Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis Blues’

St. Louis at Detroit (3/30/11)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Blues tonight at the Joe. Jimmy Howard wasn’t ready to go yet but he’s expected to be back on Saturday. The starting goalies were Joey MacDonald and Jaroslav Halak. Since Osgood is still on IR, Thomas McCollum was the backup. Salei was a healthy scratch and Babcock said he doesn’t want to rotate between Salei and Kindl. He wants one of them to step up and take the roster spot by playing well. Kindl has been doing a lot of that lately and is very much improved from the start of the season. Datsyuk and Draper were also out for the Wings. The Blues were missing Jackman, Steen and Oshie. Oshie was suspended by the team for missing practice.

This game was one of the worst stinkers I’ve ever seen. There were far too many goals to describe them all. Suffice it to say that Joey MacDonald was hung out to dry a LOT in this game. The Wings were ineffective at clearing the puck and just weren’t playing very hard at all. I don’t know if they thought the Blues would just roll over or what but they didn’t seem to be too interested in this game. The Blues on the other hand are pretty much out of the playoff race and had nothing left to lose. They were quicker and tougher than the Red Wings tonight.

After the fifth goal Babcock put Thomas McCollum in to try to wake up the team. The poor kid is only 21 years old and if not for injuries is probably at least a few years away from being a backup for the Red Wings. This was his first NHL game and he was just abused. He gave up three more goals on eight shots.

Babcock put MacDonald back in to start the third period. It’s too bad that McCollum had to play in a situation like this for his first game but at least he got some time on the ice with the Red Wings. Not a lot of people can say that. Everybody understands that it was a hopeless situation for him.

MacDonald gave up another two goals with help from the team. In the end the Red Wings lost 10 to 3. It was ugly. Everybody on the team was ticked off but nobody seemed to be able to right the ship.

I’m sure they will work heavily in practice before Saturday’s game and there will probably be a lot of self-assessment going on as well.

This 10-3 loss brings us to:
44-23-10
98 points

Detroit at St. Louis (3/12/11)

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The Red Wings were on the road tonight playing the Blues in St. Louis. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Jaroslav Halak. Rafalski was still out but he’s expected to be back in the lineup by Wednesday. Osgood is also expected back sometime next week.

Detroit played pretty well in the first period but it seemed like the Blues were getting too much time in the Red Wings’ zone. During one example of this, the Blues scored the first goal of the game when Cracknell fired a snapper that beat Howard. The lead didn’t last long though as Salei scored just a few seconds later and then Helm scored just 16 seconds after that. The shots on goal were pretty even but Detroit ended the period with the lead.

The second period was also pretty even. Near the end of the period Detroit was on the power play and Kronwall ripped one from high in the slot. It deflected off the stick of one of the Blues and went into the net. That made it three to one Wings at the second intermission.

Early in the third period the Red Wings had a bit of a collapse. The Blues were getting too much time in the offensive zone and were moving the puck well. First Backes scored after the Blues played keep away in the Red Wings’ end for a while. Then a few minutes later D’Agostini scored after the Wings failed a clearing attempt and turned the puck over. Suddenly it was all tied up again. Datsyuk had something to say about that, however. He made a great move between two guys and then went to the net, made another move around a defender and put the puck in the net high on Halak’s glove side. It was an incredible play by Datsyuk and it came at, get this, 13:13 of the third period. Serendipity! Then, just 80 seconds later, Abdelkader scored a beauty after going coast to coast with speed and using a Blues player for a bit of a screen. That made it five to three Red Wings. The Blues pulled Halak in final few minutes but the Red Wings held them off for the win.

I thought the Blues had too much time and space in the Detroit’s end during portions of this game but for the most part the Wings played pretty well. They were great offensively and did a decent job shutting down the Blues most of the time.

This 5-3 win brings us to:
41-20-8
90 points

Detroit at St. Louis (1/20/11)

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Blue tonight in St. Louis. Jimmy Howard was back in net for the Wings with Joey MacDonald as backup. Halak was the goalie for the Blues.

The Wings got off to a great start in this game. They had a lot of energy and put on a passing clinic. They kept up the pressure through the entire first period and had double the shots on goal that St. Louis had. They were rewarded with a nice first period goal after Zetterberg made an incredible pass to Eaves who was right on the doorstep and buried it.

In the second period the Wings only had three official shots on goal but two of them went in the net. It didn’t seem like a three shot period. I guess they must have missed the net a lot because it still seemed like Detroit was in control of the game. The first goal of the period was scored by Bertuzzi after Filppula totally faked out Halak. Filppula made it look like he was taking the puck around the back of the net but instead he dropped it off to Bertuzzi who was standing right by the goal post. Halak moved over to follow Filppula to the other side and Bertuzzi had all day to lift the puck up and into the net. Halak didn’t even look at Bertuzzi until after the puck was behind him. Later in the period Kindl scored his first NHL goal. He was in on a breakaway and tried to pass it through to Hudler but the puck hit the defenseman and deflected into the net. That put the Wings up three to nothing but TJ Oshie scored to get the Blues on the board. It was a good, quick passing play and Oshie put it over Howard’s shoulder on the glove side and into the net. So it was three to one Wings at the second intermission.

In the third period the Blues really stepped it up and momentum swung their way. Berglund and Backes both scored for the Blues to tie the game. The Berglund goal was another good passing play and a shot that beat Howard high on the glove side. Backes’ goal was more of a scrambly play where things kind of broke down and the puck was swept into the net.

The tie held until the end of regulation and the game went to overtime. A few minutes into the overtime Hudler and Helm took the puck into the Blues’ end on a breakaway. Hudler got the puck across to Helm who beat Halak with a snap shot to win the game for the Wings.

This was a good win for the Detroit. As well as they played early in the game it would have been hugely disappointing to lose or even have to settle for one point. The Wings played a great team game tonight and this was a well-deserved win.

This 4-3 win brings us to:
29-12-6
64 points

Detroit at St. Louis (12/23/10)

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Red Wings were on the road tonight to face the St. Louis Blues. It was the second of back to back games for the Wings. Osgood got the start in net for Detroit and St. Louis went with Halak. Datsyuk was out of the lineup due to last night’s broken hand. He won’t be back for about four weeks.

This game was pretty similar to last night’s game except for the outcome. I thought Detroit had good energy and competed at a high level. St. Louis was up to the challenge though; they also played very well.

The goals that Osgood allowed were mostly redirections or screens. I don’t think he was ever just cleanly beaten. Halak was at the other end though. Franzen’s goal was in the net and back out by the time Halak got his glove in place. Lidstrom and Eaves also scored great goals for the Wings but it wasn’t enough.

They could have really used Datsyuk in this one, but that’ll probably be true for every game from now until he returns. They’ll have to find a way to win without him or it’ll be a long four weeks.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
21-9-4
46 points

St. Louis at Detroit (12/15/10)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The Red Wings hosted the Blues tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The goalies were Howard and Halak.

The Wings looked good again tonight but at first it seemed like the scoring trouble from the Kings game had carried over to this one. In the first period the Red Wings had tons of great chances but just couldn’t get anything through Halak. It was starting to look like the entire team was snake bit.

Then in the second period Lidstrom snapped the streak and the floodgates were opened.

During the pre-game commentary it was mentioned that Datsyuk had the second most two goal games without getting a hat trick and it also came up that Lidstrom had the fifth most. Well, for Lidstrom at least, that streak was broken along with the goal drought. After his first goal he scored a power play goal and then an empty netter at end to earn his first career hat trick. It was a four point night for Lidstrom and Cleary had three points. Kronwall and Cleary also had goals for the Wings.

The game winning goal was scored by Cleary during a power play that was the result of a ridiculous crosscheck by Backes on Holmstrom. It was away from the play as Backes was going off for a change. Holmstrom was just standing there and Backes nailed him in the ribs which seemed to hurt pretty badly. Hopefully, there won’t be any cracked ribs. Holmstrom did not leave the game so that’s a good sign.

Datsyuk did a little hot-dogging on a shot in the third period. He had a breakaway and he put the stick between his legs and shot the puck from that position. He didn’t score but it was a pretty good shot. Mickey Redmond and Larry Murphy thought that some people might take offense to that because it seemed like he was rubbing it in. I don’t know about that though. The Wings were only up by two goals and the outcome was still in question so there wasn’t really anything to rub in at that point. I think that was just a legitimate attempt to surprise the goalie and score a goal. I thought it was pretty entertaining.

It’s good to see that the Wings haven’t lost their scoring touch and Lidstrom’s hat trick was awesome. It was a great night for the Red Wings!

This 2-5 win brings us to:
20-7-3
43 points

St. Louis at Detroit (11/17/10)

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

The Red Wings’ opponent tonight was the St. Louis Blues. The goalies were Howard and Halak. Both goalies came into the game with great numbers, near the top of the league.

This turned out to be a tale of two games. For about the first forty minutes or so the Wings were nearly terrible. It seemed like they just couldn’t get going. The Blues were playing much better than the Red Wings. The Wings had more rest than the Blues though so the hope was that once they got their legs going the Blues would tire sooner.

Luckily, Jimmy Howard was playing very well from the start and he kept the Wings in the game with some spectacular and timely saves. At the other end Halak was doing a good job for the Wings as well! The first goal came on a shot by Miller that popped up in the air in front of the net. Halak tried to slap it away and it hit the shaft of his stick. Then it caught the blade as he was following through with the swing and it shot straight behind him and into the net. It was a freaky way for the Wings to get the first goal of the game.

The score went back and forth through most of the game and halfway through the third period it was tied at three.

Then the Red Wings exploded. In the final ten minutes of the game they had four goals. They were all over the Blues who became very frustrated and took penalties which just made things worse. Two of the four third period goals were power play goals. Cleary had two goals on the night and Rafalski had three assists. Those two along with Abdelkader were the three stars of the game. It wouldn’t have been possible without Jimmy Howard keeping the team in the game so I’d call him an honorary star.

This was a wonderful for the Wings from the perspective that they still found a way to win even though they weren’t on the top of their game. They were playing poorly at first but they didn’t let it get out of control and they didn’t give up. Way to go, Red Wings!

This 3-7 win brings us to:
12-3-1
25 points

St. Louis at Detroit (3/24/10)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The St. Louis Blues were in Detroit tonight to play the Red Wings. The goalie for the Blues was ex-Wing Ty Conklin and for the Detroit it was Jimmy Howard. Cleary was back in the lineup tonight but Eaves was out for the third straight game since getting hit in the head.

The Blues got the first goal of the game after they double teamed Filppula and took the puck away. Paul Kariya got it at about center ice, split the defense and went to the net. Nobody could catch him. He shot quickly and got the puck in through the five hole.

That was the only goal of the first period.

Just 26 seconds into the second period Zetterberg just tossed the puck at the net. It looked like Conklin should have had it but somehow it squirted through his pads and trickled over the goal line. That tied the game with nearly two full periods to go.

After the goal the Red Wings seemed energized. They kept pressuring and generating good chances. Then Zetterberg threw the puck at the net with Bertuzzi battling in front. The puck hit Bertuzzi’s leg and then hit a Blues player and went into the net. The Red Wings had the lead two to one. It was Bertuzzi’s goal since he was the last Red Wing to touch it.

Early in the third period McClement entered the zone with the puck and moved towards the slot. He shot it between Stuart’s legs. Jimmy Howard didn’t spot it in time and missed it. That goal tied it up at two.

Later in the period Jason Williams flipped the puck up and into the zone right on net. Conklin stopped it and it looked like an easy one but the rebound bounced about three feet away from him. Filppula was charging up the slot. He pulled the puck in, stepped around Conklin and buried it for the go ahead goal. It was a tough break and a bad goal for Conklin but it put the Red Wings up three to two.

As time was winding down Filppula bagged the empty netter to put this one away.

This was a really exciting game. It had a playoff intensity that’s becoming the norm as the number of remaining games dwindles. There was a lot on the line for both teams tonight. St. Louis was trying to catch Detroit in the standings and now they have very little hope of doing so. Tonight’s victory also gave Jimmy Howard his 30th win of the season. That’s the most wins by a rookie goaltender since Steve Mason’s rookie season in Columbus. Congratulations to Jimmy Howard!

This 2-4 win brings us to:
37-23-13
87 points

Detroit at St. Louis (2/9/10)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The Red Wings came into St. Louis tonight with something to prove after giving up a three goal lead on Saturday in Los Angeles. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and for the Blues it was Chris Mason. The big news was that Franzen did indeed return to the lineup. That’s huge for the Wings; they really need him. Holmstrom was not able to go tonight so he was out of the lineup.

In the opening seconds of the game Bertuzzi was called for holding. The Red Wings did a good job killing off the penalty to avoid getting into trouble early.

Brad May and Brad Winchester dropped the gloves and went at it in the first period. Winchester had grabbed May’s jersey near the collar and was sort of shaking him and throwing a jab each time. May was throwing haymakers. I think May landed fewer punches but they were higher quality.

Between the early penalty kill and then the fight, the Red Wings had some momentum going.

Later in the first period there was a faceoff deep in the Blues’ end. Helm won it back to Ericsson at the point. He shot the puck as Draper skated through the crease behind Mason. The puck hit a few people along the way and then hit a few skates, the last one being Draper’s. It went into the net and Draper got credit for it. It was a lucky goal and a nice break for the Red Wings. It was later pointed out that the puck was dropped unfairly and should have been done over but that’s the breaks I guess.

The Blues had a power play at the end of the period and then a huge push after the Wings killed it off. The Red Wings weathered the storm and held the Blues off the board. The Blues had almost double the shots on goal as the Red Wings did so they were very lucky to have the lead.

In the second period Detroit had just finished a power play when the Blues took over. Perron came out of the box and got the puck at the point. He made a few moves on his defender and shot the puck. Kariya was in front of the net causing havoc. It looked like it hit Jason Williams and redirected slightly. It was just enough to put it in the back of the net and tie the game at one each.

Late in the second period there was a hooking call coming to Detroit which I felt was very nitpicky. Before the Red Wings could touch the puck the Blues had a couple of shots at it. Kariya had gone to the front of the net and the puck just happened to bounce right to him. He banged it home and gave the Blues the lead late in the period.

In the third period Cleary was called for holding as he was losing his balance and falling down. On the power play Johnson skated into the Red Wings’ end. It looked like he was going to pass all the way across the ice and that’s what Howard was expecting. Howard started to move across the crease but the puck didn’t go very far. Instead of crossing the ice it was deflected into the net by McDonald. That made it three to one St. Louis.

After that the Red Wings amped up the pressure. Jason Williams had an amazing chance at a wide open net and Colaiacovo got his stick in the way. It was a perfect shot but just bad luck for Williams. Then Stuart chipped one up that almost came down behind Mason but it landed on top of the net instead.

The push didn’t last long though as St. Louis went on a power play and then really started playing with a lot of jump. The Red Wings weathered that storm and then pushed back.

Franzen sent the puck across hoping to connect with Datsyuk in the middle. The puck went all the way across the ice where Zetterberg picked it up and centered it again. The puck hit Datsyuk’s skate and redirected into the net. That brought the Wings back to within a goal.

Late in the third period Detroit was pressuring again. Rafalski made a great move to avoid his defender and keep the puck in the zone, and then he got it to Filppula down low. Filppula threw it to the front of the net where Bertuzzi was literally being covered by every single Blues player on the ice. There was a huge scrum in front of Mason and somehow through all of that the puck trickled across the goal line. Filppula got credit for the game tying goal. There was a lot of contact with the goaltender but it wasn’t Bertuzzi’s fault since he was being shoved and hammered by Blues players.

The tie held until the end of regulation so it was time for some four on four action. Unfortunately, although it was wild and crazy, nothing could be decided in the overtime so it was on to another shootout. I’m really starting to get tired of shootouts and three point games.

St. Louis went first in the shootout and McDonald was first up for them. He came in with speed and Howard came way out to challenge and stopped him. Datsyuk was first for Detroit. He went back and forth with it and lost control at the last second. He still got his shot away but missed the net. Oshie was next and he scored through Howard’s five hole. Then Williams came up for the Wings and made a sweet move and scored high on the short side. Boyes was up next and he totally faked out Howard and put the puck around his outstretched pad. Zetterberg was next but he was stopped by Mason so St. Louis won the game.

This game was strange. The Red Wings played well at times and poorly at other times. All of their goals were either ugly or lucky or both. Mason played a great game which made it tough. It was awesome the way the Red Wings fought back to tie the game but frustrating that they were in that position in the first place. Oh well, they got a point and that’s better than nothing.

This 3-4 overtime loss brings us to:
27-21-11
65 points

Hossa & Kopecky Headed To Chicago

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Marian Hossa has signed a 12 year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s a bummer, but it’s not really a surprise. The Red Wings could come close to his competitive value because of the salary cap.

What was more of a surprise to me was that the Hawks also signed Kopecky to a two year deal. I think he will be sorely missed. His departure should make room for Abdelkader next year. We should also be seeing Ericsson full time now that Chelios is gone.

Ty Conklin was snagged by the St. Louis Blues after the Wings declined to offer him a deal. Jimmy Howard will finally get his chance next year to be the official back up goalie to Chris Osgood.