San Jose at Detroit (2/29/08)

Since this is my first game review it’s going to be a bit scattered. I’m going to talk a little bit about the last ten games for context. Normally, a game review will just be about the one game.

For the last ten games the Red Wings have been in the worst slump I’ve seen in four years. I think it really started with the All-Star break. That seemed to interrupt their rhythm and even though they kept winning for a few games after that, they didn’t really deserve to win some of them. Then came the injuries. Losing Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Chelios, Cleary, and Hasek all at the same time was devastating to this team. For several games it looked like they just couldn’t play without the regulars on the blue line. Even our top line was ineffective. It really highlights the fact that defense isn’t just about stopping goals, they play a huge roll in setting up the offense as well. You don’t really notice how important they are until they aren’t there.

On the bright side, this was a great opportunity to see some of the youngsters in action. I thought Jimmy Howard looked great in the games he played. Derek Meech also looked fantastic. We’ll be seeing a lot of both of them in the years to come. Incidentally, the two games that Howard came in to relieve Osgood, were not Osgood’s fault. Ozzy can only perform 10 miracles per minute and the team kept asking him to perform eleven.

For the last few games I thought they had been playing better. They’ve been working together and pretty much playing well enough to win. It seemed like they were getting used to each other and the new guys were getting more comfortable. Unfortunately, they kept losing though.

In the San Jose game the Wings played very well, I thought. Brad Stuart stepped in for his first game, and looked great. He was hitting people all over the ice but in a controlled fashion and really made his presence felt. Kronwall returned from injury and also made a big impact. His assist on the Zetterberg goal was pure brilliance. Hasek returned as well, and gave up a goal on the first shot of the game. That was just to knock the cobwebs off. Overall I think Hasek played well.

The really unfortunate part though was a terrible mistake made by all of the on-ice officials. In the Detroit end, the puck popped up and hit the netting. The players all relaxed, but none of the officials noticed that the puck was out of play. Nobody blew the whistle and puck dropped down right in front of the Red Wings net and Setoguchi poked it in for the Sharks game winning goal. Thanks to the replay, everybody in the building knew that it was not a good goal, but the puck going out of play is not something that the rules allow to be reviewed on video. Therefore the on-ice call had to stand even though everyone knew it was wrong. I feel bad for the officials since it was an honest mistake and they have to live with knowing they probably cost the Wings the game at a time when they really needed a boost to get their confidence back.

Regardless, the Wings played great and hopefully they can keep it going and start getting some wins again.

I also want to welcome back Mickey Redmond after successfully recovering from lung surgery! I was very pleased to see to him when I turned on the game. Attaboy, Mickey! Continued recovery, good health, and long life to you.

This 3-2 loss brings us to:
90 points

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