Colorado at Detroit (10/17/09)

Tonight a talented young Colorado Avalanche came to Detroit to face the Red Wings. The Avs have been off to a great start this season but the Red Wings have been perfect at the Joe. We can’t say that they’re perfect at home because one of the two losses in Sweden was considered a home game but at Joe Louis Arena they’re undefeated.

Datsyuk was still out for this game but he’s expected back for the next one. Osgood was in net for the Wings and for the Avs it was Craig Anderson. Anderson is a big part of why they Avs have been winning; he’s just starting to come into his own and he entered this game with the best save percentage in the league. The Avs have been winning even though they’ve been outshot by an average of 9 shots per game so you really have to give Anderson a lot of credit for the wins.

Early in the game Adam Foote took a puck up high that stung him for a few minutes. It might have caught him in the jaw or the side of the face. He stayed on the bench after leaving the ice and he wasn’t bleeding so it wasn’t too bad.

Helm and Abdelkader were doing some good work together early in the first period. Then Helm took the puck to the net. He skated into the slot with all kinds of traffic in the way. He tried to stick handle to his backhand but lost the puck. Luckily he lost it to the trailing Abdelkader who slid the puck under everybody and into the net. That gave the Wings the early lead one to nothing. That was Abdelkader’s first regular season goal of his career (he’s only had playoff goals up until that one).

Later in the first period Brad May fought with Cody McLeod. It was a good fight with both guys landing a few haymakers. I’d call it a draw punch-wise but I think it gave more of a boost to the Wings than it did to the Avs.

It was a great first period for the Red Wings. They outshot the Avalanche 13 to 5 and did a really good job on the forecheck. They seemed to have a lot more energy right from the start of the game than they’ve had in any game so far this season.

Zetterberg was hooked near the end of the first period so the Red Wings had almost a minute and a half of power play time to start the second. The Red Wings were in control on the power play. They kept the puck in the Avalanche end and were moving it at will. Bertuzzi owned the front of the net. Adam Foote was trying to defend him but it looked like he was trying to move an Oak tree. Cleary passed from the top of the circle to Zetterberg at the bottom of the circle. Zetterberg sent it towards the net and Bertuzzi tipped it in to give the Red Wings the two to nothing lead. That was Bertuzzi’s first goal of the season. He’s been looking better and better every game in my opinion and it was nice to see his efforts finally pay off with a goal.

Throughout the second period the Red Wings continued their domination of the Avalanche. They were outworking and outskating the Avs every shift.

The Red Wings were called for too many men on the ice near the end of the second period so the Avs had about a minute and a half of power play time to start the third period. The Wings successfully killed off the penalty. The Avs had a pretty good scoring chance just after the penalty expired but Osgood made a nice glove save to preserve the score.

Zetterberg, Cleary and Bertuzzi had a glorious scoring chance in the third period. It was all set up by a nice takeaway by Zetterberg. He ended up getting a great feed from Bertuzzi for a one-timer but Anderson snagged it out of the air with his glove.

Williams was high-sticked just after a faceoff and cut pretty badly, so the Wings had four minutes of power play time. Williams went straight to the dressing room with a towel on his face to get stitched up.

The Red Wings didn’t score on the power play but they had several good chances and mostly continued their domination of the Avalanche.

Halfway through the third period the Avalanche broke the shutout. McLeod shot with Lebda defending him. Lebda got his stick on McLeod’s stick but the shot still made it through. It went between Osgood’s legs and into the net. That made it two to one Red Wings with over ten minutes left in the game.

A few minutes later Duchene brought the puck into the Red Wings end with Stuart guarding him. He used Stuart as a screen and shot the puck. Osgood didn’t see it until it was too late so the game was tied at two.

Then Leino set up Williams who took the puck to the net. He drew the defense and the goalie to one side. Then he put the puck in the goalie’s pads and it bounced off and sat in front of the wide open net. Leino couldn’t get a handle on it because he was blocked off the puck by his defender. But Filppula came out of nowhere and smacked it into the net. That gave the Wings the one goal lead again making it three to two. It also took a little wind out of Colorado’s sails.

With just two and half minutes left Detroit got caught in a bad line change and ended up outnumbered in their own end. It was a three on two. Osgood followed the guy with the puck but he passed it across to McLeod who had nobody guarding him. McLeod shot the puck and beat Osgood who didn’t have much of a chance to get back over to that side of the net in time. That tied the game again making it three all.

The tie held until the end of regulation. Colorado got a point that I honestly don’t think they deserved. They were badly outshot and outplayed throughout this entire game. I don’t really know how they even stayed in this game. I guess that’s their M.O. this season since they’ve been outshot in all of their games so far and have won most of them.

Colorado had a little more jump than the Wings in the overtime. I think they were energized just because of making it to OT and the Wings were probably really let down by it. Neither team scored in the OT though so it was time for a shootout.

Jason Williams went first and released a nice snapshot that burned Anderson on the glove side. Then came Svatos who faked out Osgood and beat him. Zetterberg went next. Anderson stayed with him and stoned him. Next it was Hejduk. He beat Osgood putting the Avs up by one. Leino went next and Anderson stopped him which ended the game.

That’s another win by Colorado in a game in which they were pretty much dominated. I don’t know how they continue to do this but I can’t believe it can get them very far. This will catch up with them as the season goes on.

It was a huge disappointment for the Red Wings to only get a point out of this game even though they played very well. It was by far their best game of the season to this point. At least they have that to build on for next time.

They’re off until Thursday now as they head out on their first road out west this season. They’ll be meeting the Avalanche again next Saturday in Colorado.

This 4-3 overtime loss brings us to:
7 points

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