Montreal at Detroit (11/26/08)

The Montreal Canadiens came to Joe Louis Arena to face the Red Wings tonight. Carey Price was in net for the Canadiens and Ty Conklin was the starter for Detroit.  The Red Wings have said that they want to start giving Ozzy more days off.  That’s probably a good thing.  I thought he was looking pretty tired by the end of the previous game.

Both teams started the game like they were shot out of a cannon.  Lots of fast back and forth action.  There weren’t a lot of scoring chances but there was a lot of fast skating and quick steals.

Montreal was playing an 0-5 defence early in the game.  I have to think that’s a mistake because it gives Detroit free reign of the neutral zone.  That makes it really easy for them to bring the puck out of their own end with speed.  It’s entertaining to watch though.  As the Wings tried to gain the offensive zone they hit it with speed and all of the Candiens were there to stop them.  It’s like the unstoppable force against the immovable object.  Pretty fun to watch.

One highlight of the first period was a huge hit that Brad Stuart put on Alex Tanguay.  It was just a monster hit.  It’ll probably be on the highlight reels at the end of the season.  Tanguay finished that shift but did not return to the game after that.

In the second period LaPierre scored for the Canadiens.  He shot the puck from behind the net and it went off Lidstrom’s skate and between the skates of Conklin.  It was a fluky goal and there wasn’t much that could have been done to stop it.

Later the Canadiens scored a power play goal.  Things were getting scrambly in front of the net.  The Wings turned the puck over, the Canadiens made a few quick passes and Plekanic took the shot.  Conklin got a piece of it but it went off his glove and in.

Just 80 seconds later it happened again.  This time it was five on five.  Again things were breaking down in Detroit’s end.  They couldn’t clear the puck and the Canadiens got it and threw it towards the net.  It deflected in off Brad Stuart’s skate.

In the third period Detroit finally scored a goal.  Franzen made two amazing moves stick handling around defenders and shot the puck past Price.  It was a beautiful goal.  I sat there with my mouth open for a few seconds because it was just incredible.  Franzen showed awesome determination and grace on that goal.  Unfortunately, that left Detroit still down by two goals with time running out.

With about two minutes left in the game the Canadiens took about five shots in one sequence as Conklin made save after save.  They finally called it a goal but it was overturned because the puck never crossed the line.  That was a highlight reel series of saves for Conklin.  Too bad the ref is pointing in the net at the end because the highlight will look like it was a goal when it really wasn’t.

After that Detroit pulled Conklin for the extra skater, they weren’t able score again.  I thought the Wings played pretty well, but the Candiens just out-worked them.  They were faster to the loose pucks and they just seemed to have more jump.  However, I thought Helm had a strong game for the Wings.  It seemed whenever I noticed somebody making a good play it turned out to be him.  I think he’ll be earning regular spot on the roster this year.

This 3-1 loss brings us to:
32 points

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