On Red Wings

Just another Red Wings weblog (but it's mine)

Archive for January, 2010

Penguins 2, Wings 1 (SO)

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , on January 31, 2010 by Steve Klein

Henrik Zetterberg: Looks good, tastes lite.

Henrik Zetterberg: Looks good, tastes lite.

Well, you can’t beat a Sunday afternoon with Wings-Penguins for a main course and the Capitals for … an appetizer? An after dinner drink? Whatever. It’s five-plus hours of hockey on a lazy afternoon.

Game #55: 62 points, tied for 8th again with Calgary with 27 games  to go (that’s 54 points). But four teams ahead of the Wings are playing later today.

Score: Penguins 2, Wings 1 (SO)

Quote: Niklas Kronwall — “We were on our heels a little bit, I think we gave them too much respect. We have to do a way better job. It’s going to be a tough year if we keep letting 40-plus shots go past us. He (Howard) is keeping us in games.”

Unquote: Uh, you think? Too much respect? My how the worm has turned. Why do the Wings look like the teams that used to look up to them the last decade?

What I liked about the game: Jimmy Howard. I keep saying that, don’t I? But when you get outshot 47-24 (that’s 2-to-1 for you non-math majors), if you don’t like your goalie, you probably didn’t win the game. Oh, the Wings didn’t win the game. But escaping with a point hardly felt like a loss.

What I didn’t like about the game: Why does Herik Zetterberg look tired to me? Even clumsy at times. Something we don’t know?

In search of: Scoring.

What is: Wings are hanging on to playoff contention as their players return to the lineup. But just because players return, that doesn’t mean the Wings are a better team. We’re waiting for the to happen.

Mood meter: Oddly not terrible. It took Crosby and Malkin to beat the Wings on Sunday. They beat a lot of teams. Of course, that’s the Wings this year: Like a lot of teams.

Looking forward to …

Posted in Red Wings with tags on January 31, 2010 by Steve Klein

Without MVP goalie Jimmy Howard this year, the Wings are out of the playoffs.

Without MVP goalie Jimmy Howard this year, the Wings are out of the playoffs.

I’m looking forward to the Wings’s game this afternoon (12:30 p.m., NBC) with the (and it hurts to say it) Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins, of course, came back from a 3-games-to-2-down deficit in the the Cup finals against the Wings with a pair of 1-goal victories, the deciding 7th in Hockeytown, to win the Cup, get the video, and the NHL’s everlasting gratitude to have Sid’s Boys and not the Wings to promote this year.

I can still see the turnovers for Brad Stuart and Michael Samuelsson that led to both of Max Talbot‘s goals in the instant replay of my mind.

Last night was one of those evenings that the currently 9th-place Wings lost ground while standing still. All the teams ahead of the Wings that played, with the exception of Chicago, won: Calgary, Nashville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Vancouver and San Jose. At least there weren’t any 3-point games by conference rivals. Still, ouch.

The Wings aren’t going to catch Chicago or San Jose this season, and a Pacific Conference team will finish third. That means the best the Wings can hope for this season is fourth, currently eight points out of reach. To get there, the Wings will need a one of those Caps-or-Sens-like nine-game winning streaks. Possible? Yes. Probable? The Mood Meter is cloudy on that.

Wings 4, Predators 2

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by Steve Klein

Jimmy Howard makes himself big.

Jimmy Howard makes himself big.

I have to admit that I didn’t pay as close attention to this game as I usually do. I’m struggling with a heavy cold.

Game #54: 28 to go (that’s 56 points).

Score: Wings 4, Predators 2

Quote: “Howie was sensational.” — Mike Babcock. The Wings have a No. 1 goalie. Ozzie will play when the Wings need him, NOT when he needs to play. Got it?

What I liked about the game: That the Wings won in regulation, so the Preds didn’t get a point. Are you as tired of these 3-point games as I am? How could I not like Jimmy Howard (46 saves), Drew Miller (goal and an assist) and the return of Jason Williams (first goal of the game) in this one?

What I didn’t like about the game: There are no easy games, and certainly never with the Predators. I did not like all the Detroit turnovers. Not one bit. The Wings were lucky in this one. But they made their own luck by scoring. Scoring solves a lot of things.

In search of: Andreas Lilja. Big body and wingspan. If Holland can figure out the cap issues, I’d rather have him in the lineup than out. Sure, he turns over the puck, but so do Ericsson, Stuart and Ledba. Lilja begins a week-long conditioning stint in Grand Rapids. Is the big headache over?

What is: The Wings are tied for 7th in points with Nashville (which has a game in hand) with 61 points, but as close to 14th place as they are to 5th. That means no more 1-3-3 segments. Can’t afford it.

Mood meter: Better. Still concerned.

Wild 5, Wings 2

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , on January 28, 2010 by Steve Klein

Datsyuk and Zetterberg: Anybody got a clue?

Datsyuk and Zetterberg: Anybody got a clue?

So, remind me. Why did I start this blog three games ago? Oh yeah. To follow the Wings’ push to the playoffs. Instead, they’re in free fall. Coach Mike Babcock can’t even remember when the season started (see his quote below).

Nashville next on Friday; they’re only 2 points ahead of the Wings in 7th. And at Pittsburgh on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. Don’t embarrass yourself, boys.

Game #53: 29 to go (that’s 58 points)

Score: Wild 5, Wings 2.

Quote: “We gave up two power-play goals. We haven’t given up power-play goals like that since our trip to Europe in September or whenever that was,” coach Mike Babock said.

What I liked about the game: Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals. So the rest of the boys got shut out.

What I didn’t like about the game: Goalie Chris Osgood is 1-6 since Nov. 7. Any more questions about who the Wings’ goalie is?

What I don’t like about the way the Wings are playing: Detroit is 1-3-3 in their last seven games with five blown leads in the third period.

In search of: Instead of thinking that players returning from injuries were going to turn them around, the Wings need to continue to focus on doing the little things well. Otherwise, the big thing for this team this year, a playoff berth, is going to slip away.

What is: We’ll dispense with “what might have been” in a 5-2 loss. The Wings are still tied for 8th with Calgary, but the teams behind them are closing in, the teams ahead of them pulling away. The 13th place Blues are only 5 points behind Detroit, and everyone will tell you that St. Louis is having a terrible year.

Mood meter: Discouraged.

Coyotes 5, Wings 4 (ot)

Posted in Red Wings with tags , on January 26, 2010 by Steve Klein

Brad Stuart: Minus-3.

Brad Stuart: Minus-3.

Game #: 52, 30 to go (that’s 60 points).

Score: Coyotes 5, Wings 4 (ot).

Quote: Versus Hockey Central: “What a collapse by Detroit!”

Quote 2: Nick Lidstrom: “We have to find a way out of this. Playing a lot better in our own zone and bearing down when we have to. It’s not fun. It’s disappointing when you’re giving points away the way we have been. We know we need the points right now.”

What I liked about the game: Nick Lidstrom scored two goals in the third period to give the Red Wings a 4-2 lead with less than five minutes to play.

What I didn’t like about the game: Do the math. Another 2-goal blown lead. Wings wiped in the FO circle, 39-26 (how did that fall apart this season?).

What I don’t like about the way the Wings are playing: The Wings have given up 2-goal leads in four of the past six games and let third-period leads slip in five of their past six.

In search of: The playoffs? One point out 4 in back-to-back home games?

What might have been: If Detroit wins, Wings have 60 points, 1 point behind 7th-place Nashville, 2 points behind 5th-6th place Phoenix and LA.

What is: Wings have 60 points, 8th, 2 points behind 7th-place Nashville, 4 points behind 6th-place LA, 6 points behind 5th-place Phoenix. Talk about your 4-point game!

Mood meter: I am not pleased.

Drop the puck / Kings 3, Wings 2

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , on January 24, 2010 by Steve Klein

Guess who didn't score?

Guess who didn't score?

When I was in high school, I used to write down the NHL standings on a corner of the blackboard of my home room in Trumbull, Conn. This was 1963, and there were only six teams in the league at the time: Montreal, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit. So it didn’t take long, and no one seemed to mind (or care?). I was the hockey guy, and it was just Steve doing his hockey thing.

It’s 47 years later (who can believe it!). There are 30 teams in the NHL now. Rather than a blackboard in home room, we’ve got blogs. Welcome to On Red Wings.

Here’s what I have in mind (like there aren’t enough blogs about the Detroit Red Wings out there):

Game #: 51, 31 to go (that’s 62 points)

Score: Kings 3, Wings 2

What I liked about the game: Not much. The Wings led 2-0 after the first period.

What I didn’t like about the game: Do the math after the first period. The Kings scored the last three goals, two of them in the third period. Derek Meech missed on a breakaway (didn’t surprise me). Todd Betruzzi missed on a breakaway (or am I thinking of some other game?).

Quote: “They’re right behind us in the standings, and just to push them a little further down, it definitely makes a difference. “Hopefully it’s going to pay off in the end.” — Anze Kopitar

In search of: Offense from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

What might have been: The Wings in sole position of 8th place with 60 points, 1 point ahead of the Kings (with 59).

What is: The Wings are tied for 8th place with Calgary with 58 points, 3 points behind the Kings and Predators (with 61).

Mood meter: Dark.

Editing: Improved with input from my Sports Writing & Reporting class!