While scoring goals from the blue line is nothing new in Hockeytown, the Wings defenders are taking their production to a new level this season. Adding two goals last night, including Nicklas Kronwall’s game winner in the third, the Red Wings defense has now scored a league high 27 goals. It was Kronwall’s 4th game winner of the year, good for 3rd in the league behind countryman and teammate Johan Franzen’s 6.
This “defensive-offensive explosion” – if you will- has been driven by Swedish veterans named Nick. And while the Captain, and his 261 career goals need no introduction, what Lidstrom has been able to produce this season at age 41 is nothing short of remarkable. Both have eight goals and are tied for second in the league amongst defenseman.
Ian White has also been a key addition, adding 5 even-strengthed goals this year. Brad Stuart has added 4 of his own, including 1 of 6 shorthanded goals scored by defenseman all season. Jakub Kindl and Jonathan Ericsson round out the scoring with a goal each.
When asked in a post game interview last night Kronwall attributed the scoring to traffic to the front of the net by forwards. While last nights game winner was thanks to a screen by Jiri Hudler, the Red Wings lines are loaded with gritty players who love to play in front of the opposing goalie including: Dan Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi, and perhaps the league’s all time best in the department Tomas Holmstrom.
The Red Wings skilled forwards control the puck and make the good feed back to the point. From here, the Red Wings defenseman do as good a job of any at getting the puck to the net. From here, it is up to the grinders in front to screen the opposing goalie, deflect any oncoming pucks and put home the rebound chances. The formula has worked wonders, and has the offense clicking averaging 3.26 goals per game, good for fifth in the league.
The Red Wings hope to keep the goals coming from the back end Friday against the rival Blackhawks at 8:30pm ET.
Hey Brian Elliott–don’t let the door hit you in the vag on your way out.
The Red Wings head back to Detroit with only one W from their 3 game road trip after losing 3-2 to the St Louis Blues.
1st Period Highlights:
- SOG 10-8
- Drew Miller went to the box for a high-stick…that wasn’t even his stick.
- Brad Stuart showed us once again that he makes a GREAT backup goalie
2nd Period Highlights:
- SOG 9-13
- Jimmy Howard got his 4th career assist and the Mule put the Wings on the board with a PPG (7:42, also assisted by Hudler…)
- Alex Steen tied it up 4 seconds after Jakub Kindl went to the box (9:20)
3rd Period Highlights:
- SOG 10-5
- Kronwall went to the box 0:11 into the period, allowing Backes and his Blues a chance to get ahead 2-1 (0:45)
- Not even 2 minutes later, Patrik Berglund made it 3-1 (2:38)
- Jiri Hudler got one in late in the period (18:40, assists to Cleary and Kronwall) when Howard went to the bench to give the Wings an extra skater
First Star of the night: Jimmy Howard—for being a badass. An assist and a scuffle? VOTE FOR JIMMY!
Crazy last couple minutes… But like a shitty massage, there was no happy ending. The Wings return to the Joe to face the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday at 7:30.
*stats from detroitredwings.com
Detroit Red Wings (15-7-1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (13-10-1)
I had hoped for there to be a Spartan overload on the ice tonight, but as of now, the chances are low. Spartan alum Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller will be in the Red Wings lineup tonight, but Ryan Miller, the Sabres’ star goalie, will start on the bench. Ryan has been out since November 12th after suffering a concussion on a hit by Boston’s Milan Lucic. The last time the two teams played, Ryan Miller started in goal and his brother Drew was a healthy scratch. Another former Spartan, rookie Corey Tropp, has played 10 games for Buffalo this season but was reassigned to the Rochester Americans on Monday.
Feelin hot, hot, hot:
- The Red Wings have won 10 of their last 12 games
- Pavel Datsyuk has 10 points in the last 6 games
- Valtteri Filppula has 6 points in the last 4 games — as long as he continues to shoot, he’ll continue to score. (i love you)
- Jimmy Howard is 14-5-1 and leads the league in wins
- Chris Conner was called up from Grand Rapids yesterday and will play on a line with Cleary and Helm
- Emmerton and Commodore are healthy scratches, Eaves has his mouth wired shut
- Jimmy Howard will start in goal for the Red Wings
- Jhonas Enroth (8-4-1) will start in goal for the Buffalo Sabres
Game starts at 7:30 and will be aired on the NHL network and Fox Sports Detroit (shwing). Let’s make it 7 in a row…Go Wings!
Here is some instant analysis from tonight’s game.
Play of the game: While many will say it was an amazing empty net bank shot goal from Brad Stuart , Howard’s sprawling glove save on Corey Perry was the difference tonight. Howard recovered from some contact and dove to his left to stop the puck from fully crossing the line. The play was confirmed shortly after by replay.
Hardworkin’ Wing: Danny Cleary had some effective play in his 25 shifts, but none better than his last. Cleary disrupted the Ducks attack with two huge hustle plays on his own half of the ice. He finished +2
Stat you’re tired of seeing: I’m sorry to keep posting this every time, but Nicklas Lidstrom played an incredible 27:18 minutes tonight. That’s insane. At his age. At any age. He’s the best.
Room for improvement: The Red Wings were terrible in the faceoff circle. The Ducks owned a 36-19 advantage. Henrik won 2 of 12. Pav won only 9 of 23. Home or away, you have to be better than that. Faceoffs create possession. It’s a fact.
Watercooler Ammo: There was a 27 minute delay in the first period when the power went out. The first period TV feed was barely watchable, and at one point, Ken Daniels used his cell phone to call in the broadcast to the FSD truck outside the arena.
We’ll be back with more all week, be sure to check out our Sunday Funday post if you have not already!
Jimmy Howard turned away 24 Edmonton Oilers shots in route to a 3-0 Red Wings victory Friday Night. Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula added goals for the Wings, who have won three straight at the Joe. Some quick thoughts:
- Howard was sharp, as the Oilers were denied on all three of the power play attempts and numerous odd man breaks
- Lidstrom. What really can I say? Led his team in ice time again, great in all areas of the rink. Took a high stick to the face in the first period, but was fine. A +2 on the night
- Filppula again shined bright, with a finish on a beauty saucer pass from Henrik Zetterberg.
- Pavel Datsyuk’s line (Cleary, Holmstrom – and later in the 3rd Miller) was held off the scoreboard. Every other line found the back of the net. No need for alarm as Cleary and Datsyuk both looked better than they did against the Avalanche.
- Abdelkader had a big hit and fight in the second period. Lennart Petrell came to his teammates aid, and recieved the rare and embarrassing 4 minute double minor for instigating with a facemask (or in his case visor). As a former official, I must say this was an excellent call. If these guys want to play sheriff, they need to take the windshields off. Otherwise, let the big boys handle it.
The Detroit Red Wings won their second game in a row last night, taking down the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. I know I’m stating the obvious, but damn–it’s much more fun to watch when we win. It’s also fun to get free curly fries at Arby’s after a Wing gets a hat trick…soo thanks Franzen. Don’t forget to go get yours! The Red Wings now have a combined 10 goals in the last two games after scoring only 6 goals in the 6 games prior. Very impressive. Jimmy Howard stopped 24 of 26 shots and definitely made some nice saves. Eaves sat out again due to his sore back and Bertuzzi is still ill. Commodore was scratched.
1st Period Highlights:
- Captain Nicklas Lidstrom showed the haters (once again) that he isn’t too old for the league—or overrated. It’s hard to believe that anyone with ANY knowledge of hockey whatsoever could possibly believe that. He put the Wings ahead 1-0 half way through the period (8:54, assisted by…no one)
- What appeared to be Valtteri Filppula’s 3rd goal of the season was later credited to Johan Franzen, giving the Red Wings a two goal lead on the power play (2:36, assisted by Fil and Hudler)
- Johan Franzen scored his second goal of the evening on another Red Wings power play just a few minutes later (6:53, assists to Kronwall and Fil)
- Landeskog put one in for the Avalanche when Jonathan Ericsson was in the box for hooking (8:18, assisted by Matt Duchene and former Red Wing Kyle Quincey)
- Colorado’s Ryan O’Reily had some great hand/eye coordination and as Mickey Redmond put it, “spoiled the party” for Pavel Datsyuk, on what could have potentially been the sickest goal of the season.
- Fabian Brunnstrom had a breakaway halfway through the period and was so close to scoring his first goal as a Red Wing! You’ll get em next time, buddy.
- Dan Cleary finally looked like himself again and scored a beauty off his own rebound (14:46, assisted by Pavel Datsyuk and Jakub Kindl)
- Milan Hejduk made it a two goal game while Pavel Datsyuk was in the box (16:55, assists to Wilson and Johnson
- Johan Franzen scored his 3rd goal of the night on an empty net with 0:32 left in the game. It wasn’t just any old empty netter…it was pure awesomeness. He now leads the Red Wings in goal scoring for the season (8).
- Datsyuk played 22:49 and Zetterberg played for 19:24 and each only had 2 shots on goal—that’s gotta change. They are also -4 and -1, respectively.
- Datsyuk got called for hooking at the end of the 3rd period allowing the Avalanche a power play goal 8 seconds later. Datsyuk isn’t in the box too often and is definitely needed for the PK
Ty Conklin was happy to be back in Detroit this season, where he recorded a career high 25 wins in 2008-09. In his first game back, the veteran recorded a 29 save shutout, with a couple of highlight reel saves in the first and second periods.
The Avalanche hoped to cap a wonderful celebration for former forward Peter Forsberg with a win, and came out firing in the first period. But Conklin was there to answer each test, making 11 stops in the opening frame. While no goals through the 37 minutes may not attract the casual fan, both teams had plenty of chances throughout a thrilling back and forth game.
Equally as impressive was Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was perfect until Johan Franzen converted on a drop pass from Jiri Hudler. The play developed on a 4 on 2 rush, and Hudler made a perfect pass to the trailing Franzen who made no mistake putting the puck off the crossbar and in from just inside the blue line with three minutes to go in the 2nd.
The Wings came out flying in the third period, but Varlamov was terrific foiling a number of odd man rushes and power play chances. The Avalanche fought back and put serious pressure on Conklin midway thru the frame. But Coach Mike Babcock made a change, placing Pavel Datsyuk on a line with Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg. The trio flew down the ice, with Datsyuk feeding Hank for another one-time rocket off the crossbar and in.
Datsyuk added a third goal on the empty net with assists from Cleary and Conklin. After their sluggish start (which can be attributed to their 3:30 am arrival at the Denver hotel), the Red Wings really showed some character in the third period. Conklin stood on his head, and the Red Wings are now sitting on top of the league with a couple wins on back to back nights.
Detroit was 0-4 on the PP…Niklas Kronwall led the team with 22:28 of ice time…Henrik Zetterberg recorded a game high seven shots on goal…Jakub Kindl is now +5 on the year after two games…The Red Wings struggled from the faceoff dot, Darren Helm was 1 of 9…Forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Fabian Brunnstrom were healthy scratches tonight.