Archive for February, 2011

New York Rangers at Detroit (2/7/11)

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The Red Wings hosted the New York Rangers tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Martin Biron. The Wings welcomed Pavel Datsyuk back to the lineup tonight. Holmstrom was not quite ready to go yet so he did not play. The Wings entered the game in a slump having been shut out for the two previous games.

Detroit got off to a pretty poor start again in this game. For the first half of the opening period they had only one shot on goal even though they had a power play. The Rangers were completely in control of the game. Jimmy Howard was looking a little shaky but still managed to keep the Rangers off the board with some help from the defense and some desperation plays.

About halfway through the period it was like they flipped a switch and started competing. Datsyuk, Cleary and Helm led the way by example with their hard work. They played much better for the rest of the first period and it continued into the second.

The hard work paid off for Datsyuk early in the second period. He battled for a puck in the corner and got it out to Hudler. He then went to the net and got the puck back. He shot on the forehand and Biron stopped it but as Datsyuk was passing through the crease he reached back and backhanded the puck into the net. That broke the Wings goalless drought which had lasted for more than six periods.

The Wings continued to work hard and compete for the rest of the game. In the third period Stepan scored to tie the game. But then Hudler answered with a goal after a nice feed by Ericsson. Later in the period Miller scored on a rebound of an Abdelkader shot and put the Wings up by two. Not much later Dubinsky scored to bring the Rangers back to within a goal.

Nearing the end of the third period the Rangers had a 5 on 3 power play when the Wings high-sticked Sean Avery twice in a row. The second time he was cut so that was a double minor. The Wings killed off the penalties and held on for the win.

This was a great game once the Wings became engaged. It was awesome to see Detroit start scoring again and compete at a high level.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
32-15-6
70 points

Detroit at Nashville (2/5/11)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

The Red Wings were on the road tonight to play the Predators in Nashville. Joey MacDonald got the start for the Wings and the Predators went with Pekka Rinne. Datsyuk and Holmstrom were still not ready to go so they were out of the lineup. They’re expected to return sometime next week.

This game almost seemed to be a rerun of last night’s game. The difference was that the Red Wings seemed to be competing harder but the result was the same. As Mickey Redmond said, they’re officially in a funk. The whole team seemed to be snake bit. Nothing seemed to go right offensively even though they had some great chances. Joey MacDonald did a great job in net for the Wings but it doesn’t matter much when the team can’t score.

This was a bad night to be in a funk because the ice was crappy and the goaltender was on fire so the Wings couldn’t really catch a break. Detroit even had a full two minutes of 5 on 3 power play time and still couldn’t score.

To make matters worse, Jan Mursak left the game with a lower body injury and didn’t return. The Wings are really missing Datsyuk and Holmstrom right now. Hopefully, getting some guys back next week will energize the offense.

The one highlight of the night for me was a classic Mickey-ism that just about had me on the floor. It was in the third period and Abdelkader was about to fight with Colin Wilson. They had their gloves off and removed their helmets and then the linesmen got in the way and prevented the fight. Mickey Redmond was none too happy about that and rightfully so. Each player was sent to the box for delay of game but Mickey thought it was going to be for roughing and he said, “There’s more roughing in the crib of a six months year old.” Add that one to the list!

This was a rough weekend for the Wings. Over two games they’ve had zero goals on 69 shots. Getting some guys back should help but either way they have to just keep at it. They’re doing good things but they just aren’t working right now. If they hang in there they’ll start scoring and then the confidence will return.

This 0-3 loss brings us to:
31-15-6
68 points

Columbus at Detroit (2/4/11)

Friday, February 4th, 2011

The Wings played Columbus tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The starting goalies were Jimmy Howard and Steve Mason.

The Red Wings got off to another slow start in this game. They were outshot by the Blue Jackets in the first period. As the game progressed the Wings managed to get more shots on net but Mason denied them at every turn. The Blue Jackets also did a great job of being in the way and blocking shots. They never allowed the Red Wings to really play their game.

Columbus scored the first goal when Antoine Vermette released an absolute rocket of a one-timer that beat Howard. I’m surprised the net even stopped it. That was shortly after the midway point of the first period. The Wings were trying to catch up from then on but were never able to score. Columbus scored two more goals including an empty-netter at the end.

This was a frustrating game to watch. Detroit did have a lot of offensive opportunities but the Blue Jackets were on them so quickly that they often mishandled the puck, missed the net, put it right into Mason’s gut or just had a bad bounce. I think all of these things were the direct or indirect result of Columbus playing good defense and keeping Detroit off their game.

The Wings will have to get right on the plane tonight and head to Nashville where they’ll face the Predators tomorrow night.

This 3-0 loss brings us to:
31-14-6
68 points

Detroit at Ottawa (2/2/11)

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The All-Star break is officially over and the Red Wings were back in action tonight in Ottawa. The time off was helpful for Dan Cleary who returned to the lineup tonight. Datsyuk wasn’t quite ready to go yet but he’s expected to play some time this weekend.  The starting goaltenders were Jimmy Howard and Robin Lehner.

This was a crazy game full offense and not very much defense. Ken and Larry joked that the teams were still in All-Star form, in the sense that they were all about scoring and not doing much defensively.

Franzen scored five goals in this game including the empty netter at the end. Rafalski bagged his 500th career point. Halfway through the second period the Senators made a goalie change and Brian Elliott came in. He became the goalie of record when the Sens tied it up on his watch.

This was one of those crazy games where everything seems to go in the net. The Wings were lucky to win this game after giving up 5 goals. They’re going to have to buckle down a lot more defensively from now on.

This 7-5 win brings us to:
31-13-6
68 points