Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix Coyotes’

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4 (4/20/10)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Tonight’s game was a must win for the Red Wings. They were down 2-1 in the series. If you fall to 3-1 the odds are not good of coming back to win the series, but a win tonight and it would be up for grabs.

The goalies once again were Jimmy Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov. The Coyotes captain Shane Doan was not in the lineup for this game. He was injured in game 3 when he crashed into the boards trying to avoid running into Jimmy Howard. Fiddler was back in the lineup for the Coyotes after missing the previous game.

The Red Wings did some line juggling for this game. Cleary was moved onto a line with Datsyuk and Franzen. Holmstrom was moved onto a line with Miller and Abdelkader.

In the first period Miller and Fiddler got into it a little bit in front of the Coyotes’ net. They didn’t actually fight but they both went off for roughing. They continued to argue while in the boxes. There was some animosity there for sure.

During the 4 one 4 it looked like Filppula had scored. After looking at the replay though it was clear that the puck did not cross the line. It was hard to believe because it looked like it was heading in and then it hit the ice and bounced right back out. It was tumbling end over end and it just happened to bounce the wrong way.

The first period ended with no score. The Wings had a slow start but seemed to play better as the period went on. The Red Wings ended up with approximately double the shots and chances that Phoenix had and were pretty much in control of the puck. They had a few power plays but couldn’t score. The biggest problem for the Wings in the first period was faceoffs. They only won 8 while Phoenix came away with 20.

Late in the second period the Red Wings were on the power play. Kronwall shot from the blue line and Zetterberg was in front. He deflected the puck with his stick and it went up and into the top corner of the net. They reviewed it see if it was touched with a high stick but it was not. There wasn’t much chance that his stick was above the crossbar because the puck went up from where he touched it and it still ended up under the crossbar. That gave the Wings the one to nothing lead. The goal was initially credited to Bertuzzi but wasn’t touched by his stick so that would be changed.

A few seconds after the goal, Datsyuk was called for boarding. During the penalty kill Jimmy Howard’s goalie mask was knocked off and he still made the save before the whistle went. It was quite a display of concentration.

The second period ended with the Wings up by one. Most of the period was rather uneventful. The Red Wings seemed to be dominating in terms of possession but Phoenix was doing a good job of preventing many quality chances. By the end of the period the shots and chances were much closer.

In the third period the Coyotes had 17 seconds of 5 on 3 power play time. The Red Wings killed it off and then killed off the rest of the penalty, too. It was a great kill for the Wings and it really energized the team and the crowd.

Later the Red Wings got the puck in deep. They got it back to Lidstrom at the point. He passed it to Franzen who found an opening to hit Datsyuk on the other side of the ice. Datsyuk fired a perfect shot that got behind Bryzgalov on the short side and found the top corner of the far side of the net. That made it two to nothing Wings with just over four minutes left in the game. It sure was a pretty play.

The Red Wings kept the pressure on and just 25 seconds later they scored again. Bertuzzi won a race to negate an icing and cycled the puck to Zetterberg down below the goal line along the boards. Zetterberg just threw it to the net and it hit Bryzgalov and went in to make it three to zip.

The Red Wings played some great defense for the final five minutes including a penalty kill at the end that was needed when Datsyuk flipped the puck over the glass by mistake.

The Wings got the win and Jimmy Howard earned his first career playoff shutout. It was a great performance by Howard especially considering this was a bounce back game after losing game three and giving up some soft goals. It’s a great sign that he was able to put that all behind him and perform so well in this game.

Detroit played a very physical game tonight. They were really throwing the body around and laying some big hits. Datsyuk and Zetterberg played really well as did Helm and Bertuzzi.

So the Red Wings head back to Phoenix with the series tied at two apiece. It’s a best of three now.

This 0-3 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to a 2-2 tie.

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 3 (4/18/10)

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

With the series tied at one apiece, the Coyotes rolled into Detroit this afternoon to face the Red Wings in game three. Howard and Bryzgalov were the goalies once again today.

It only took about 30 second for the Coyotes to draw first blood. The Red Wings turned the puck over and the Coyotes got it in deep. They started throwing it at the net, Howard got turned around and everybody was scrambling. Datsyuk swept the puck away from the net to save a goal but it ended up in the slot where Lepisto pounced on it and scored to make it one nothing Coyotes.

Later in the first period Detroit had the first power play of the game. It was a very good power play. The way they were able to move puck and create scoring chances was just incredible. It looked like men against boys. As the power play continued, a rebound came to Filppula and he put it in the net to tie the game at one.

Shane Doan tripped over Jimmy Howard early in the second period and went hard into the boards shoulder first. He left the game at that point and did not return.

Also in the second period Rafalski left with a lower back problem but later returned.

The Coyotes started buzzing toward the end of the second period. Lombardi shot and Howard made the first stop but the rebound came out and Wolski shot again. That one beat Howard to make it two to one just a few seconds before the end of the period.

At about the halfway point of the third period, Vrbata won a faceoff in his own end and started up ice. He passed it to Prucha who angled it off the boards back to Vrbata and went to the net. Vrbata passed it back to Prucha close to the slot. Prucha made a nice move around Jimmy Howard and scored. That gave the Coyotes a two goal lead with about 11 minutes to go.

A few minutes later, after an offensive zone faceoff, the Wings got the puck behind the net and Zetterberg fought to push it ahead to Bertuzzi. He passed it back to Franzen who fired an absolute pinpoint shot that somehow fit through the short side between Bryzgalov and the post to make it a one goal game. What a sniper!

A few minutes after that, the Coyotes scored again. The Red Wings had just made a defensive change and Vrbata ended up with more space than he should have had. He fired a shot that beat Howard cleanly and gave the Coyotes a two goal lead again. That was one that Howard would definitely want back. There was about 8 minutes to go at that point.

Late in the third Bertuzzi got the puck into the net but it was after the whistle, or at least the intent to blow the whistle. On the replay it was pretty clear that the puck was covered before Bertuzzi shoved it (and Bryzgalov) into the net, so I think this was a fair call.

The Wings pulled the goalie in the final few minutes. Then with about 30 seconds left Aucoin flipped the puck over the glass so the Wings also had a power play. Then Jovanovski was called for roughing but the whistle didn’t blow until there was about 5 seconds left. Time ran out before Detroit could score so the Wings lost four to two.

The Red Wings played okay in this game. They were great at times and not so great at other times. The Wings weren’t as good as they were in game two. I’m not sure what the difference was but they’ll have to play a lot better on Tuesday.

This 4-2 loss brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to 1-2 Coyotes.

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2 (4/16/10)

Friday, April 16th, 2010

After a frustrating game one on Wednesday, the Red Wings had another crack at the Coyotes tonight. The Wings played fairly well in the first game. They had a ton of shots but weren’t able to stop the Coyotes’ power play. Hopefully the Wings will be able to build on the positive aspects of the last game and fix the negative ones.

The goalies once again were Jimmy Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov. Abdelkader was in for the Red Wings for this game in place of Jason Williams. Mike Babcock made the switch because he wanted to add more of a physical presence after the hard hitting game one.

At about the halfway point of the first period Zetterberg was fighting for the puck with Hanzal in front the Red Wings net. Hanzal shot the puck and the rebound dropped down in front of the crease. Zetterberg reached for the puck but before he could get it Yandle came flying in out of nowhere and chipped it into the net giving the Coyotes the first lead of the game.

In the second period the Red Wings were on the power play. Kronwall brought the puck through the neutral zone and dropped it off for Zetterberg. He passed it to Filppula and continued toward the net. Filppula passed it back to Zetterberg and he put it in the back of the net. It was a great play that was perfectly executed. That tied the game at one.

Just a few seconds after that goal Phoenix took back the lead. Howard stopped the puck with his glove and tried to pass it off to Kronwall. He wasn’t expecting that. Kronwall spun around and tried to chip it away but it hit Wolski. He got control and shot quickly beating Howard just 38 seconds after the Red Wings’ goal.

Just a few second later the Wings tied it up again. They had got the puck in deep and into the corner. Holmstrom went after it and cycled it back for Franzen. He passed it to Datsyuk in the slot who shot it perfectly into the roof of the net. That tied the score at two each.

A couple of seconds later Lombardi got a lead pass from Doan on a give and go. Lombardi was in behind the defense. Miller tried to catch up to him but he was already beaten. Lombardi shot on Howard and beat him through the five hole. The Coyotes were back up by one at about the halfway point of the game.

A few seconds later, you guessed it, the Red Wings tied it up again. Bertuzzi got rocked at center ice but he still made the play. He chipped the puck ahead to Filppula who took it to the net. Filppula made a quick move and put the puck between Bryzgalov’s legs and into the net.  That was the fifth goal in 3:58 of game time.

At that point there was a very noticeable surge in the Red Wings’ energy level as they went all out trying to score again. Everybody was into it; they were really amped up. It seemed like the final minute of a one goal game except that it just kept going.

That pace continued for the rest of the second period but nobody scored any more goals.

Early in the third period Wolski was trying to get the puck out of his own end and Abdelkader took it away from him and turned it back toward the net. Bryzgalov tried to go for the poke check but Abdelkader avoided it and put the puck in the net making Mike Babcock look like a genius. Abdelkader was having a great game with a bunch of hits and a goal.

The Red Wings continued to play like they were lit on fire. The Coyotes were on their heels. Then at about the halfway point of the period the Wings got caught on a Phoenix breakaway with Lidstrom the only defender in place as Fiddler and Doan came in on the rush. Lidstrom tried to take away the pass but it got through underneath his stick and Doan one timed it into the net tying the game at four.

A few minutes later Zetterberg and Bertuzzi entered the zone. Zetterberg passed to Bertuzzi and went to the net. Bertuzzi shot from the side boards and the rebound dropped down in front of the other side of the net right in front of Zetterberg. Bryzgalov was out of position and Zetterberg popped it into the wide open side of the goal to take back the lead.

As the third period was winding down the Red Wings went on the power play. Fiddler fell heavily and hit the back of his head on the boards. He was quite shaken up. He left the ice and looked really wobbly walking down the tunnel. When the power play continued Stuart shot from the blue line. The puck hit the back boards where Filppula picked it up and circled with Bertuzzi in front screening and Zetterberg hanging around the net. Filppula shot one that Bryzgalov couldn’t get a good look at thanks to Bertuzzi. The puck went in the net and gave the Wings a two goal cushion for the first time in the game with about two minutes to go.

Zetterberg bagged an empty net goal in the final minute. That gave him his first career playoff hat trick. Way to go! Are there free curly fries during the playoffs? :-)

This game was incredible. The Red Wings didn’t look that great in the first period and the shots were even in that one. From the second period on the Wings looked amazing. They were playing very physical hockey. The hitting was fantastic. That really helped open the ice and allow for some excellent puck movement and crisp passing. The energy level was awesome. Great job, Red Wings!

This 7-4 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to a 1-1 tie.

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1 (4/14/10)

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Tonight it was game one of Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Red Wings and the Coyotes. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov. The Red Wings were wearing their road whites which fit nicely with just about everybody in the arena. It almost looked like they were wearing white for the Wings.

The Wings looked great in the first period. They had a lot of quality shots. Bryzgalov was looking really sharp as well and making some spectacular saves. At the other end the Coyotes had a few bursts of scoring chances but nothing too serious; just enough to get Howard in the game.

Then, after all the big saves Bryzgalov had made, Holmstrom fired one from near the point. Bryzgalov reached for it with the glove and just missed it. That made it one to nothing Wings.

A few minutes later the Coyotes had a power play and Yandle fired from the blue line. Doan was in front of Howard screening him. The puck went in to tie the game at one.

Not long after that the Red Wings had their second power play. They were moving the puck very well. Lidstrom shot the puck from the blue line with about three or four people between him and Bryzgalov. It somehow made it through everybody’s legs. It might have been redirected a time or two but it made it into the back of the net. Bryzgalov never had a chance of stopping that one. I don’t think he even saw it. That made it two to one Red Wings.

The first period was pretty well dominated by the Red Wings. They controlled the puck very well and they were creating a tremendous amount of traffic in front of Bryzgalov. They ended the period with a two to one lead and most of a power play left over to start the second.

In the second period the Coyotes killed off the early power play and then had one of their own about five minutes later. Yandle had the puck and passed it across to Wolski who was wide open. He one timed a bullet of a shot that beat Howard cleanly to tie the game at two.

The Coyotes seemed a lot more aggressive in the second period. There were a lot of big hits by both teams. Doan hit Kronwall and was called for a charge but it looked like a head shot to me. On the replays it looked like Doan hit him right in the face with a forearm. Nobody seemed to react to it though so I guess maybe it wasn’t that bad.

Early in the third period the Coyotes had a power play. They won the faceoff back to Morris who shot from the blue line and beat Howard to take the lead for the first time in the game.

In the third period Lidstrom was hit in the mouth with Fiddler’s stick and cut pretty badly. None of the officials saw it though so instead of a four minute penalty there was nothing. Nice job, refs.

The Coyotes improved even more in the third period. They took the game over. The Wings weren’t able to score even after pulling the goalie in the final minute.

This seemed like three separate games. In the first period the Red Wings had more than double the shots of the Coyotes. The second period was pretty even. And in the third period the Coyotes doubled the Red Wings’ shots. I don’t know if they just wore down the Wings, or if they Coyotes just found their mojo. They definitely had the Wings scrambling in the third period though.

So the Red Wings lost game one three to two. Now they need to shake that off and come back strong on Friday.

This 2-3 loss brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to 0-1 Coyotes.

Red Wings Ready To Rock

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The playoffs get underway for the Red Wings tonight in Phoenix.  This should be a great matchup.  Phoenix is going to be tough.  On paper the Wings should have them but the games aren’t played on paper and the Coyotes have a lot of heart, not to mention their skill.

This year it’s the Red Wings that are entering the playoffs on a winning streak with a hot young goalie who seems poised to play spoiler to the higher seeded teams.  That’s a switch for the Wings who are almost always one of the top seeded teams.

Tonight’s game is in Phoenix so it has the 10:00 start for us folks in the Eastern Time zone.  It’s going to be tough waking up for work tomorrow but I wouldn’t miss it!

….and one more thing, LET’S GO RED WINGS!