On Red Wings

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


Posted in Red Wings with tags , , on April 11, 2010 by Steve Klein

Brad Stuart scores the OT winner.

Brad Stuart scores the OT winner.

I like the way the Wings did this on Sunday.

The Kings had already won their game in come-from-behind fashion at Colorado, 2-1, in OT. So the Wings had to win to finish fifth — which they did with a wonderful 3-2 OT victory of their own on a beautiful Dan Cleary-to-Brad Stuart pass for the winner.

So the Wings will open up at Phoenix — no easy match, but a better travel situation than the West Coast.

The rest of the matchups:

  • Chicago gets stuck with Nashville. Good luck, eh?
  • San Jose wins the West and gets Colorado.
  • The Kings get a West Coast matchup with Vancouver.

Score: Wings 3, Black Haws 2, OT

Final standings: Wings 44-24-14, 102 points, 5th in the Western Conference, 2nd in the Central Conference, 10 points behind Chicago. Considering where the Wings came from following the Olympic break and all the injuries this season, it feels like a championship.

What I liked about the game: The Wings finished 16-3-2, taking 34 of a possible 42 points. No team played better down the stretch — not even the Presidents Cup winning Washington Capitals — than the Wings.

What I didn’t like about the game: I’d be nitpicking faceoffs and 0-2 on the power play.

The BIG question: How will the Wings do against the Coyotes’ Ilya Bryzgalov? Or should we ask, how will the Coyotes do against Jimmy Howard? Let the playoffs begin!

Quote: “We’ve had a great run, but in saying that though, the most remarkable stretch for me was when we had no players, when we had eight guys missing and the guys hung in there and they battled and they chipped away and found ways to win games. To me that’s more remarkable than what we’ve done since the Olympic break. Since the Olympic break it’s been great, but we had skill to do it with. When we were doing it when we had no skill — or not near as much I thought that was impressive.” — Mike Babcock

Mood Meter: Celebratory.

Ready to Wing it

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by Steve Klein
Red Wings Avalanche Hockey

Adam Foote: Wanna fight? Homer: Nope, wanna score.

Oh, THOSE Red Wings! I remember them. AND they way they played.

Everyone was back. Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, EVEN Andreas Lilja. The Wings looked like … the Wings.

Score: Wings 3, Rockies 2

Game #62 (20 to go, 40 points): 70 points, 8th place. The five teams behind the Wings are within 6 points; Nashville is a point ahead in 7th with a game in hand and a Friday date in Hockeytown.

What I liked about the game: Don’t you just love Swedes? They scored all three Wings goals, including the Lidstrom winner. Henrik Zetterberg was on the ice for all three Wings goals; Pavel Datsyuk had two assists. Homstrom‘s line was a goal and two assists. And let’s not forget Jimmy Howard with 22 of 24 saves.

What I didn’t like about the game: Who made the schedule that scheduled the Wings (and Brian Rafalski) to play the day after the Olympics ended. Thanks a lot, eh? Also, big minus-2s for Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves.
Also, the disallowed goal by Holmstrom. But I’m a homer.

Quote I: “We’ve got enough bodies now that we should be a good hockey club. We’ve got to decide to be a good hockey club.” — Mike Babcock.
What he’s saying is that the Wings have to start being the Wings again now that they’ve got all their Wings back. Got it?

Quote II: “That’s the best lineup we’ve dressed all year. Wouldn’t you love to draw us in the first round?” — Mike Babcock

What is: Three quarters of the way into the season, and the Wings are back to being the Wings.

Mood meter: Ready to Wing it!

The Blues

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , on February 10, 2010 by Steve Klein

Yo-han Franzen returns.

Yo-han Franzen returns.

OK, so the Wings suck at shootouts. Well, not Jason Williams, who is good for something, it appears. But Pavel Datsyuk AND Henrik Zetterbeg have to miss all the time?

Game #59: 65 points, 9th, 2 points out of 7th, 2 points ahead of 11th. All it takes is a little whoopsy and Dallas, Anaheim, Minnesota and even St. Louis are going to shoot past the Wings.

Score: Blues 4, Wings 3 (SO).

What I liked about the game: Ask me later. Oh, I’ve already had a day to think about it? How about Brad Stuart? He was plus-1 and now is only minus-14 for the season. Brett Ledba was plus-2. Johan Franzen played more than 17 minutes without getting hurt.

What I didn’t like the game: Sitting through the shootout. I could have fallen asleep two minutes earlier.

Quote: “It felt like the last game I played. I thought it was going to be worse. Better than I thought it was going to be.” — Johan Franzen

What is: The Wings have lost three in a row.

Mood meter: Can’t we all just be happy with ties?


Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2010 by Steve Klein

Going nowhere.

Going nowhere.

— noun
1. Not like the Wings … prone to blow 2-goal leads regularly and 3-goal leads on occasion … injury prone … aging … tends to get outworked along the boards … has trouble scoring goals but can hit goal posts like laser beams … misses the playoffs.

Game #58: 64 points, 9th place in the Western Conference and sinking fast 24 games (48 points) remaining.

Score: Kings, 4, Wings 3

What I liked about the game: The Kings. They outworked the Wings along the boards, never stopped working, and earned their ninth-straight victory. Credit where credit is due. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice in a 3-0 first period and hit a goalpost in the third. Nick Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski each were plus-three, but they couldn’t stay on the ice all the time (56 minutes between them), which meant Brad Stuart and Jonathan Ericsson were on the ice (see: What I didn’t like about the game).

What I didn’t like about the game: Long list. Wings keep getting injured. Nick Kronwall didn’t dress (again). Tomas Homstrom suffered a lower-body injury (again). Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller got hurt, too. Jimmy Howard had a terrible second period, but guess who was on the ice for all four goals against (yup, Stuart with a big minus-4, rivaled only by Ericsson‘s minus-3. At least Ville Leino didn’t have to watch from the pressbox (he was traded for next to nothing earlier in the day).

Quote: “I was very disappointed with the way I played.” — Jimmy Howard. Me, too.

In search of: The Olympic break in a week.

What is: The standings are beginning to look bleak — 2 points out of 8th with one more game played, 3 points out of 7th with a game in hand, 6 points out of 6th with one more game played; only 3 points up on 12th place. I hope the Wings’ scouts are working hard.

Mood meter: Ready for some Tigers baseball?

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.

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.