Franzen Scores Twice to Lead Red Wings to First Win of Season

Johan Franzen scored two third period goals to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators for their first win of the 2008-09 season.

The Red Wings trailed the Senators 2-1 entering the game’s third period. With 8:44 left in the game’s final frame, Franzen took advantage of a bad Ottawa line change to break down the left wing all alone. He moved to the left faceoff circle and and snapped a shot past goalie Martin Gerber to the far corner of the net.

Franzen scored again with 1:17 remaining, bouncing a wrister from the right wing off of defenseman Filip Kuba. Gerber got a piece of it before it rolled off the far post and into the net.

The Senators had opened the game’s scoring just 6:22 into the game.

With Ottawa on a two-man advanage Alexandre Picard passed off to Kuba and got the puck back at the top of the right faceoff circle for a slapper past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Valtteri Filppula evened things up 4:41 later with a wrister from the left wing on a short three-on-two.

Nick Foligno scored with 1:59 left in the second period to put the Senators back in front, jumping between Filppula and Niklas Kronwall, breaking through to go in alone on Osgood and put it past him.

The Red Wings finished the night scoreless after five power play tries. Ottawa scored once in their five chances with the extra attacker.

Osgood made twenty saves on 22 shots while Gerber stopped 38 of 41 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey were healthy scratches for the second straight game. Quincey was placed on waivers earlier in the day.

Quincey on Waivers

Both MacLeod and Malik (as well as FSN’s Ken Daniels) say that the Red Wings have placed Kyle Quincey on waivers.

The move was necessary because the Wings are up against the roster limit and wouldn’t be able to call up anyone to cover for an injury should one happen.

Quincey will be on waivers until noon on Monday. He’s expected to be claimed by another team.

Belated Opening Night Wrap-up

Now that I finally have time to sit down and put together my thoughts on last night’s home opener, I really don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

For starters, you can find the few photos that actually turned out in the Multimedia Gallery.

I’m sure it’s been said elsewhere – I haven’t been able to read any recaps of the game and being at the Joe means I missed any in-game commentary (or even replays, since the Wings still haven’t bothered to start showing those on that fancy high-def scoreboard) – but the Red Wings played absolutely awful last night.

The team had two good stretches, one after each of their goals. Speaking of those, I have to say I’m surprised at least one wasn’t called back just because I expect that when Tomas Holmstrom goes to the crease now.

Outside of those two stretches there were off-the-mark passes, miscommunication and tentative play in the corners. The latter really had me annoyed, as I don’t know how many times a Wing gave up the opportunity to go fight for the puck in the offensive zone corners or went in there stick-first rather than laying on the body.

It was disappointing to see on opening night and reminds me a lot of last year’s matchup with the Maple Leafs. The loss isn’t the end of the world (nor is it a championship equivalent, Leafs fans) but it is a disappointment.

Home Opener GDT Open

I’m opening up the gameday thread right now without a lot of news. I’ve been all kinds of busy lately so I don’t have any special insight into the game or anything.

A reminder that the banner-raising ceremony is at 7:00 with the game following. Versus has the TV coverage for the US, CBC has it in Canada, both are in HD where available.

I’ll be at the game but will try to post my thoughts during breaks and hope to have some really cool photos to add to the site tomorrow.

Wings’ “Final” Roster Confirmed

The Red Wings have announced their “final” roster going into the regular season.

After practicing with the team this morning, Jonathan Ericsson and Ville Leino were sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Excluding the three players on injured reserve (Darren McCarty, Chris Chelios and Jimmy Howard) the Wings now have a 22-man roster.

Rumors of a trade involving Kyle Quincey continue but nothing has been confirmed.

Red Wings’ Roster Moves Begin

The Red Wings have begun their moves to get their season-beginning roster both under the NHL salary cap and under the roster size limit of 23 players. Malik (among others) has the updates.

The recap? To Grand Rapids: Darren Helm. Waived and on the way to GR if he’s not claimed: Aaron Downey. In Detroit but hurt: Darren McCarty, Jimmy Howard. To be determined: Kyle Quincey, Jonathan Ericsson, Ville Leino.

Now McCarty and Howard are stuck in Detroit so don’t read too much into that. They can’t be sent down while injured so it doesn’t mean that Mac has the last forward spot or that Howie beat out Ty Conklin to be Chris Osgood‘s backup.

The last three are most interesting to me. It’s already been reported that the Wings are shopping Quincey. No need to send him down if you’re going to deal him. But why send down Helm but not Ericsson or Leino, unless you’re planning on keeping them up?

If the Wings are keeping those two, a trade is in the works. They don’t have room for them without moving some other bodies. Yes, bodies, plural. Not just Quincey would be gone.

Detroit’s roster currently sits at 14 forwards (not counting Downey who’s on his way down), 10 defensemen and three goalies. Chris Chelios doesn’t count as he’s a long-term injury exception. Assume Quincey is dealt and that’s still 25 players. Ericsson and Leino could be sent down to get to the required 23 men (I haven’t bothered to see what that means for the Cap) but (as I said above), why keep them in Detroit for one more day if they’re just going to be sent down anyway?


Broken Leg Sidelines Chelios for Six Weeks

It appears that the Detroit Red Wings will be without the services of defenseman Chris Chelios to start the season.

TSN of Canada reports that Chelios will be out for the next six weeks after suffering bone fracture in his leg while blocking a shot during Tuesday night’s shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Chelios described himself as “day-to-day” the following morning but was on crutches while his teammates practiced.

With the 46-year-old veteran on the shelf a spot may have temporarily opened up on Detroit’s packed blueline.

Red Wings Fall to Canadiens in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings’ preseason record fell to 2-1-2 Tuesday night with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Ville Leino scored in the shootout for Detroit, snapping a wrist shot past Montreal goalie Carey Price. Max Pacioretty and former Wing Robert Lang scored for Montreal.

Pacioretty also scored the game’s opening goal at 4:42 of the second period, beating Detroit’s Jimmy Howard on a fluttering backhand attempt.

Leino scored Detroit’s lone regulation goal 1:53 later, pushing a shot between Price’s pads after picking up a loose puck all alone in front of the net.

The goal was the second of the preseason for the rookie who signed with Detroit after leading the Finnish Elite League in scoring last season.

The Red Wings will continue their exhibition schedule in Atlanta on Wednesday, a game that is expected to mark the return of captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who has been out since taking a puck to the face in the preseason opener.

Chris Chelios left the game with a knee injury after blocking a shot early in the third period.

Game Notes at Montreal

I’m not disappointed with tonight’s loss. The couple things I took away from it…

  • Jimmy Howard was solid overall but I think the shaky moments were painfully obvious. There was a point in the first where he let a rebound right out into the slot as he slid out of the crease. Actually, it felt like he was giving up a ton of rebounds in general. For the most part, though, he was following the puck well.
  • Ville Leino definitely has NHL-calibre hands. He has to learn how to battle for the puck, though. He looked good on the rush but seemed to not know where to go once the Wings were in the offensive zone.
  • Kyle Quincey is the odd-man out on defense right now. He was not noticible out there, even after Chris Chelios went down.
  • The line of Leino, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm seemed like it was out there every other shift.
  • Helm is insanely fast. There was a play in the first where it felt like he didn’t so much skate around a defender as he did teleport to the other side of him. He’s that quick.