Blog Archives

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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Lidstrom’s Slow Recovery Raises Questions On Future

There’s not much more I can say about The Perfect Human that hasn’t already been said. His value to Detroit has shown as the team has struggled the past few weeks without his steady presence.

All year, Detroit fans have speculated on whether this would be Lidstrom’s final season. Sure he’s got 10 goals, 31 points and a +25 rating. But the Captain is facing the lengthiest recovery of his extensive NHL career, and the first significant layoff since taking a severe hit from Ian Laperriere in 2008 (Click the link to watch the video, reaction, plus Aaron Downey doing what he did best.

So go figure both incidents are against the Avalanche, but you really have to wonder how much more a soon to be 42 year old can take.  He told the Free Press today, “It’s discouraging that I haven’t started feeling better, as it’s going on two weeks now.” On the plus side of things, Nick’s MRIs (he’s had at least two) have revealed no fracture, so the team is hoping staying off the leg will get Lidstrom back on the ice.

Another big factor might be the future of longtime teammate, countryman, and best friend Tomas Holmstrom.  While the winger surely has lost a step from his 2009-10 25 goal output, he still has been serviceable on the fourth line and power play. Tomas turns 40 next year, and the front office will have a big decision to make on the soon to be free agent. Especially when considering how it may effect Lidstrom’s thinking. With the Power Play in peril, is it time the Wings let go of their longtime front of the net force?

With all of the festivities set around the New Year next year, it is hard as a fan to not be selfish and hope we may be blessed with one more year of blueline bliss. In the end, I think we will all respect Lidstrom’s choice, and consider ourselves lucky to have watched him this long.

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.

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)

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.

2 points for Ericsson: I’ll drink to that

Jonathan Ericsson had a 2-point game in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6th straight win tonight.  The Detroit Red Wings outshot the Tampa Bay Lightning 35-23 and won 64% of the faceoffs.  Pavel Datsyuk won 71% of his faceoffs and earned himself 2 points as well–that’s 6 points in the last 4 games for the great one.  Jimmy Howard made some fabulous saves throughout the game and especially in the 3rd–upping the confusion regarding his absence on the All-Star ballot.  Feel free to write him in.

Tonight was also Steve Yzerman’s first visit to the Joe as the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Red Wings paid their respects to the longtime Captain with a tear jerking tribute during the 1st period:

1st Period Highlights:

  • Wings outshot TBL 18-8 (that’s what I’m talkin bout)
  • Datsyuk wowed us with his 7th goal of the season at 4:58 (assisted by Bertuzzi and Franzen)
  • Jonathan Ericsson shocked RW fans everywhere by scoring his first goal of the season (11:04, assist to Fil) Mazel tov!!!!!!

2nd Period Highlights:

  • The Lightning outshot the Wings 6-5
  • With Ericsson in the box, Martin St. Louis got a PPG to get his team back in the game (9:35, assisted by Purcell and Bergeron)
  • Steven Stamkos tied the game with just 0:14 left in the period (assists to Gilroy and Lecavalier) — he scores goals? Weird.
  • Pierre McGuire used the word “toughly” and then quickly recanted saying it wasn’t a word. It actually is a word…and Pierre actually was an English major #funfact

3rd Period Highlights:

  • The Wings stepped it up and outshot the Lightning 12-9
  • Brewer did the only thing he could do to prevent Datsyuk from scoring on a breakaway — hooked him. Holmer put the Wings up 3-2 only 9 seconds later—after all 5 RWs touched the puck (4:22, assists to Lidstrom and Datsyuk)
  • Darren Helm sealed the deal at 14:13, giving the Wings a 2-goal lead (assisted by Kindl and Ericsson)

Notes: Commodore and Emmerton were scratched, Eaves out 6-8 weeks after having surgery on his jaw

The Wings will head to Buffalo to prep for their 7:30 game on Friday night

I Spy: Pavel Datsyuk

You heard them right. The crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Red Wings!” at the Staples Center this evening as your Detroit Red Wings took down the LA Kings 4-1. My favorite tweet of the game: “kings fans have been telling me the wings suck the whole game & i’m like ‘talk to me when your jerseys aren’t sparkling.'” (thx for the entertainment @hushlittleladyy) — And I agree…the only time I like my men sparkly is in Twilight.

1st Period Highlights:

  • Mike Richards scored a shorthanded goal (6:37) after Hudler made a Hudler mistake
  • Oh there you are, Pavel Datsyuk!!! Datsyuk scored his first goal since OCTOBER 21ST 37 seconds later (7:14, assisted by Holmstrom and Lidstrom) to tie it up at 1

2nd Period Highlights:

  • Niklas Kronwall took advantage of the slashing penalty against Rob Scuderi and put the Red Wings ahead by 1 (7:08, assists to Franzen and Holmstrom)
  • Brad Stuart’s (not so smart) defensive play led to a penalty shot (11:06) for all-star Anze Kopitar. Howard’s save made me feel like a proud mother…I shed a tear or two. The save and Jimmy’s reaction kind of reminded me of one of the scenes in my favorite movie: Robin Hood Men in Tights. See below.
  • Brendan Smith rushed out of the box after a hooking penalty and sped down the ice to assist Justin Abdelkader, earning his first NHL point and giving the Wings a 2-goal lead (15:38) Congratulations, cutie!
3rd Period Highlights:
  • Datsyuk stayed hungry (for curly fries) and scored his second goal of the game and 4th of the season (15:06, assisted by Johan Franzen)
“It’s not fair…look how quick his hands are” -Craig Button, NHL On The Fly

Overall Highlights:

  • Jimmy Howard was 23-24 (.958 sv%) and was on top of his game
  • Holmer got 2 assists in the 9:07 he was on the ice
  • Datsyuk is back. He wanted it…he got it. And then he got it again. Oh, how we’ve missed you.

The Wings wrap up their West Coast roady with a 8:00 pm game against the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow. Do it to it.

Howard Earns 3rd SO vs Oilers

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.
That’s all stay tuned for more and another home game tomorrow.

Arguable Power Rankings & Some Datsyukian Humor

Winging It In Motown pointed out this morning that after suffering only their first loss of the season on Saturday night, the Detroit Red Wings (5-1-0) are now apparently worse than both the Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2-2) and the Chicago Blackhawks (4-1-2) according to the TSN.CA NHL Power Rankings. However, the ESPN NHL Power Rankings still have the Wings in the #2 spot this week.  ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun added: “Even Caps coach Bruce Boudreau pointed out that Saturday’s loss wasn’t really your typical 7-1 score; Detroit is playing better than that score indicated. Just a blip on the radar and with backup Ty Conklin in goal, to boot.”

If additional proof is needed that the Wings aren’t leaving the top of the rankings anytime soon, listen to Tomas Vokoun, the goalie for the Washington Capitals. Vokoun was named one of the NHL’s 3 stars of the week this week–a well deserved honor.  He has allowed only 6 goals in his last 5 games and has a .944 sv% this season.  David Amber from NHL on the Fly held a phone interview with Vokoun on Monday. Here are the “rapid fire” questions and answers:

Amber: The one guy you don’t want to face in a shoot out?
Vokoun: Pavel Datsyuk

Amber: The most difficult player to have parked in your crease?
Vokoun: Holmstrom

Amber: Starting an NHL team today, who is the one guy you need to have?
Vokoun: I would say Pavel Datsyuk

(Keep in mind these questions weren’t intended to be only about the Red Wings, but the entire NHL…so TSN can suck it)

In other news, Dmitry Chesnokov from Puck Daddy and Dmitry Malinovski, Sovetsky Sport’s correspondent in Detroit, held an interview with the always entertaining Pavel Datsyuk. Here are some highlights/quotes:

*Regarding Lidstrom’s 1500th game:
It is a very big milestone. All I can do is remove my hockey helmet for him. He is such a great player and a great person. You can always rely on him and take him with you on spying missions.”

*Do the Red Wings feel the competition for fans now that the Lions are doing pretty well in the NFL?
“There is no competition. The situation in Detroit is very difficult due to the economic crisis. And I think all of the Detroit teams playing — the Red Wings, the Lions, the Tigers — we are all trying to cheer Detroit fans up, make them a little bit happier in these tough times. And sincere thanks to all the fans who come to our games, who find the time for us.”

*Regarding NHL realignment:
“On one hand, of course it would be great because we would reduce the number of miles we fly considerably. It would be interesting to try ourselves in a different conference. But until the chickens are hatched we can’t really count them. So, people can discuss whatever they want. But nothing is certain at this point. I just hope we won’t be realigned to the KHL.”

*Alex Ovechkin was presented with his own wax figure on Monday at Madame Tussaud’s in Washington DC. Where would it be possible to see a statue of Pavel Datsyuk?
“I don’t think you will see it anywhere. And if you do, it will probably be made of paper. Cardboard paper. I am a cardboard player.”

I’m pretty sure that anyone who has ever seen Pavel Datsyuk with the puck would not describe him as a “cardboard player.” A wax figure wouldn’t do him justice — he definitely deserves a statue… possibly a pyramid.