The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.
Still rebounding from a seven-game skid that cost them a share of the league lead, the Detroit Red Wings have regained sole possession of the Central Division’s top spot in the ninth week of the season.
The Wings continued their homestand on Tuesday night, hosting the Colorado Avalanche and earning a 3-2 win. Carlo Colaiacovo opened the game’s scoring with his first of the season, making it 1-0 for the Red Wings at 1:26 of the first period. New Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog tied things up just 54 seconds later and Ryan O’Reilly put the Avs out front with 4:12 left in the period. Colorado’s lead held until Drew Miller scored with 8:36 left in the third to tie things up. Just 1:12 later Mikael Samuelsson added another to put the Wings out front and give them the win. Jimmy Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 shots against to get the win.
Detroit’s winning streak continued on Friday night with a 7-2 rout of the Washington Capitals. Valtteri Filppula scored 3:38 in and Jonathan Ericsson made it 2-0 at 7:35 but Troy Brouwer scored with 7:08 left and Joel Ward added another with 40 seconds remaining for a 2-2 tie heading into the second. Pavel Datsyuk put the Wings back out in front at 2:02 of the middle period, Filppula scored again at 5:36, and Johan Franzen chased Braden Holtby from the Washington net at 10:15. Datsyuk added a second goal with 9:47 left in the third and Todd Bertuzzi scored in the game’s final minute to round out the scoring. Howard finished the night with 19 saves on 21 shots.
After nine weeks, Filppula remains the team’s leading scorer with 34 points in 26 games, good for fifth in the NHL behind the four-way tie for first between Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar and Patrick Sharp, all at 36 points. Howard remains tied for the NHL lead in shutouts with four on the season.
The Red Wings’ Central Division lead is two points over the Nashville Predators. The St. Louis Blues sit four points back with two games in hand.
The next week will see the Red Wings host the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes before visiting the Nashville Predators.