Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Detroit at Colorado (12/27/08)

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

After losing in Nashville last night, Detroit went to Colorado for the second half of back to back games.  Conklin was in net again for the Wings and and Budaj was playing for the Avalanche.

Lidstrom was not able to go for this game because of the ankle injury he sustained blocking a shot in Nashville.  The initial x-rays showed no fracture but it was too swollen for him to play.  He will have additional tests when the Red Wings return to Detroit.

Colorado struck first with a power play goal in the first period.  The puck had squirted out to the high slot area and Salei took a shot.  It looked like it went off the inside of Conklin’s left leg, then hit his right leg and then ricocheted into the net.

A few minutes later the Avalanche scored another power play goal.  There was a hard shot that went off the back boards and came back to the side of the net right to Smyth.  Conklin didn’t get his skate to the post in time and Smyth pushed the puck into the net to give the Avs a two nothing lead.  The Wings just seemed to be scrambling on the penalty kill.  They didn’t look very good at all.

Later in the first period the Avalanche got ANOTHER power play goal.  Right off the power play’s first faceoff the Avs took a shot.  The rebound dropped out front and Stuart picked it up.  For some reason, instead of clearing it up ice, he sent it to the point where Liles took it and shot it into the net.

Three nothing in the first period on three power play goals.  All I can say after that period is that I hope Lidstrom never retires because they looked like garbage without him.

In the second period the Red Wings finally scored.  It was a power play goal.  Datsyuk shot the puck and Budaj lost sight of it because of traffic.  The shot never got through because it hit Holmstrom.  It dropped right back down to Datsyuk and Budaj didn’t know where it was.  It made for an easy goal for Pavel.  That brought the Wings to within two goals of tying the game.

Just  a few seconds later Detroit struck again on the power play.  Samuellson shot the puck from near the blue line and Holmstrom tipped it masterfully.  The shot was going well wide of the net and he redirected it perfectly in.  There was no way any goalie could have stopped that one.  All of the sudden it was a one goal game.

A few minutes after THAT, you guessed it, the Red Wings tied the game.  There was some nice puck movement and it came to Franzen who beat Budaj with a great shot.  That was the sixth goal of the game and the first one to come at even strength.  All three of the Red Wings goals game within about a five minute stretch.  That was the end of the second period so it was a whole new game heading into the third.

Early in the third period Detroit had some glorious chances on a power play and Budaj was able to keep them out to maintain the tie.  The Red Wings continued to take it to the Avs for most of the third period but Budaj came up huge with some monster saves.  This entire period had a sudden death feel to it.  There was desperation on both sides.  At the Red Wings end Conklin also made some big time saves to keep this game tied.  Thanks to a goaltending showcase throughout the third period, this game headed to overtime.

This game was three different games in one.  The first period was owned by Colorado’s offense.  The second period was owned by Detroit’s offense.  And the third period was owned by the goaltenders.

The overtime period continued in the style of the third.  Neither team was able to score so they headed to the shootout.

Colorado chose to shoot first and they started with Wolski.  He faked Conklin out of his pants and scored an easy goal.  Datsyuk was up next for Detroit.  He hit the post.  Svatos was next for the Avs.  He came in very fast and took a hard shot that Conklin stopped.  Next it was Zetterberg and Budaj stoned him.  Hejduk was up for the Avs to try for the win but Conklin stopped his shot.  It was up to Hudler to tie it back up for the Wings.  He took a shot but Budaj stopped it giving the Avs the shootout victory.

This was a strange game for the Red Wings.  Considering how bad they looked in the first period I think they’re lucky to come away from this one with a road point, especially after playing the night before.  They made an amazing comeback in the second period and then didn’t let their foot off the gas from that point on.  

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

Colorado at Detroit (12/15/08)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

The Colorado Avalanche were in town tonight to face the Detroit Red Wings.  They used Raycroft as their starting goalie and Detroit went with Osgood.

Well, the old rivalry between the Avalanche and the Red Wings is clearly dead.  In the first period this had the feel of a preseason game.  Everybody on both teams looked like they were playing in slow motion.  Detroit gave up two goals in the early minutes of the period.  Osgood looked shakier than I’ve ever seen him.  He didn’t seem to have any confidence at all and he was always fighting the puck.  In fact everybody looked like they were terrified of making a mistake.  Outside of the score and shots on goal, I think there were two good indicators that the Red Wings weren’t playing well.  The first is the lack of confidence that was evident in Osgood.  The second is the fact that Datsyuk would not shoot the puck.  He had some great chances and always tried to make a pass.

Colorado’s first goal came just over a minute into the game.  It was a turnover in the neutral zone as the Red Wings were changing.  They ended up in a 2 on 0 against Osgood.  That goal was scored by Wolski; it was the first shot on net for the Avs.  The second goal was a pass across the ice to a side that had been left uncovered by the defense.  Stastny took the pass and snapped it past Osgood.

I wonder if the Red Wings got an earful from Babcock during the first intermission.  I can almost imagine him not saying a word to them.  It’s not like they don’t know what to do.  I don’t think that’s his style though.  I suspect he probably gave them an encouraging pep talk.

It took until almost half way through the second period and it was a really ugly goal, but the Red Wings finally scored.  There was a big mess in front of the net and Holmstrom had several whacks at the puck.  It dropped on the goal line behind Raycroft and trickled in.  Originally, Rafalski was credited with the goal but it was later changed to Holmstrom.

Early in the third period there was a scrum in front of Osgood.  The puck got between his legs and was trickling into the net.  Lebda dove in behind Osgood and pushed the puck back into his pads.  Because Lebda covered the puck in the crease a penalty shot was awarded to Colorado.  Leopold took the shot and scored to give Colorado a three to one lead.

A few minutes later Detroit scored right off of a faceoff to Raycroft’s right.  Zetterberg took the draw and the puck ended up loose.  Hossa muscled his way to it and snapped right between Raycroft’s legs before he even knew what hit him.  That brought Detroit back within one goal.

Although Detroit played a little better in the second and much better in the third it wasn’t enough to make up for the lackadaisical performance in the first period.  The Red Wings didn’t deserve to win this game and it’s about time they start losing games that they don’t deserve to win.  Otherwise, what’s the incentive to play hard if you can still win anyway?  I remember a few losing streaks last season that helped the Wings in the long run.  Maybe a little bit of that is what they need right now to remind them to play hard for 60 minutes.

This 3-2 loss brings us to:
44 points

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4 (5/1/08)

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Detroit was attempting to close out this series with a sweep in this game.  Colorado continued to be plagued by injuries.

Detroit opened the scoring with a very soft goal scored by Samuelsson.  It looked like Theodore had it but it trickled through.  He looked behind him just as the puck was about to cross the line.  He dove for it but it was way too late.  Not long after that Holmstrom was called for a very questionable tripping call and Colorado converted on the power play.   They used some good puck movement and caught Lilja napping in front of the net and beat Osgood.  That seem to give the Avs a lot of confidence and they had the momentum for most of the rest of the period.  However, with about a minute and a half left in the period everything fell apart for the Avs.  Zetterberg got the puck on a breakaway with Holmstrom.  He passed the puck and Homer nailed it.  Then, a few seconds later It happened again, this time Filppula and, who else, Franzen.  The period ended with the Red Wings leading 3 to 1.  To add insult to injury, Colorado took a penalty in the last few seconds of the period, so Detroit started the second period with a full 2 minutes of power play time.

Not surprisingly, Colorado started the second period with Budaj in net instead of Theodore.  In the minutes he’s played, I think Budaj has been the better goalie.  Theodore just doesn’t seem to be on his game for whatever reason.

The goalie change didn’t slow down the Red Wings.  They started with a power play goal in which Lidstrom set up Zetterberg for a one-timer with Holmstrom screening Budaj in front.  I don’t think Budaj ever had a chance to see the shot.  Then Zetterberg scored again this time shooting backwards as he was falling down; a truly incredible goal.  A bit later Colorado was on the power play when Zetterberg stole the puck and started a 2 on 1 shorthanded rush with Franzen.  I wouldn’t want to be Budaj in that situation trying to decide who’s going to be the shooter between Zetterberg and Franzen.  Zetterberg passed and Franzen scored making it looked really easy.  Colorado was obviously very demoralized at that point since they had needed a goal on that power play just to get started on the road to getting back in the game and instead Detroit scored shorthanded.  The score at that point was 6 to 1.  Near the end of the second period Detroit got another power play goal.  Lidstrom took a shot from the point and Franzen redirected it.  That’s Franzen’s second hat trick of this series.  Colorado continued to play hard and Osgood had to stay sharp but the period ended with Detroit leading 7 to 1.

In the third period the Red Wings continued to shake their Budaj.  About half way through the period Hudler made a sweet pass to Samuelsson who scored a nice tap in out of mid air.  Detroit took a  couple of stupid penalties in a row and Colorado got a power play goal in a 5 on 3 situation.  That was the end of the scoring for the game.

I have to hand it to the Avalanche.  They continued to play with heart and pride right to the final buzzer even though the game winning goal was scored in the first period.  It’s pretty clear that with all the injuries that Colorado had they were hopelessly outmatched.  This was not the best that the Avs have to offer.  We’ll have to thank Minnesota for softening them up for us.  The Avs are a great team and they’ll be back next year and hopefully stay healthy.

As for the Red Wings, we’re moving on.  We closed out the first octopus, now we start on the second one.  Eight more wins to go!  Now it’s just a matter of holding this intensity level until the conference finals start.

Great job, Red Wings!

This 8-2 win finishes this Western Conference Semifinal series at 4-0 Detroit.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3 (4/29/08)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Forsberg was able to go to start this game and Theodore said he was 100% over the flu so I was expecting a great game.

The first period did not disappoint.  Both teams played hard and the energy level was high.  Colorado drew first blood with a shot that may have been redirected.  It was kind of an off speed shot and moved slowly past Osgood and into the net.  Detroit answered when Zetterberg and Datsyuk teamed up for a beautiful power play goal.  From then on Detroit was just all over the Avalanche.  They were constantly pressuring in Colorado’s end.  Just a few seconds after the Red Wings first goal Franzen continued his streak with a goal from his spot in front of the net.  The first period ended 2-1 Detroit.  At some point during the first period Forsberg left the ice for unknown reasons.

Forsberg was able to return in the second period but unfortunately for the Avs Stastny left the game after incidental contact with Datsyuk in the first period.  They bumped legs a little bit near center and it must have been worse than it looked for Stastny.

Detroit scored first in the second period.  Datsuk was standing near the top of the crease and Theodore was way out because Rafalski had the puck up at the point and Theodore was expecting a shot.  Instead Rafalski passed it to Datsyuk who pulled it back and around Theodore for an easy goal.  Not long later McCarty took a dumb penalty for holding and the Avs capitalized.  It was another redirected shot and Osgood didn’t have much of a chance.  That made it 3 to 2 Detroit.  Near the midway point of the period Forsberg was penalized with a double minor for high sticking Samuelsson.  It really didn’t look that bad and the crowd thought it was a dive but Sammy’s mouth was all bloody so it must have been worse than it looked.  Detroit capitalized on the power play when Zetterberg was left unattended at the side of the net.  Datsyuk found him and it was an easy tap in.  For the most part the rest of the period was all Detroit.  Colorado had a few chances but Detroit was all over them whenever they had the puck.  The period ended with Detroit up 4 to 2.

In the third period Colorado really pushed back hard.  They got a power play goal early after Detroit was hit with two bench minors for too many men.  From then on Colorado was pressuring for the tieing goal.  They had tons of chances and Osgood made a lot of great and timely saves.  They were not able to tie the game however and Detroit won.

This 4-3 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 3-0 Detroit.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 2 (4/26/08)

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

There was a bit more animosity to start the first period.  McCleod of the Avalanche picked up the octopus after it was thrown on the ice.  He held it up and taunted the Red Wings with it and then threw it into the tunnel.  It was a pretty bad throw and he almost put it into the stands.  It hit the wall right above the usher who was standing in the tunnel.  He had to duck to get out of the way and not end up smelling like octopus all day.  I thought that was kind of a jerk move by McCleod.  I don’t mind him picking it up and tossing it off the ice, but leave the poor usher out of it.

The attitude didn’t seem to carry over into the game for the Avalanche.  The Red Wings pretty much dominated the first period.  The only goal was scored by Franzen who continues to be unstoppable.  He was in front of the net and made another beautiful redirect that Theodore never had a chance to stop.  Filppula hit Foote from behind at the end of the first period and drove him head first into the boards.  I don’t think he was trying to hurt him, it was just a case of Foote turning just as Filppula got to him.  Foote and the rest of the Avalanche were very upset about not getting a power play out of it. 

In the second period the Red Wings broke this game wide open.  It started with Franzen again.  He came around the net and when he got to the front he sort of faded backwards then roofed a backhand shot over Theodore.  Next, Drake took a shot from the point and Theodore directed it to the back boards.  It bounced quickly back to the front of the net where Filppula arrived at the perfect time for a quick goal.  Finally, on an odd man rush Zetterberg carried the puck in and crossed in front of the net.  He waited for the right moment and popped it in.  That was the end for Theodore as he was once again pulled and replaced by Budaj.  Things really started breaking down for the Avs at that point.  There was a fight between McCarty and McCormick.  McCarty probably threw more punches but McCormick got the takedown.  I’d call it a draw.  It didn’t seem to add much life to Colorado.  They continued to take one penalty after another for most of the rest of the period.  The one positive for the Avs was that they were able to kill two 5 on 3 power plays.  Budaj has been solid in the minutes he’s played.  It’ll be interesting to see if he or Theodore starts in game 3.  The second period ended with Detroit winning 4 to 0.

In the third period the Avs came out with a little more jump and put some pressure on the Red Wings.  It led to a goal when Chelios got trapped in his own end with no one to pass to.  He tried to clear it but it was intercepted by the Avs and they scored.  A short time later the Red Wings took a penalty and it looked like things were starting to go Colorado’s way.  The Red Wings got the puck and Zetterberg took it in on net shorthanded.  Budaj stopped the shot but gave up a rebound and Franzen was following the play.  He took a whack at and then stopped in front of the net.  Budaj stopped Franzen’s first attempt but it popped up in the air.  Franzen was still there and he punched it in from mid-air.  That Franzen’s third goal of the game and his first career hat trick.  Franzen has really stepped up his play over the last couple of months and it’s great to see his streak continuing in the playoffs.

The Red Wings are looking great right now and the Avs seem really down.  I’m sure it has something to do with losing Forsberg.  He skated during warmups today but was unable to play because of a sore groin.  If he’s able to go in game 3 I think we’ll see a much better performance from Colorado.

This 5-1 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 2-0 Detroit.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 1 (4/24/08)

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

This game started out looking pretty evenly matched.  Colorado opened the scoring early in the first period.  Taking a page from the Nashville Predators, Detroit answered just 53 seconds later.  It was a perfectly executed give and go from Zetterberg to Datsyuk and back to Zetterberg for the tieing goal.  Later Dan Cleary scored with a blast that popped up in the air.  Everybody lost sight of it and it dropped in behind Jose Theodore and into the net.  Towards the end of the period Detroit scored again, this time on a power play.  Franzen made a beautiful redirect right in front of the net.  Theodore never had a chance.  Franzen’s hand-eye coordination was incredible, even in slow motion.  The period ended with Detroit leading 3-1.

Early in the second period Franzen scored another beautiful goal.  This one was a one-timer and he picked the corner.  There was very little room but he nailed it perfectly.  At that point Colorado pulled Jose Theodore and put in Peter Budaj.  From then on the Avs slowly started stepping up their play.  They scored a goal that found an opening on Osgood where it didn’t look like there was an opening.  They kept playing better and better and ended up with an odd man rush.  They scored on that play making it 4-3 Detroit. 

In the first half of the third period Detroit seemed to be getting back some of the momentum.  However, in the second half of the third Colorado really stepped it up.  They pressured hard for almost 10 minutes straight and Detroit had to be very defensive.  Osgood made several stellar saves and the Avalance were not able to tie the game.

This 4-3 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 1-0 Detroit.

Round 2: Detroit vs. Colorado

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

The first round is over and the results are in.  Detroit will face Colorado in the second round.  This will bring back a lot of great memories for some of us!  Maybe this matchup will rekindle one of the best rivalries in recent years.

Check out my video page (under pages at the right), to see a nice summary of the Detroit / Colorado rivalry.

Game 1 is Thursday night at 7.30.  Mike Babcock has said that Osgood will remain in net to start Round 2.  It should be a great series!