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Holm is Where the Heart is

When Nick Lidstrom announced his retirement last Spring, many people assumed his partner in crime would soon follow. Anyone who watched Lidstrom’s NHL 36 knows that he and Tomas Holmstrom are besties. The fellow Swedes had their game day tradition of eating at Andiamo and would even drive to the airport together when the Wings would travel. Plus, with Nick no longer around, who would translate Holmer’s Swenglish?

Every goalie in the league knows Holmstrom’s ass all too well. He was best known for his screening ability–partly because it led to many goals for the Wings, and partly because it resulted in many being taken away. How many exactly? No idea. But a lot.

He was also incredible at deflecting and stuffing pucks into the net to finish the job.

Besides for his famous work in the crease, he had plenty of other beauties. He scored 243 goals and had 287 assists in his 1,026 games with the Detroit Red Wings and won four Stanley Cups.

So long, Tomas. Salut. Hockeytown is already missing you, your broken English, and most definitely your ass. Much love.

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The Most Interesting Defenseman in the World

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What Lies Ahead: Part 2

The Wings clinched a playoff spot last night with a 7-2 blowout against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the next 6 games will be just as important. The Wings will face the Nashville Predators at the Joe on Friday, which may be the determinant of who gets home ice in the first round of the playoffs.  The Red Wings are just one point ahead of the Predators and are battling for the #4 spot in the Western Conference.  Unless the Blues have a major collapse or Chicago really steps their game up, it’s likely that the Preds will be the first round matchup for the Wings.  The Red Wings have won 3 of their 5 meetings with the Predators this season, 2 of those at home, 1 in Nashville. Here’s a look at the first 5 games:

11/26 Nashville 1 @ Detroit 4

The Red Wings took down the Preds for the 9th game of the 23 game home win streak.  Valtteri Filppula had two goals and an assist, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist, Danny Cleary scored a goal, Jiri Hudler had two assists, and Todd Bertuzzi, Jakub Kindl and Darren Helm each had one assist. Jimmy Howard had a .947sv% and stopped 18 of the 19 shots on goal.

12/15 Detroit 3 @ Nashville 4

This loss really pissed me off. Shea Weber’s two goals in the last 5 minutes (the GWG with just 1:36 left in the 3rd) gave Nashville the 2 points over Detroit.

12/26 Detroit 4 @ Nashville 1

Valtteri Filppula scored 2 goals, and Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary each scored one to give the Red Wings the win over the Preds in their 3rd meeting of the season.  Howard stopped 31 of 32 shots, but his opportunity for a shutout was ruined with just 2:12 remaining in the 3rd.

2/17 Nashville 1 @ Detroit 2

This was one of my favorite wins of the season — the one and only Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red Wings their 22nd consecutive home win with just 5 seconds left in the game.  Captain Nick Lidstrom hit Zetterberg with a no look pass off the boards, who sent it up to the magician, who then blew past Ryan Suter…and the rest is history.  I can only imagine what Pekka Rinne was thinking. Most likely it was “Oh (insert 4 letter word here).” Datsyuk also had an amazing assist…while he was lying down on the ice.

3/10 Detroit 2 @ Nashville 3

This was the first of the Red Wings 6 game losing streak this month.  Although it was a loss, Datsyuk found a way to make Detroit fans proud.  After Shea Weber blocked and knocked Datsyuk a few times as he attempted to make his way to the net, Datsyuk got back at him…twice as good. The video makes me giggle every time I watch it.

 

The next couple weeks are going to be tough, but if anyone can push hard and prove their excellence, it’s the Detroit Red Wings. It’s time to smash Smashville.

(stats from detroitredwings.com)

Injury Bug Bites The Red Wings

As we get started in Philadelphia, you’ll notice plenty of familiar faces out of the lineup for the Red Wings. Here is the latest on the injured Wings, and when you might expect to see them back.

Pavel Datsyuk (Knee) – The Magic Man has been sidelined after a minor knee procedure in Feb. He skated Monday before practice and hopes to join the team on next week’s West Coast road trip.

Jimmy Howard (Lower Body, Groin) – We have not seen Howie since leaving after the first period against Chicago Sunday. While Ken Holland calls the injury minor, Jimmy did not make the trip to Philly tonight.

Nicklas Lidstrom (Ankle) – Nick has been out since taking a shot in the ankle against the Avalanche on Feb 25. Lidstrom MRI came back clean, but swelling has prevented him from putting his skate on. The Wings hope to have him this Friday vs the Kings.

Todd Bertuzzi (Groin) – Todd is listed as Day to Day with a groin. The Wings hope to have him back Friday as well.

Jakub Kindl  (Upper Body) – The young D man was forced out of the game in Chicago after playing just 1:35 Sunday. He’s also listed as Day to Day.

Jonathan Ericsson (Wrist) – Big E broke his wrist in the game against the Avalanche. He is expected to be out 3-4 more weeks.

Patrick Eaves (Head) – Eaves has been sidelined since November 26th after taking a puck to the head. He suffered a broken jaw and concussion, and has begun light skating. He said he is not sure whether or not he will be able to return this year.

TGIF: A week in review and a very Happy Hudler

TGIF Red Wings fans! It’s been a roller coaster of a week but overall mostly good stuff.

Up: The sweet, sweet, taste of revenge in Chicago on Sunday. After losing to the Blackhawks 3-2 on December 30th, the Wings came back from a 2-goal deficit to win it in overtime with a magical move by Pavel Datsyuk. Ty Conklin got a W and a boost of confidence–just what he needed.

Down: Why can’t we beat the Islanders? It’s all psychological (says the therapist…) My opinion: It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy– what you believe, you shall receive. The boys gotta get some help with that. The Wings lost 5-1 in New York Tuesday night (which makes me cringe). I can hear those Long Islander’s and their annoying f’in accents talking about the game and EW.

Up: Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard were selected for the NHL All-Star Game. Howard wasn’t even on the fan ballot. This is his first time as an NHL All-Star and it is definitely well deserved. It was a great day for Jimmy, according to an article on DetroitRedWings.com:

“It doesn’t get any better than that. What a great day. It’s been awesome,” Howard said. “I think the highlight of my day was probably when I woke up from my nap and my little guy had a T-shirt on that said, `My Daddy rocks.”‘

I was absolutely APPALLED when I didn’t see Nick Lidstrom’s name on the roster, but I was relieved when I heard it was due to a request. Even Superman needs a weekend to rest.

Up: The Wings then returned to the Joe Thursday night to earn their 13th straight win at home and Jimmy Howard’s 100th career win. Fil and Jimmy continued to be hot and Detroit beat the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout that caused fans to squeal/scream (cmon, it couldn’t have been just me). It started off with Datsyuk who of course made it look so easy–It finished off with Henrik Zetterberg’s “Peter Forsberg” move that left Mike Smith in tears and fans on their feet (and me in tears as well).

Up: After Ed Snider, the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, EMBARRASSINGLY claimed that Philadelphia should be called “Hockeytown” and not Detroit, their fans ruined their brief moment in the spotlight by assaulting off-duty police officer and Iraq war veteran, Neal Auricchio, who sported a New York Rangers jersey to the Winter Classic. Thank goodness the cops arrested Philadelphia resident Dennis Veteri today. STAY CLASSY PHILADELPHIA.

Up: Tomorrow the Wings and Blackhawks face off at the Joe at 12:30. The Wings will be looking to earn their 14th straight win at home. The game will be shown on NBC.

Up: Cheers to the fricken weekend. I drink to that, yeah yeah.

(ps I did not take this photo, nor do I have the rights to it. I only love it. Google images, yo).

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

Red Lines

  • Yes, we all know Nick Lidstrom is a super human.  Check out what Dave Lozo has to say about the captain in this week’s NHL.com Super 16 rankings
  • Mlive.com reports that Filppula might be able to play tomorrow vs. St Louis
  • Tonight’s the night. The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors will begin two days of meetings today in Pebble Beach, California
  • The Wings fall from 2nd to 3rd place on ESPN’s NHL Power Rankings this week
  • Winging it in Motown breaks down last night’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche
  • My favorite holiday commercial thus far:

7th Heaven

The Detroit Red Wings got their 7th straight win tonight in Buffalo. Hot damn!

Hannah’s personal highlight: Mike Babcock’s shirt/tie combo.

1st Period Highlights:

  • Wings outshot Buffalo 18-8
  • Jakub Kindl got his first goal of the season (8:50, assists to Holmstrom and Abdelkader)
  • With Jason Pominville in the box, the Mule put the Wings up 2-0 (13:38, assisted by Lidstrom and Datsyuk)
  • 1:03 after the Franzen goal, “red hot” Valtteri Filppula put one in net (14:41, assisted by Henrik Zetterberg)

2nd Period Highlights:

  • Shots on goal 9-9
  • Abdelkader, Kronwall, and Filppula all spent time in the box — successful on the PK
  • Jimmy’s sick save made him look like a break dancer
  • Not much else…

3rd Period Highlights:

  • Buffalo outshot the Wings 11-9
  • Jochen Hecht made the score 3-1 (13:47, assisted by Pominville and Leino)
  • Pavel Datsyuk got an empty netter to make it 4-1 (18:43, unassisted)
  • Nathan Gerbe cut his upper lip and nostril toward the end of the period…looks pretty nast. Feel better boo boo.

Next game is against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday at 8:00pm. Jimmy for president.

Wings Keep Ducks In The Dark

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!

Nyquist, Bertuzzi & Franzen Power Wings Past Pens

The Detroit Red Wings ended the Pittsburgh Penguins perfect preseason Sunday night, with a 3-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena. Gustav Nyquist lead the way with two goals and an assist. Paired with the sizable duo of Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen, the line was unstoppable, accounting for all three goals tonight.

Nyquist opened the scoring on a rebound just one minute in, with assists from Bertuzzi and Franzen. Paul Martin quickly answered to tie the game with a one-timer just over five minutes in. Franzen got his own rebound and finished a pretty play to give Detroit the 2-1 lead halfway through the first period.

Nyquist scored his second of the night on the PP in the second, and that score would hold until late in the 3rd period. With 50 seconds left, Tyler Kennedy put the Pens within one after a flurry in front of Jimmy Howard. It was originally waved off, but after review was determined to be a goal. Despite a flurry of shots in the final minutes, the Red Wings held on for the 3-2 victory.

With the injury to Jan Mursak, you have to wonder if Nyquist can squeak his way into the fourteenth and final forward position with the Red Wings. His competition did not do much this game. Cory Emmerton took a penalty when the game was tied, Fabian Brunnstrom had 0 shots in over 15 minutes of ice time, and Tomas Tatar was -1. Patrick Eaves also left the game after a blocked shot on a penalty kill. His status is unknown, but could open up another forward position.

Howard was solid, with a few big saves in the 3rd period, when the Penguins outshot Detroit 12-4. Nick Lidstrom was steady as usual, with a +2 rating and over 23 minutes of ice time. Valtteri Fiilppula delivered a big hit and was dangerous for the majority of his 26 shifts. Jiri Hudler drew jeers from the crowd after a couple of turnovers in the 3rd period.

A fun moment occurred during the 2nd intermission. One end of the arena focused their attention to a Super Suite that had left their blinds open. A large television was showing the final inning of the Tigers – Yankees game, which the Tigers held on to win 5-3. The crowd reacted loudly as the final inning unfolded; once mistakenly thinking a replay from the night prior was instead a Yankee’s game tying home run. After minutes of confusion, the final Yankee out was recorded, drawing the loudest cheers from Joe Louis all night. The owner of the suite quickly realized what was happening, and closed the blinds for the remainder of the hockey game.

Click here for full video highlights.