Archive for January, 2011

Detroit at Vancouver (1/8/11)

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

For the second night in a row the Red Wings played a road game in western Canada. Tonight’s game was against the Canucks in Vancouver. Osgood was supposed to start for the Wings to give Jimmy Howard a rest after playing last night, but Ozzie has a groin problem that may require surgery so Howard got the start. Osgood was still the backup for this game but he’s going to be evaluated next week by a doctor in Philadelphia and Joey MacDonald will be called up from Grand Rapids to backup Howard. It looks like we can add Chris Osgood to the constantly growing list of injured Red Wings. So just the day after going to a shootout in Calgary, Howard was starting in net again. This time he was up against Roberto Luongo. Kindl was called up to man the blue line in place of Brad Stuart.

Right from the start it was clear that this was going to be a tough, grinding game. The Canucks were all over the Red Wings. In the first period the Canucks had tons of shot on Howard. They kept the pressure up through the whole period, outshooting the Wings badly. Luckily, Howard was superb. He had a few saves that were absolute robberies.

Daniel Sedin scored a power play goal in the second period to give the Canucks the lead. It was a rebound that kicked out to the side right to Sedin. Howard made a diving attempt to stop it but missed and Vancouver went up one to nothing.

The Red Wings started the third period on the power play. Franzen scored the tying goal after a nice pass from Zetterberg found him streaking up the middle to the net.

With the game tied the Red Wings really stepped it up throughout the third period. They battled for every puck and every inch of ice. They played extremely well, outshooting the Canucks 17 to 13 in the third.

They weren’t able to take the lead though and the game went to overtime. In the OT, Kronwall made a nice move and put the puck in the net but the goal was waved off because Bertuzzi had made contact with Luongo who fell down like he was shot by a sniper.

The game went to a shootout. Hudler scored on the first shot for the Wings. It was a great shot. He didn’t deke or anything he just stepped up and ripped it. Luongo wasn’t expecting that and Hudler put it by him with a perfect shot on the stick side before Luongo had a chance to react. He was able to stop Bertuzzi but Detroit didn’t need a third shooter because Howard stopped Tambellini, Kesler and Daniel Sedin to the give the Red Wings their second shootout win on the road in as many nights.

This was an awesome game. It was an absolute war from beginning to end. Both of these teams are very good, but with so many injuries Detroit had to play harder to maintain their high standard. They needed secondary guys to play well and they certainly did. Abdelkader, Eaves, Helm, Hudler, Tatar, Mursak, Draper and Kindl all had great games. The top guys played well, too. It was a total team effort tonight.

No one on the ice played better than Jimmy Howard. He was really on top of his game tonight and a good thing because the Canucks played hard. This was a nice preview of a potential playoff matchup.

This 2-1 win brings us to:
59 points

Stuart Breaks Jaw; Out Indefinitely

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Brad Stuart’s jaw was broken last night in Calgary. He was hit in the face by a shoulder from Kostopoulis. He went down hard and when he finally left the ice he was spitting blood and very angry. He’ll need to surgery to set the jaw and will probably be taking his meals through a straw for a while. There’s no telling at this point how much time he’ll miss.

This is very bad news for a Red Wings team already hard hit by injuries. It looks like it won’t be getting any easier any time soon.

I really didn’t like this hit. In the replay it looks like Kostopoulis clearly targeted the head. We’ll see what the league decides but I won’t be surprised if he’s suspended.

In the meantime let’s all wish Stuart a speedy recovery!

Detroit at Calgary (1/7/11)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The Red Wings continued their western Canada road trip tonight with a game against the Flames in Calgary. The goalies were Howard and Kiprusoff. Eaves was back in the lineup tonight after recovering from an upper body injury but Filppula was out. He’s suffering from a sore groin that hopefully won’t turn into a nagging problem.

The Flames played a very determined game. They were all over the Red Wings, outshooting them in every period. There were a lot of crazy goals at both ends of the ice. Most of the goals that Howard gave up were deflections of some sort. At the other end Kiprusoff faced some deflections as well but he also gave up a few that he should have stopped.

Rafalski scored his first two goals of the season tonight in what was a milestone game for him: the 800th game of his career. Eaves and Helm also scored for the Wings. Detroit never had the lead in this game and those four goals were only enough to tie the score and send the game to overtime.

There were no goals scored in the overtime even though the Flames were on the power play for most of the final two minutes if you include the time they spent with the extra man waiting for the delayed call.

In the shootout the Wings went with Hudler, Bertuzzi and Zetterberg. The Flames selected Tanguay, Hagman and Bourque. Kiprusoff stopped Hudler and Zetterberg but Bertuzzi got one past him. Howard stopped all three of the Flames shooters to give the Red Wings the win.

This was a tough win for the Wings; they had to really gut it out. With so many of their top guys out they were able to continue stepping it up and getting goals from other people. It was made even tougher by the loss of Stuart who was hit in the face by a shoulder from Kostopoulis in the third period. Stuart was down for a while and left the ice spitting blood. He did not return to the game. Kostopoulis was called for roughing and I’m sure the league will review the play to see if they should hand down a suspension for the head shot.

All things considered this was a good two points for the Wings against a Calgary team that played very hard.

This 5-4 win brings us to:
57 points

Detroit at Edmonton (1/4/11)

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Red Wings played the first of five road games in a row tonight.  They were in Edmonton to take on the Oilers.  Khabibulin was in net for Edmonton and the Wings went with Chris Osgood.  Brad Stuart was fine after being hit in the head with a puck last game, so that was very lucky.  Eaves was still out of the lineup with an upper body injury.  Of course, Modano, Cleary and Datsyuk were all out as well.

For the first two periods the Wings were in control of the game.  They had a three to one lead heading into the third after goals by Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Draper.  The Oilers only goal was scored on a defensive breakdown where Brule was left all alone in front of Osgood.

Then came the third period and everything changed.  The Oilers outshot the Wings in the third and managed to tie the game.  They scored once when Peckham received a centering pass in the slot and put it by Osgood.  Then there was a defensive zone faceoff that the Wings lost and Gagner threw it at the net.  Osgood wasn’t ready for it and it slid between his legs.

The score was tied and the Wings were battling to get the lead back.  Bertuzzi tried to pass one across the slot to a wide open Filppula but it hit the skate of an Oilers player and deflected into the net.  If it had got through to Filppula he would have buried it anyway as he was in perfect position and the net was wide open.

Then just 44 seconds later Helm was sprung by a lead pass from Abdelkader.  He entered the zone with speed and his defender fell down giving him tons of space.  Helm ripped one into the top corner of the net for the insurance goal.  It was kind of funny that 44 and 43 scored 44 seconds apart.

The Oilers pulled the goalie but they weren’t able to get another goal and the Wings didn’t get an empty-netter.   Chris Osgood made several incredible saves in this game, some right at the end when the Oilers were pressuring.  It really shows his professionalism to give up a bad goal and not get the least bit rattled.  That was win number 401 for Ozzie.

This 5-3 win brings us to:
55 points

Philadelphia at Detroit (1/2/11)

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

The Philadelphia Flyers played the Red Wings tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The goalies were Howard and Boucher.

The Red Wings had good energy to start the game. They controlled the play in the first period and had a lot of quality scoring chances although the shots on goal were pretty even. There were no goals in the first period.

In the second period the Flyers took over. They scored three unanswered goals. The first one deflected off Filppula’s stick and Howard had no chance at it. The second one hit three people on the way to the net. It would have taken blind luck to stop that one. The third one wasn’t deflected but Howard never saw it because of traffic in front of him. I wouldn’t pin any of the Flyers goals on Howard but the Wings still made a goaltending change. Osgood started the third period in relief of Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings really stepped it up in the third. Just 51 seconds into the period Filppula scored after making a nice move to fake out his defender and then burn the goalie. It was a really pretty goal. Later in the period Zetterberg got one to bring the Wings to within a goal of tying it up. Zetterberg’s goal was scored on a rebound that he banked in off of Boucher’s upper body. It was a good, hard-working goal.

The Wings tried to tie the game and came close a few times but the Flyers held on for the win. Overall I think the Flyers worked harder and deserved the win. The Wings out-worked them in the third period but that was too little too late. They looked pretty disorganized throughout the second period.

Brad Stuart left the game in the third period after being hit in the back of the head by a shot from Jeff Carter. It was hard to tell if the puck hit him in the helmet or the head. He was cut on the back of the head but that could have been caused by the helmet digging into him. If he was hit directly in the head then I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a concussion. Let’s hope he won’t miss any games.

This 3-2 loss brings us to:
53 points