The Red Wings only have 18 games (10 at home, 8 on the road) left to play in the regular season and the race for a playoff spot in the West is tight. The Wings will be without Pavel Datsyuk for a few more weeks, without Jonathan Ericsson for about a month, Nick Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey are both day-to-day, and of course, there is no word on the return of Patrick Eaves. The last 18 games are going to be crucial — let’s break them down:
Western Conference Matchups
3/2/12 @ Detroit
The Wild got the W when they visited Detroit in November. I remember how pissed off I was when Devin Setoguchi scored that ridiculous goal in overtime after the refs failed to make a call for a dirty hit on Kronwall.
3/4/12 @ Detroit
4/7/12 @ Detroit
Detroit has only hosted the Blackhawks once this season and won 3-2 in overtime
3/9/12 @ Detroit
3/13/12 @ LA
The Wings have beat the Kings both at home (8-2) and in Los Angeles (4-1) this season
3/10/12 @ Nashville
3/30/12 @ Detroit
The Red Wings have won both of their games against the Preds at home and also one in Nashville. The 4-3 loss in Nashville was a brutal one, and you can thank Shea Weber for that. He scored 2 goals in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period.
3/14/12 @ Anaheim
The matchup in Detroit last month was a real nail biter. Todd Bertuzzi won it in the shootout with a shot that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
San Jose Sharks
3/17/12 @ San Jose
Last time the Wings visited San Jose they lost 5-2, even though they outshot the Sharks 42-28 (BARF)
Columbus Blue Jackets
3/26/12 @ Detroit
3/28/12 @ Columbus
The Wings and Jackets will play each other in back to back games, one per city. The Red Wings have won both of their games against the Blue Jackets at home and one of the two games played in Columbus. The Wings suffered a 4-1 loss to Columbus back in October right after they got crushed by the Caps—nothing like being kicked when you’re down. The Red Wings won their most recent meeting with the Blue Jackets by a score of 5-2
St. Louis Blues
4/4/12 @ St. Louis
The Red Wings have won all 3 games vs. the Blues at home this season, but have lost both games they have played in St. Louis. This is gonna be a big one.
Eastern Conference Matchups
3/19/12 @ Detroit
No technique I have learned as a therapist has helped me forget the 7-1 loss the Wings suffered in Washington back in October, after opening the season with a 5-game winning streak. Mike Green had a 4 point game (2G, 2A) and Mathieu Perreault scored 2 goals in his team-low 10:20 of ice time. This will be Detroit’s first game home after a 4-game road trip but I have faith that the Wings will show them who’s boss — and payback’s a bitch.
New York Rangers
3/21/12 @ New York
This will be the first and only meeting between the Red Wings and the Rangers this year. The Red Wings took the win (3-2) when the two teams matched up last season in Detroit.
3/24/12 @ Detroit
This will be the first and only meeting of the two teams this season. The Canes shut out the Wings 3-0 during their only meeting last year.
4/1/12 @ Detroit
This will be the first and only meeting between Detroit and Florida during the 2011-2012 regular season. Last year the Red Wings beat the Panthers 4-3
New Jersey Devils
4/5/12 @ Detroit
This will be the first and only time the Red Wings play New Jersey this season. The two teams met twice last season—once in Detroit, once in New Jersey—with Detroit earning both wins.
3/6/12 @ Philadelphia
The Flyers lost 4-3 when they visited Detroit February 12th, giving the Red Wings their record-tying 20th straight victory at home.
LET’S GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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).
Well, kind of. The Red Wings “Red Team” took on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first preseason game for both teams, which resulted in a disappointing 3-2 loss. Chris Kunitz got the Pens on the board first, scoring halfway into the first period. Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall evened the score only two minutes later after being set up by a beautiful pass from the great Pavel Datsyuk. He makes it all look so easy. Evgeni Malkin and Matt Niskanen put the bad guys up 3-1 during the 2nd, with Niskanen scoring on the power play. To me it seemed as if Malkin was on the ice for the entire game, and I haven’t decided whether that was due to his irritatingly skillful play or because the announcers were slurping him all night (get a room, gentlemen). Things started looking up for the Wings when Jiri Hudler tipped one in at the beginning of the 3rd period, but sadly, tonight’s story had no happy ending. Although it wasn’t Howard’s best game, I don’t think this is at all an indication of what the season holds for our boy, Jimmy. Even though that first goal made me shake my head (tsk-tsk), my faith remains. MacDonald played well during his one period of play and allowed no goals during the third. Also, I found it hard to judge the newbies just from tonight’s game, but Mursak and Smith were the only ones who really stood out to me. It will be interesting to see how they compare to those on the “White Team.”
Tonight’s exhibition game was only a taste (and a tease) of Red Wing hockey, but it gave us an opportunity to see who is fighting for a spot on the roster and to fall in love with Datsyuk all over again. Wearing #24 in memory of his good pal and former Wing, Ruslan Salei, simply reminds us of why he is a four-time recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (given to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability). Tomorrow the Wings take on the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 EST in London, Ontario, and on Friday the Wings will take on the Flyers at home at the Joe Louis Arena.
When the Wings expressed their interest in free agent Jaromir Jagr I was pretty pumped. He’s one of the all-time greats and seems to have a little gas left in his tank. The way I see it: If you’re 39 years old and are returning to the NHL after playing in the KHL for the past three years, it makes the most sense to sign on with Detroit. 39-year-olds shine like bright stars here in Hockeytown. Jagr ended up signing a 1-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers worth $3.3 million. At first I was disappointed, but then I remembered two things:
1) “Money-hungry” isn’t a quality that typically fits the DRW norm
2) We have Pavel Datsyuk. Below is what I like to call a Datsyukian Jagr Bomb.