Colorado at Detroit (12/15/08)

The Colorado Avalanche were in town tonight to face the Detroit Red Wings.  They used Raycroft as their starting goalie and Detroit went with Osgood.

Well, the old rivalry between the Avalanche and the Red Wings is clearly dead.  In the first period this had the feel of a preseason game.  Everybody on both teams looked like they were playing in slow motion.  Detroit gave up two goals in the early minutes of the period.  Osgood looked shakier than I’ve ever seen him.  He didn’t seem to have any confidence at all and he was always fighting the puck.  In fact everybody looked like they were terrified of making a mistake.  Outside of the score and shots on goal, I think there were two good indicators that the Red Wings weren’t playing well.  The first is the lack of confidence that was evident in Osgood.  The second is the fact that Datsyuk would not shoot the puck.  He had some great chances and always tried to make a pass.

Colorado’s first goal came just over a minute into the game.  It was a turnover in the neutral zone as the Red Wings were changing.  They ended up in a 2 on 0 against Osgood.  That goal was scored by Wolski; it was the first shot on net for the Avs.  The second goal was a pass across the ice to a side that had been left uncovered by the defense.  Stastny took the pass and snapped it past Osgood.

I wonder if the Red Wings got an earful from Babcock during the first intermission.  I can almost imagine him not saying a word to them.  It’s not like they don’t know what to do.  I don’t think that’s his style though.  I suspect he probably gave them an encouraging pep talk.

It took until almost half way through the second period and it was a really ugly goal, but the Red Wings finally scored.  There was a big mess in front of the net and Holmstrom had several whacks at the puck.  It dropped on the goal line behind Raycroft and trickled in.  Originally, Rafalski was credited with the goal but it was later changed to Holmstrom.

Early in the third period there was a scrum in front of Osgood.  The puck got between his legs and was trickling into the net.  Lebda dove in behind Osgood and pushed the puck back into his pads.  Because Lebda covered the puck in the crease a penalty shot was awarded to Colorado.  Leopold took the shot and scored to give Colorado a three to one lead.

A few minutes later Detroit scored right off of a faceoff to Raycroft’s right.  Zetterberg took the draw and the puck ended up loose.  Hossa muscled his way to it and snapped right between Raycroft’s legs before he even knew what hit him.  That brought Detroit back within one goal.

Although Detroit played a little better in the second and much better in the third it wasn’t enough to make up for the lackadaisical performance in the first period.  The Red Wings didn’t deserve to win this game and it’s about time they start losing games that they don’t deserve to win.  Otherwise, what’s the incentive to play hard if you can still win anyway?  I remember a few losing streaks last season that helped the Wings in the long run.  Maybe a little bit of that is what they need right now to remind them to play hard for 60 minutes.

This 3-2 loss brings us to:
20-6-4
44 points

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