Detroit at Florida (11/14/08)

After playing Tampa Bay just the previous night, Detroit faced the Florida Panthers to try to sweep the state.  Ty Conklin started the game for the Red Wings and Craig Anderson was the goalie for the Panthers.  In a side note, after the Lightning’s loss to Detroit yesterday, head coach Barry Melrose was fired.  Assistant coach Rick Tocchet took over head coaching duties for the Lightning.  I think Barry wasn’t given enough of a chance.  Considering he had so many new players, new coaches, and a new front office, it seems to me like they should have given him at least until the end of the year.  Even though the Lightning weren’t winning too many games yet, I thought they were improving and I was expecting them to keep getting better and possibly make the playoffs.  But enough about the Lightning.

For most of the first period there was a lot of back and forth action but no scoring.  Then Marian Hossa shot the puck from the corner.  I’m not kidding he was all the way in the corner, well passed the goal line.  He shot the puck towards the net and it went in off of Anderson.  There was a short review and then the goal was officially awarded to put the Red Wings up one to nothing.

Early on in the second period Detroit scored again.  Lidstrom passed to Hossa and he shot the puck.  It looked like it was redirected off of one of the Panthers.  After that goal the Panthers made a goalie change pulling Anderson and putting in Vokun.

Florida got a goal a little while later.  They had three or four shots at it and finally Zednick roofed it.

Then, about halfway through the period, Zednick stole the puck from Rafalski and gave it to Weiss who scored.  There was some traffic in front of the net and Conklin thought he was interfered with, but the referees disagreed.  That made it a tie game.

Florida continued to jump on Detroit through the rest of the second period.  They actually passed the Red Wings in the shots on goal category which tells you that Detroit was breaking down again defensively.  They were lucky to not be trailing after two.  I’m guessing they got another verbal lashing from Babcock.

The Wings looks more focused in the third.  Datsyuk was doing his thing with the puck and drew a penalty.  On the power play Kronwall released a bomb from the blue line and Franzen redirected it right in front of the net.  Vokun never had a chance to see it let alone stop it.  Franzen’s tip was incredible.  It took some slow motion analysis by Mickey Redmond to even see it.  Franzen tipped it down low and it went up into the top of the net.

Through the rest of the game both teams played with a lot of energy.  Florida tried hard for the tying goal and Conklin made some great saves.  Detroit had a lot of chances as well and pretty much dominated the rest of the game.  Florida was finally able to pull the goalie with about 30 seconds left but they didn’t get much of a chance to do anything.  They got it into Detroit’s zone once and the Wings cleared it and kept it out.  So that was the game, the Red Wings won three to two.

It seems like the Red Wings are playing better lately defensively but they still have a few sequences in each game where they kind of lose focus.  Detroit has to be the only team in the league that can slump defensively and still keep winning.  It seems like they’re always blowing leads and letting teams back into games when they should have been out of it.  But somehow they’re still doing well.  They’re lucky that the power play is cranking right now.  If it weren’t for the power play and Hossa’s scoring, I think we’d probably be closer to the bottom.  I think the Red Wings are playing as well as they have to and no more.  There’s nothing really wrong with that as long as they don’t getting into the habit of coasting.  If you’re playing just well enough to get into the playoffs it’s hard to crank it up at that ponit.  You want to hit the playoffs rolling full speed.  But the playoffs are a long ways off.  I’m sure there will be many ups and downs before the end of the regular season.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
25 points

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