Detroit at Columbus (3/15/09)

For today’s game Detroit was in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. Osgood was in net for the Wings and Steve Mason was in for the Blue Jackets. Filppula was still out for this game so apparently he’s still dealing with his back spasms. Let’s hope that won’t be a nagging problem throughout the playoffs.

Just 30 seconds into the game Detroit scored, or so it seemed. Stuart ripped one from the point with Holmstrom in front of the net. It was redirected by a Columbus player. The goal was waived off even though Holmstrom had no effect on the play, didn’t touch the goaltender and was barely on the line of the crease. Even the Columbus announcers said it was a “reputation call”. Pretty weak. They didn’t call a penalty on Holmstrom which makes no sense at all since he clearly wasn’t pushed by anybody. Either it was goaltender interference or nothing, so if there was no penalty why did they wave off the goal?

Later in the first period Hossa flat out willed himself a goal. He chipped the puck into the Columbus zone and then accelerated past the defenders. He shot the puck and Mason stopped it but Hossa didn’t let up. He took another whack at it and pushed it by Mason. This is a perfect example of why I love Hossa. He’s a force unto himself no matter how the rest of the team is doing. Not that the rest of the team was playing badly tonight, but I’ve noticed that Hossa is always good, even when nobody else is. This just shows what he can do on his own when he has to. I think Hossa is as much of an on-ice leader of this team as Lidstrom is. He really should have an ‘A’ on his jersey or at least share one.

With 12:11 to go in the first period Columbus got two penalties at the same time. The Wings had a 5 on 3 for a full two minutes. Early on in power play Columbus held strong thanks to some great saves by Mason. Then Hudler got the puck to Kronwall in the slot and he ripped one by Mason. Franzen was in front of the net causing trouble. That made it two to nothing Red Wings. The Wings still had almost 50 seconds of power play time after that goal but they weren’t able to score again.

The pace throughout the rest of the first period was somewhat frantic. There was a lot of end-to-end action and very few whistles.

Near the end of the first period Commodore was called for cross-checking Zetterberg. I know I’m biased but I just have to say that the Columbus announcers were unbelievable. To paraphrase, they basically said that Commodore was forced into crosschecking Zetterberg in the neck even though there was no one around him and that Zetterberg was faking his reaction to it. Insanity! I long for the day when you can see whichever feed you choose for any game in the NHL. I would have loved to have heard Ken and Mick’s take on that call.

As the second period was winding down Samuelsson took the puck away from the Jackets and was off to the races. He took it into their zone and wristed one from the top of the faceoff circle. His shot beat Mason and gave the Red Wings a three to nothing lead.

Through two periods Osgood looked very good. He was tracking the puck well. He was making some pretty tough saves and looked confident in the net.

The Blue Jackets took a hooking penalty with just six seconds left in the second period. The period ended so Detroit would start the third with nearly a full two minutes of power play time.

In the third period Datsyuk made a great move in the neutral zone to gain control of the puck and enter the Columbus zone. He passed it ahead to Franzen who made a move around Mason and scored Detroit’s fourth unanswered goal.

That was the end of the scoring for this game. Osgood earned a shutout and the Wings in general played very well.

One thing I want to point out about this game and the last several games is that Ericsson just flat out FIITS on this team. He belongs here. I don’t want to say that we should lose Chelios or Lilja or whoever, but we definitely should have Ericsson in the lineup every night. Cleary also deserves credit as he ALWAYS has a good game. Similar to Hossa, Cleary is just plain reliable. Game in, game out, you can count on him to play well regardless of the rest of the team.

With this game Detroit became the first team in NHL history to reach 100 points in nine consecutive seasons. They were previously tied with Montreal at eight in a row. No question this is a modern dynasty.

This 4-0 win brings us to:
101 points

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