Wings’ Move to the Palace Near?

Chris McCosky has a piece in the Detroit News today about the possibility of the Red Wings and Pistons sharing an arena soon.

There’s a lot of “sources say” and no direct quotes from anyone involved but there is one bit of information that applies to the immediate future of the Red Wings.

Mike and Marian Ilitch, owners of the Red Wings, have not renewed their lease at Joe Louis Arena beyond this season, and face more than $10 million in structural repair at the dilapidated arena this summer if the team is to play there next season.

Going back to the Joe, it seems, is a last resort. So the Ilitches have been looking for a temporary home while they sort out, if, when, where and how they might build a new arena in downtown Detroit.

The Wings and Palace Sports and Entertainment, overseers of The Palace, have been working on a lease agreement for over a year. The Ilitches toured The Palace in December 2008. The Palace submitted a five-year lease offer to the Ilitches, who made a counteroffer — presumably for fewer years.

The Palace is still sitting on that counteroffer.

In Michigan’s current economic climate, Mike Ilitch is not going to get the state funding he’s looking for to help him build the long-rumored Foxtown arena. As such, he doesn’t have a lot of immediate options. The Red Wings can stay at the Joe, with Ilitch springing for $10 million in renovations, or hey can move to another local stadium. The time is not right to build a new arena.

The Wings organization has publically admitted as much, with Jimmy Devellano going on the record in saying that the Wings need a new arena in five to ten years – not right now.

I don’t like the idea of the Red Wings having to share their arena. One of the reasons the ice at Joe Louis Arena is so good is because a basketball court doesn’t get laid over it every other night.

That said, lack of JLA lease talk and lack of new arena talk have me relatively convinced that the next home of the Red Wings – if not the next two homes – will be shared with the Pistons.

Thoughts on Steve Ott’s “Goal” and the Detroit – Dallas Game

So here’s the recap…

Steve Ott slips a shot between Jimmy Howard‘s pads. It trickles to the goal line before Howard gets to it and the near ref says no goal. Patrick Eaves gets ready to shoot.

But wait… We’ve got video review. A lengthy video review proves inconclusive so the call on the ice stands. The problem is that during the review one ref and one linesman who were further away from the ref who made the initial call say that they conclusively saw the puck go over the goal line. Two outvote one, the call on the ice is overturned, it’s a goal.

So what happened is two people who were further away saw something that no video could corroborate. They so firmly believed what they saw that they refused to accept the near ref’s call and overturned it.

I firmly believe that the wrong call was made. Which means that those two officials weren’t just wrong. They were so certain about seeing something that didn’t happen that they overturned the correct call. That is a gross abuse of power.

I’ve heard the arguments about how it shouldn’t matter. The Wings gave up a two goal lead to get to this point. “They should have scored more goals if they wanted to win.”

That’s a flawed point and the people making it know it. The team scoring the most goals wins, not the team that scores more goals than the other team plus an arbitrary number of additional goals that may or may not be awarded by luck.

There’s also the argument that Patrick Eaves still could have scored to tie it. Which, of course, ignores that any goal of his would have been a game-winner.

In the end, what can you say to it? No one of consequence will admit to the wrong call being made. That wouldn’t fix things anyway.

Red Wings Hold Off Hurricanes for 3-1 Win

The Detroit Red Wings took a 2-0 lead into the third period Thursday night and came out 3-1 winners over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 13 shots in the final period as the Hurricanes tried to even the score. He finished the night with 37 saves on 38 shots.

Nicklas Lidstrom broke a 43-game scoring drought with 8:30 left in the first period, getting the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal on a blast from the blue line.

Drew Miller – who assisted on Lidstrom’s goal after being promoted to the second power play unit – added another goal with the extra attacker 1:34 into the second period. Valtteri Filppula sent the puck to the front of the net from the corner but it got caught up in Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason‘s skates, bouncing right to Miller to swat it past netminder Cam Ward.

Tom Kostopoulos beat Howard on a rebound chance at 7:17 of the third period but Henrik Zetterberg restored the two-goal lead with 5:20 left, scoring on a tap-in off a cross-ice feed from Todd Bertuzzi.

Ward finished the night with 32 saves on 35 Detroit shots.

The Wings made good on two of their five chances with the extra attacker. The Hurricanes were scoreless on two power plays.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they visit the Dallas Stars.

Jonathan Ericsson returned to the Detroit lineup after missing time with a bone bruise.

Ericsson to Return Tonight

For the first time in quite awhile, the Red Wings will be facing a team with more players out to injury than Detroit has as they host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

The Red Wings will get Jonathan Ericsson back into the lineup, with Doug Janik being sent back to Grand Rapids.

This gives Detroit only five injuries – Andreas Lilja, Johan Franzen, Jason Williams, Niklas Kronwall and Tomas Holmstrom.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have six regulars out of the lineup – Chad Larose, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Wings, likely going up against Carolina’s Cam Ward as former Red Wing Manny Legace is not expected to start.

Red Wings – Islanders Postgame Thoughts

Look back at tonight’s Red Wings – Islanders game and tell me something… Do you remember a single time where Detroit was in the New York zone and you felt like they had momentum?

On the flip side, was there ever a time tonight where you thought the Wings were just shutting it down defensively? Where the Islanders just couldn’t get anything started?

I’ll admit that I missed the end of the second and the beginning of the third but in the 50 minutes or so I saw tonight there was not a single time that the Red Wings threatened the Islanders offensively and there were no big defensive plays at the other end of the ice.

This was the kind of game I hate most, one where the Red Wings seemed to put in absolutely no effort. Either the Islanders were outplaying them that badly or the Wings weren’t really trying.

It wouldn’t have been all that sporting, but part of me wanted to see Mike Babcock pull Chris Osgood for the extra skater in the game’s closing minute, giving his team a 6-on-4 manpower advantage and a challenge to break the shutout.

Like last fall’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, this one is best forgotten almost immediately. I’m going to aid that by going and deleting it off of my DVR right now.

Red Wings End West Coast Swing with Win over Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings finished off a four-game West Coast road trip with 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks Saturday night.

With the win, the Red Wings earned six of a possible eight points on the trip, all against teams ahead of them in the standings. The lone loss came to the Anaheim Ducks.

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard allowed a single goal for the second consecutive game, stopping 26 of 27 San Jose shots.

The Sharks scored their lone goal with 8:58 left in the first period. Joe Thornton won a draw in the right faceoff circle back to Dan Boyle, who threw it at Howard. Howard stopped the initial shot and made a diving save on the first rebound but Patrick Marleau was there to flip the third chance past him.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game 6:37 into the second period, stealing the puck from Ryane Clowe and snapping a wrister over the shoulder of San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov.

Patrick Eaves put Detroit in front with 5:07 left in the second, deflecting a Doug Janik shot from the blue line past Nabokov. The Sharks complained that the puck was hit with a high stick but the goal stood after video review.

Dan Cleary put the Red Wings up by a pair just 69 seconds later, beating Nabokov with a wrister from the left faceoff circle on a rush with Valtteri Filppula.

Darren Helm wrapped up the game’s scoring at 4:34 of the third period, driving to the net to slide the puck around a sprawling Nabokov.

Nabokov finished the night with 17 saves on 21 Detroit chances.

Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit had one chance with the extra attacker while San Jose had two.

With the West Coast portion of their five-game road trip wrapped up, the Red Wings head to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Howard Shuts the Door on Kings, Red Wings Win 2-1

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 51 of 52 shots against Thursday night, carrying the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The win pulled the Wings to within three standings points of the Kings with one game in hand.

Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick stopped 22 of 24 Detroit shots, facing only 11 chances in the final 40 minutes of play.

Darren Helm gave the Red Wings the win with just 18 seconds left in regulation. Helm drove to the net from the bottom of the right faceoff circle, jamming the puck between Quick’s pads.

Detroit had carried a 1-0 lead for much of the game after Danny Cleary opened the scoring with less than a second left in the first period. A chance by Valtteri Filppula slipped through Quick at the side of the crease and Cleary was left open to swat the puck across the goal line.

Ryan Smyth got the Kings on the board and tied the game with 4:22 left in regulation. While on a power play a bouncing puck came to Smyth on the far side of the net for an easy goal.

It was the lone power play goal of the game. The Kings had four tries with the extra attacker while Detroit had two.

The Red Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, who suffered a broken foot during the morning skate and will miss three to four weeks. Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg returned to the lineup after missing time with separated shoulders.

Guessing the Odd-Men Out

Sooner or later the Red Wings will be healthy again. Given how much they miss their injured players right now, that’s a good thing. It is going to cause quite the roster crunch, though.

The Wings currently have one extra forward. Last night it was Ville Leino who sat in favor of Brad May. Bill at A2Y questioned why May would play when Detroit’s offense has been so anemic.

He admits that having Leino on the ice last night wouldn’t have made a difference but it got me thinking… How are the Red Wings going to put together their lineup when their four missing forwards come back?

There are thirteen healthy forwards right now, including Mattias Ritola who can be sent to Grand Rapids at any time so I assume he’s gone as soon as someone comes back.

Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg could be back tomorrow in Los Angeles. Jason Williams is looking at returning later this month. Johan Franzen is expected back after the Olympic break. That’s four of twelve forwards right there.

I don’t see Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm or Tomas Holmstrom losing their spots in the lineup. I also highly doubt that Kris Draper would be a casualty of the numbers. Justin Abdelkader could be sent to Grand Rapids but the Red Wings told him to find a house in the Detroit area so I’m assuming he sticks with the team.

We’re up to eleven of twelve roster spots.

Patrick Eaves, Ville Leino, Kirk Maltby, Brad May and Drew Miller. Only one stays. Who is it?

May, Leino and Maltby are my immediate choices to be left out. This leaves either Eaves or Miller. I think I’d keep Eaves due to his slightly better offensive potential.

The choice is not an easy one no matter how you look at it.

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