
37 points

Detroit at Los Angeles (12/4/10)

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

The Red Wings played the Kings tonight in the second of back to back. Jonathan Quick was the goalie for the Kings and for the Red Wings Chris Osgood returned to the lineup after recovering from a groin injury. Jimmy Howard was the backup. Also returning to the lineup after a groin injury was Kris Draper. He played his first game of the season after injuring himself in training camp. Eaves was a healthy scratch to make room for him.

The Red Wings seemed to have a lot of energy at the start of the game.  They didn’t look like a team that had just played the night before. They appeared to tire a little bit as the game wore on. Unfortunately for the Wings it took an overtime period to decide a winner which was a disadvantage because of their lack of rest.

Both of the Red Wings goals were nice plays where somebody jumped on the rebound and popped it in. Ericsson did it the first time and then Bertuzzi did nearly the same thing.

The Kings’ regulation goals were both redirects that Osgood had no chance of stopping. One was a legitimate tip in and the other hit Helm and changed direction. Osgood played a very solid game overall.

The game winner came with less than a minute to go in the overtime period. The Kings had a three on two breakaway and Kopitar beat Osgood for the goal.

This was the first game in a while that the Wings didn’t win but at least they still got a point. If they can keep this pace they’re on track to seriously dominate the league this season. So far so good!

This 2-3 overtime loss brings us to:
17-4-3
37 points

Detroit at Anaheim (12/3/10)

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The Red Wings continued their road trip tonight with a game against the Ducks. The goalies were Howard and Hiller.

The Red Wings played a great game in Anaheim. They seemed to dominate from start to finish. They scored very early in the first period, then twice in the second, and one more at the end of the game. Although Dan Cleary commented that he didn’t think they were playing very well during an intermission interview, from my point of view they looked pretty good. They weren’t getting many shots on goal but the ones that they were getting were very high quality chances. The Wings had goals from Franzen, Holmstrom, Cleary and Filppula.

Defensively the Red Wings were fantastic earning Jimmy Howard another shutout against the Ducks. Overall I thought they looked very sharp tonight.

Now it’s on to L.A. for the second of back to back games, then the Red Wings head home for a game on Monday. It’s a busy schedule for the Wings coming up as they catch up with the rest of the league in games played.

This 4-0 win brings us to:
17-4-2
36 points