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Red Wings Defenders Lead Offense

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.

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Are you Shea-ting me?

Welp…that was a bust. Ian White had a great game, Pavel Datsyuk had a great game (except one booboo), Nick Lidstrom got his 7th of the season, shots were 40-21 in favor of the Wings…so WTF?!

1st Period Highlights:

  • SOG 12-8
  • Loved the power play goal by Tomas Holmstrom (5:15, assisted by White and Datsyuk) … so sexy. All six of his goals this season have been on the power play.
  • About 5 minutes later, David Legwand tied up the score (10:09, assisted by Smith and Erat)

2nd Period Highlights:

  • SOG 15-5
  • Halfway through the period Henrik Zetterberg got a PPG after some nice passing by Bertuzzi and Hudler
  • Nick Lidstrom got his first goal since November 8th (11:30, assisted by White and Datsyuk) putting the Shwings up by 2
  • What a bad surprise. Jordin Tootoo returned to the ice after looking totally struggs (def thought he was out for the game) and made it a one goal game (17:22, assists to Klein and Spaling)

3rd Period Shiz:

  • SOG 13-8
  • Jimmy Howard got a hooking penalty (seriously) and 22 seconds later Shea Weber tied up the game (15:36, assisted by Suter and Erat)
  • Datsyuk made a mistake??? I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but he’s human. Weird, I know.
  • With 1:36 left in the game, Weber got his 2nd of the period (and within a 3 minute time span) — the game winner, assisted by Jordin Tootoo. What a lucky piece of shit.

Time to head back to Detroit to regroup. Next game: Saturday, 7pm, NHL Network vs. the biatches from Tinseltown.

stats from redwings.nhl.com

The Ingredients for Success

What do you get when you mix 30 saves by Jimmy, 10 Red Wings with points, 5 Red Wings goals, 2 Phoenix goaltenders, and a handful of Mickeyisms?

A 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, giving the Detroit Red Wings their 8th consecutive win at home.

3 stars: Filppula, Zetterberg, Conner

1st Period Highlights:

  • SOG 12-12
  • 1:12 into the game Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the season after a nice feed from Datsyuk
  • Valtteri Filppula made all the ladies (and gentlemen) squeel when he got his 9th goal of the season 53 seconds later (2:09, assisted by Z and Hudler)
  • Taylor Pyatt went to the box for hooking Abdelkader leading to the PPG by Tomas Holmstrom (14:46, assists to White and Datsyuk) — AMAZING effort by Ian White.
  • 43 seconds later Helm finished off a great play by Chris Conner putting the Wings up 4-0 (15:29, assists to Conner and Kindl) … emphasis on the word “finished”
  • Phoenix goalie Mike Smith was pulled after going 7-11 (.636 sv%)
  • Jiri Hudler made it 5 with just 43 seconds left (assisted by Zetterberg and Fil) …and backup goalie LaBarbera was 0-1 for the period
  • Datsyuk, Hudler, Zetterberg, and Filppula all had 2 point periods… now THAT’s what I’m talkin bout.
  • 02/07/09 was the last time the Red Wings scored 5 goals in the first period
  • Mickeyisms:

“He’s got more moves than a monkey on the high wire”

“There’s been more giveaways here in the first period than the Salvation Army”

2nd Period Highlights:

  • SOG 8-9
  • Not nearly as exciting as the first period but no complaints
  • Radim Vrbata put the Coyotes back in the game (hehe just kidding) with a pretty much unstoppable slapshot (15:15, assisted by Yandle and Morris)

3rd Period Highlights:

  • SOG 12-11
  • Mickey told us a little bit about “Nickel Beer Night” from the good ol’ days… I need to hear more ASAP
  • Datsyuk sat out as a “precaution” because of a lower body injury #FMP
  • Martin Hanzal scored with Jakub Kindl in the box for hooking (11:32, assisted by Doan and Whitney)
The Wings will play the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at 7:30 at the Joe Louis Arena
My requests: More Fil, a healthy Datsyuk, maybe a fight, some curly fries, and a win. Oh, and I’d like to be invited to Nickel Beer Night. #VoteJimmah! (vote.nhl.com)

Happy 94th birthday, NHL! For you, I am thankful.

Happy 94th birthday to the National Hockey League! For you, I am thankful.  Yesterday was the first Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: an Original Six matchup between the Boston Bruins (2011 Stanley Cup champions) and the infamous, 11-time Stanley Cup champions, Detroit Red Wings.  The Red Wings gave us more to be thankful for by putting an end to the Bruins’ 10-game winning streak with a 3-2 shootout victory at TD Garden.  I was super disappointed by the lack of “Pierre-ness” but I’m not worried… I’m sure we’ll hear plenty on Wednesday when the Wings/Lightning game is aired on VERSUS.

1st Period Highlights:

  • Ian White got the puck to Henrik Zetterberg, who made some fantastic passes back and forth with Valtteri Filppula, resulting in a 1-0 lead (12:43). This is what happens when Fil shoots — the puck ends up in the back of the net.

2nd Period Highlights:

  • Jimmy Howard went behind the net to gather the puck and ended up moving a little too slow for Nathan Horton and Daniel Paille (4:05), who tied the game at 1
  • 35 seconds later (4:40), while the audience was still celebrating the Bruins’ goal, a little Mule/Bert/Datsyuk magic spoiled the party. After receiving the puck from Bertuzzi, Datsyuk kicked the puck from his skate to his stick and then BOOM…it’s in.
  • Pierre McGuire discussed his interview with Ian White, asked about his face: “he said ‘it’s fine–until someone touches it'”  … Please stay at least 30 feet away from our defenseman, Pierre.

3rd Period Highlights:

  • Patrice Bergeron tied the score with an unassisted wrist shot (7:52) making things a little more difficult for the good guys
  • After Chara got frustrated by Datsyuk’s high level of skill, he used his big, gumpy body to try and cause some damage to the magic man.  It didn’t work out exactly how Chara planned—Datsyuk went after Chara and slammed him into the boards yielding this comment:

“What a job by Pavel Datsyuk! We talk about him being for the Selke as the best defensive forward…how about for the league MVP?!”

Overtime/Shootout:

  • Nothing during the 4-on-4 so it went into a shoot out
  • Howard shut down Seguin, Datsyuk made us proud. Howard shut down Peverley, Hudler disappoints. Horton made us nervous, Bertuzzi saved the day. The End.

 

Tonight:

The Detroit Red Wings take on SMASHville at 7:00 at the Joe Louis Arena…stay tuned!

Red Lines

Why, Hello Sharks…We Meet Again.

Your Detroit Red Wings (9-6-1) take on the San Jose Sharks (9-5-1) tonight at 10:30 pm for some late night fun. It’s the first of three stops in the Golden State. This is the 2nd time the teams will be facing off this season—their last meeting was on October 28th and resulted in a 4-2 loss for the Wings. This rivalry has developed and grown exponentially over the past couple seasons, being that the Sharks eliminated the Red Wings in the 2010 and 2011 Western Conference Semifinals.

Tonight:

  • Brendan Smith will be making his official NHL debut tonight and will be paired with Niklas Kronwall
  • Jonathan Ericsson will again be paired with Nick Lidstrom
  • Ex-Shark Ian White is still out with a broken cheekbone
  • Fabian Brunnstrom will be taking Patrick Eaves’ spot in the lineup
  • The Red Wings have been struggling on the power play (déjà vu?) to say the least — they only had 6 shots on goal during the 15 power play minutes against St Louis. The Sharks rank 4th in the league on the PP.
  • Datsyuk has gone 11 games without a goal. Yes…I said Datsyuk.  It’s shocking. What does Pavel think?

“I need to be more productive,” Datsyuk said after practice Wednesday. “I need to shoot more, need to be more dangerous.” (Mlive)

I hate playing the Sharks, even though game 6 last season was one of the most exhilarating games I’ve ever been to (I cried).  Joe Thornton rubs me the wrong way. There are players you fight and there are players you don’t. Nick Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk are at the top of the “don’t” list. Clearly, Thornton thinks these rules don’t apply to him and has tried to start shit with two of the NHL’s classiest players. Way to set a positive example for your team, “Captain.” Fast forward to the minute mark to see the ultra-douche in action.
Let’s get back on that winning streak, eh? Tune in tonight on Fox Sports Detroit.

Wings seek revenge from last year’s Blues beat down.

Quoting my pint sized co-writer Hannah, “March 30th, 2011 is a day that has been naturally blocked from my memory as a defense mechanism associated with post-traumatic stress.”

I unfortunately do not know if I will ever shake the night from my memory. The Blues came into Joe Louis and absolutely stomped the division leading Red Wings 10-3. The loss was the fifth in six games for Detroit, and left them leading the surging Predators by only 6 points. This game was nothing like the butt whopping by the Capitals early this season. Far worse.

It was brutal. Joey MacDonald was pulled for Thomas McCollum (making his debut due to injuries to Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard) only to return back in the 3rd period after McCollum gave up an embarrassing third goal. Cam Janssen ended a 114 goalless streak. Lidstrom called the team’s play “awful” and the Detroit fans booed the Red Wings off the ice.

Summing up their frustration, “Thank God it’s over,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “It looked like it was never going to end there for a while. It was unacceptable. Any way you look at it – more than a touchdown – it’s ugly.”

Flashing forward to this season, I recalled the long losing streak and how similar fans were reacting to the Red Wings struggles. I also remembered how last year ended, the Red Wings righting the ship, winning the division title, and erasing any doubt by sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes in the opening round of the playoffs.

Now let’s look at tonight’s chance at redemption.

RED WINGS (9-5-1) at BLUES (8-7-1) on FSD at 8pm EST

  • The Blues have rebounded after a rough start under new coach Ken Hitchcock. They’ve collected points in all three of his games.
  • The Red Wings hope to keep their second long win streak of the season alive.
  • Ian White will be out 1-2 weeks with a broken cheekbone. He has 7 points and a +8 rating so far this season.
  • Ericsson will take White’s place alongside captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
  • Franzen is red hot, scoring 5 goals (2 GWG) over the past 4 games.
  • Jason Arnott, who seems like he’s been in the league 30 years, has 9 points in 16 games this season.
  • The Blues PP is scoring a terrible 10% of their chances.
  • Detroit took the season series last year, 4-2


 

Red Lines

  • Dave Lozo analogized Nick Lidstrom to Law & Order’s Jack McCoy in this week’s Super 16 Rankings on NHL.com (yes, of course we’re back on)
  • The Wings move up 10 spots on ESPN’s NHL Power Rankings this week
  • Jimmy Howard is the NHL’s #2 star this week!!! Congratulations Jimmy…and take that, HATERS.
  • Roster update: Ian White is out with a broken cheekbone, Smith recalled, Bertuzzi on short-term IR, according to Ansar Khan at Mlive
  • Cast your vote to give your favorite players a chance to play in the 2012 All-Star Game at vote.nhl.com
  • The Hockey Hall of Fame welcomes four new members tonight

We’re going streaking!!….again

The Red Wings stayed hot behind another strong performance from goalie Jimmy Howard, who finished with 25 saves. After opening with 5 wins, the Red Wings struggled in a six game slide. They have rebounded during the homestand collecting 9 of 12 possible points and finishing with another 4 game winning streak. The Red Wings scored 3 in the third tonight to break a 2-2 tie with goals by Franzen, Helm and Stuart.

Game Recap

It was all over when…

Helm converted on a 2 on 1 to make it 4-2. The speedy forward missed a similar chance on the penalty kill the previous period, so he was happy to redeem himself off of a beautiful feed from Jiri Hudler.

Player of the Game

I’m giving it to Howard. He was not included in tonight’s three stars, but the keeper was sharp when needed on the second leg of back to back games. He kept Detroit in it early when Dallas was threatening to extend their one goal lead in the first period.

Stat of the Game – 7

Johan Franzen registered 7 shots on net. He was effective in all three periods of tonight’s game and finished with a goal and an assist and a plus 2 rating on the night.

Quick Hits

  • Kronwall scored his second goal in as many nights, and also blocked three Dallas shots.
  • Ian White got his third of the season at the beginning of the 2nd period and made a save in the 3rd with his FACE
  • Every Red Wings player had time on the PP tonight, thanks in part to a late penalty to Jamie Benn
  • The Wings held the advantage in the faceoff circle 37-27
  • Jakub Kindl and Jamie Benn fought late after a unnecessary slash from the Stars forward. Benn had the upper hand.
  • Brad Stuart earned his first two points of the season (1G 1A) and was a game high plus 3.

Game Notes: Red Wings 5, Senators 3

The sellout home crowd had plenty to cheer about early as the Red Wings rolled to a 5-3 win in Friday’s season opener. Some notes from last nights win.

  • A wonderful effort from some of the Red Wings role players. Drew Miller and Cory Emmerton both had strong games in limited minutes, with the latter earning first star honors. Emmerton had a goal and assist, and Miller had two assists on the night.
  • Todd Bertuzzi was effective early and often. He had a beautiful finish to open the scoring in the first, then delivered a big hit to create a turnover that ended up in the back of the net thanks to a heads up play by Nicklas Lidstrom. He was physical when needed and avoided taking a minor penalty.

Todd Bertuzzi Goes Top Shelf

  • Jimmy Howard was better than the final score indicated, making big saves throughout the night to keep the lead. The Red Wings were very lackadaisical in the third period, and allowed the Senators back into the game with three goals.
  • Ian White will see a lot of power play time this year. He looked good at the point with the top unit, and scored the fifth goal for the Wings. He did, however, take two penalties including one that resulted in the Senators third goal.
  • Jiri Hudler is off to a fast start. After a terribly slow adjustment back to the NHL pace last season, the Czech was on the board early thanks to a beautiful entry pass from Pavel Datsyuk.
  • Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, two question marks on the Detroit blue line this season, were both +3 last night.
  • Tomas Holmstrom continues to get the job done. He looked healthy and active in his 11:29 of ice time. He registered four shots and was effective in the offensive corners.
  • The Senators are in serious trouble this season. They have a bad mix of aging veterans and unproven talent. I was not impressed by many outside of the top two forwards: Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. Both Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar showed their age, ending with a combined -5 rating.
  • The Red Wings honored former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon before the game. Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk joined his family on the ice before the game drawing the night’s loudest cheers.