Archive for January, 2011

New Jersey at Detroit (1/26/11)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Tonight the New Jersey Devils were in Detroit to play the Red Wings. The goalie matchup was Jimmy Howard against Martin Brodeur. Filppula was back in the lineup after recovering from the flu.

The first period was all New Jersey. Although Detroit scored the first goal, the Devils answered quickly and seemed to have the Wings off their game. They were playing a tight game and battling hard in front of the net. Detroit’s first goal was scored by the opportunistic Darren Helm who jumped on a loose puck before the Devils’ defenseman could get to it and took off towards the net. He burned Brodeur high on the glove side and made it one to nothing. But that great play aside, the Devils were still outplaying the Wings. The Devils were rewarded with a grinding goal when the puck came loose in front of Howard. He thought he had it but it trickled loose and the Devils pounced on it. There was a mad scramble with everyone banging away at the puck and Rolston ended up putting it in.

In the second period the Wings were much better. It was pretty tight and nobody scored although Detroit slightly outshot New Jersey.

In the third period Filppula and Franzen both scored goals to put the game away. Filppula scored on a great passing play from Hudler and Salei. Franzen’s goal was scored on a nice feed from Zetterberg as Franzen was charging through the slot. Franzen’s shot was perfect and put the Wings up by two with very little time left.

About halfway through the third period Eaves was high-sticked in the face and had to leave the game. Hopefully, he’ll just need some stitching.

This was a great win for the Wings. They battled hard and earned this win through effort and determination. Now they can head into the all-star break on a high note and everyone except for Lidstrom can get some much need rest and recovery time.

This 1-3 win brings us to:
66 points

Nabokov Claimed By The Islanders

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Ken Holland inked a one year deal with goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to play for the Wings, but it was contingent upon him clearing waivers. The Islanders claimed him Saturday morning. The interesting thing here is that he is refusing to report to the Islanders which is his right. That means he could be going back up for waivers if the Islanders decide not to sit on him. His contract is very cheap for the rest of this season so it’s still not very likely the Wings will get him. I wouldn’t be too surprised if a Western Conference team claims him even if he won’t report just to keep the Wings from getting him. For now we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Chicago at Detroit (1/22/11)

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

The Blackhawks were in Detroit this afternoon to play the Wings at the Joe. The goalies were Howard and Crawford. Detroit called up Cory Emmerton from Grand Rapids this morning to replace Filppula who has the flu. The also sent Joey MacDonald back to Grand Rapids and called up Jordan Pearce to be the backup. This was mainly due to technicalities in the waiver rules.

This was a pretty forgettable game for the Wings. They were as sloppy today as they were crisp in St. Louis. They turned the puck over a lot, didn’t get many shots on goal and gave up a ton. Chicago played very well defensively and Detroit couldn’t seem to get it together enough to overcome it.

Detroit did have their opportunities but they never got off good enough shots to beat Crawford. There was a point in the second period where it looked like Zetterberg had scored a goal that would have tied the game at two but it was waived off thanks to a quick whistle. Shortly after that the Blackhawks scored again so instead of being tied at two it was three to one Blackhawks.

The only highpoint was when Cory Emmerton scored his first NHL goal in his first game in the league. It was a milestone for him but it’s too bad it couldn’t have come with a win.

This 4-1 loss brings us to:
64 points

Detroit at St. Louis (1/20/11)

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Blue tonight in St. Louis. Jimmy Howard was back in net for the Wings with Joey MacDonald as backup. Halak was the goalie for the Blues.

The Wings got off to a great start in this game. They had a lot of energy and put on a passing clinic. They kept up the pressure through the entire first period and had double the shots on goal that St. Louis had. They were rewarded with a nice first period goal after Zetterberg made an incredible pass to Eaves who was right on the doorstep and buried it.

In the second period the Wings only had three official shots on goal but two of them went in the net. It didn’t seem like a three shot period. I guess they must have missed the net a lot because it still seemed like Detroit was in control of the game. The first goal of the period was scored by Bertuzzi after Filppula totally faked out Halak. Filppula made it look like he was taking the puck around the back of the net but instead he dropped it off to Bertuzzi who was standing right by the goal post. Halak moved over to follow Filppula to the other side and Bertuzzi had all day to lift the puck up and into the net. Halak didn’t even look at Bertuzzi until after the puck was behind him. Later in the period Kindl scored his first NHL goal. He was in on a breakaway and tried to pass it through to Hudler but the puck hit the defenseman and deflected into the net. That put the Wings up three to nothing but TJ Oshie scored to get the Blues on the board. It was a good, quick passing play and Oshie put it over Howard’s shoulder on the glove side and into the net. So it was three to one Wings at the second intermission.

In the third period the Blues really stepped it up and momentum swung their way. Berglund and Backes both scored for the Blues to tie the game. The Berglund goal was another good passing play and a shot that beat Howard high on the glove side. Backes’ goal was more of a scrambly play where things kind of broke down and the puck was swept into the net.

The tie held until the end of regulation and the game went to overtime. A few minutes into the overtime Hudler and Helm took the puck into the Blues’ end on a breakaway. Hudler got the puck across to Helm who beat Halak with a snap shot to win the game for the Wings.

This was a good win for the Detroit. As well as they played early in the game it would have been hugely disappointing to lose or even have to settle for one point. The Wings played a great team game tonight and this was a well-deserved win.

This 4-3 win brings us to:
64 points

Detroit at Pittsburgh (1/18/11)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh. Joey MacDonald got the start for the Wings since Jimmy Howard wasn’t ready to go yet. Howard had to be the backup though because Thomas McCollum broke his finger earlier in the day. Marc-Andre Fleury was the Penguins’ goalie. Sidney Crosby was out of the lineup due to concussion symptoms.

For the first time this season I had the sense that the Red Wings were just outmatched tonight. I didn’t think they played poorly. They made some crucial mistakes but other than that I thought they played pretty well and had good energy. It just wasn’t effective.

The first mistake was early on in the first period. MacDonald was indecisive with the puck when he came out of the net to handle it. By the time he tried to make a play it was too late. Kennedy picked his pocket and passed it back to Staal who had a wide open net. Then Connor scored on a penalty shot making it two to nothing at the end of the first.

In the second period the Wings looked like they were rallying when Franzen scored a great goal late in the period. The Penguins got it back though just 30 seconds later. Kronwall flubbed a clearing attempt and everything broke down. Kunitz ended up scoring to put the Pens back up by two at the second intermission. The Penguins capped it off with an empty net goal at the end of the game.

Joey MacDonald played a great game aside from his early mistake. He made many great saves to keep it from getting out of hand. The Wings had good sustained pressure but Fleury was phenomenal and nothing they tried seemed to work. I think they guys are doing a good job to fight through these injuries but they just didn’t match up well enough against the Penguins tonight even without Sidney Crosby.

This 1-4 loss brings us to:
62 points

Lidstrom To Be All-Star Captain

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

It was annoucned earlier today that Nicklas Lidstrom will be one of the two captains of the All-Star game.  The other being Eric Staal.

Lidstrom and Staal will alternate picks pond hockey style to determine the rosters of their teams.  The captains were voted by the All-Star players so it’s a nice complement and sign of respect that they picked Lidstrom.

Columbus at Detroit (1/15/11)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The Wings had a rematch tonight with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets were winners in the shootout last night in Columbus. Tonight’s game was in Detroit. Joey MacDonald was the goalie for the Wings since Jimmy Howard suffered a bruised knee last night. He hopes to be back for Tuesday night’s game. Thomas McCollum was called up to back up MacDonald. Steve Mason was the starter for the Blue Jackets for the second night a row.

The Wings also lost Holmstrom in last night’s game. He’s out for an extended period with a broken hand. Tomas Tatar was called up to round out the forward lineup.

The Blue Jackets took it to the Red Wings early in this game. It only took them about 30 seconds to score the first goal and they were leading two to nothing by about the five minute mark. The Wings dug in though and settled things down. They kept working and scored two late first period goals to even up the score by the first intermission. This was one of those nights where the puck seems to be bouncing off anything and everything and ending up in the net. It was a good night to just throw the puck at the net and hope for a goal. Filppula and Miller had the first period goals for the Wings.

Early in the second period Columbus scored again to re-take the lead. Just a minute later though Franzen got that goal back and then later in the period Rafalski scored to give the Wings the lead at the second intermission.

Columbus scored early in the third period and Draper answered with one for the Wings shortly after. The rest of the third period was a great battle with the Wings up by one and Columbus trying to tie. With just over a minute to go and with his net empty, Rick Nash got the game tying goal for the Jackets. He just threw the puck on net with a ton of traffic in front of MacDonald. He never saw the puck and had no chance of stopping it.

The game went to overtime, but unlike last night, it didn’t last long. Just 45 seconds into the OT Franzen fired a bullet that beat Mason for the win.

This was a great game with a lot of exciting action, crazy bounces and goal scoring. The Red Wings did well to come back after being down early. Joey MacDonald played really well even though he gave up a lot of goals. It was just one of those nights where the puck was pin-balling all over the place. Drew Miller had a great game and it was the first three point night of his career. Draper, Helm and Ericsson all had two point nights and Draper picked up his 200th career assist.

So the Red Wings got three out of a possible four points from the home and home with Columbus. Not a bad outcome especially after just being on a long road trip. Now the Red Wings head back out on the road to play Pittsburgh on Tuesday and St. Louis on Thursday.

This 5-6 win brings us to:
62 points

The Injury Parade Continues

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The Red Wings got more bad news after last night’s game in Columbus. Holmstrom’s sore right hand was indeed broken and he’ll be out until the end of next month. Jimmy Howard’s x-rays were negative so that’s one bit of less-bad news. It’s unclear how long it’ll take for him to recover. He probably won’t be able to play until he can move his knee easily without being nagged by the pain. It’s pretty important for a goalie to be able to move quickly and freely so I doubt he’ll be back until he’s 100%.

The Red Wings have called up forward Tomas Tatar and goaltender Thomas McCollum from Grand Rapids to help round out the lineup.

Detroit at Columbus (1/14/11)

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Blue Jackets tonight in the first half a home and home on back to back nights. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and Columbus went with Steve Mason.

The Blue Jackets started the game with more jump than the Red Wings. They got two goals in the first period. I’ll give Jimmy Howard a break on the first goal. It was banked off the back boards to the other side of the net and he didn’t get over in time, but to be fair, he couldn’t tell which side it would bounce back to and he had to try to cover both sides at once, so that was a tough one. The second goal however, hit him in the glove and he just missed it. That one was on him, I think.

A bit past the halfway point of the first period Howard took a shot off the inside of his right knee where there’s no padding. He collapsed immediately and had to leave the ice with assistance. Later in the game they said that his x-rays were negative but he had some swelling so we’ll have to wait and see how serious it is. At least it’s not broken. Joey MacDonald came in to relieve Howard and there was no one left to back him up.

The Wings got into the game in the second period. Drew Miller scored a great goal in which he made a brilliant move to shake his defender and then went to the net. He went in strong on Mason and chipped the puck in over his shoulder. It was a beautiful thing. Then later Filppula had the puck near the blue line and Mason was way out to challenge. Hudler got in behind him right next to the net. Filppula spotted him and put the puck right on his stick instead of shooting it. Mason had no chance as Hudler scored the game tying goal.

The Red Wings were dominant in the third period but neither team was able to score. Late in the period Holmstrom was knocked down during one of his net-front battles. He seemed to be hurt and left the game. We’ll have to wait for word on that but this is getting ridiculous!

The battle and stalemate continued through overtime period and the game went to a shootout. Bertuzzi’s shootout attempt was particularly fancy. He put the puck and his stick back between his own legs and then pulled it back out front and shot. It was didn’t go in but it sure did look cool. None of the first six shooters scored so the shootout went to an extra round. Vermette managed to get the puck by MacDonald and Franzen wasn’t able to score so the Blue Jackets got the extra point.

It was a shame that the Wings didn’t get two points but after being down two to nothing and losing their starting goaltender in the first period I think they did a great job just to get one. The Red Wings will have to regroup, figure out the injury situation and be ready to play the Blue Jackets again tomorrow night in Detroit.

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

Detroit at Colorado (1/10/11)

Monday, January 10th, 2011

After sweeping three road games in a row in western Canada the Red Wings were back in the States tonight but their road trip wasn’t over. They were in Colorado this time to play the Avalanche. Jimmy Howard got the start in net for the Wings and Budaj was in for the Avs.

Filppula was back in the lineup tonight but that good news was offset by the news that Chris Osgood will require sports hernia surgery and will miss between six and eight weeks. Tatar was sent back to Grand Rapids to make room for Filppula. Another bit of news today was that Kostopoulos was suspended for six games for targeting the head of Brad Stuart in the play that broke Stuart’s jaw.

As for this game, the Red Wings showed up late. They were down 4 to 1 before the game was 15 minutes old. Howard gave up one that was a soft goal but the others were defensive miscues and breakdowns. Even though I wouldn’t blame Howard for the mess, he was pulled after the Avs’ fourth goal and Joey MacDonald came in for him. The Wings scored one more goal near the end of the first period so they were down by two at the first intermission.

In the second period MacDonald gave up a goal and the Avalanche had their three goal lead back. Then Zetterberg scored a power play goal and the Red Wings really stepped it up. In the third period they pulled to within a goal of tying the game but in the end they were just in too deep of a hole to climb out.

This was a classic case of not starting on time. By the time the Wings got cranking they were too far behind and it was just too little too late. The only really nice thing about this game was that Jan Mursak scored his first NHL goal. It was a good hard working goal. He was battling in front of Budaj when he got hold of a rebound and swept it into the net. Congrats to him on the milestone!

So the Wings got six out of eight points on this road trip which is still really good. Now they head back to the Joe for one game against Columbus and then it’s back on the road for two more games.

This 4-5 loss brings us to:
59 points