Leino Deal a Sign of Things to Come

It doesn’t look like we’ve seen any quotes out of Detroit on the Ville Leino trade just yet so I’m basing my thoughts purely on assumptions at this point.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen only makes $200,000 less than Leino so this move alone doesn’t solve the Red Wings’ cap problems. Add in the fact that the Detroit blueline is already overloaded and you can see another move is coming.

The way I see it, there are two possibilities.

Tollefsen was acquired simply to be bought out, much like the Boston Bruins did with Patrick Eaves last summer. From what I understand, buying out Tollefsen means the Wings will have shed $500,000 from this year’s cap. Still not enough but a start.

The other option is that Tollefsen takes over as the Wings’ depth defenseman making both Brett Lebda and Derek Meech expendable. If that’s the case, the Wings will have dropped $1.333 million from their cap this season, a decent number.

This move was not about talent or potential or a need at a given position, simply a financal deal.

Red Wings Trade Leino to Flyers

TSN of Canada reports that the Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Ville Leino to the Philadelphia Flyers.

In return, Detroit will get defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The Red Wings are looking to clear cap space with the return of injured forward Johan Franzen coming on Tuesday. Leino has a cap hit of $800,000 this season while Tollefsen is scheduled to make $600,000. Leino is also under contract for next season while Tollefsen is a restricted free agent.

Red Wings – Ducks Postgame Notes

One goal on nearly 50 shots isn’t gonna cut it most nights, and it didn’t cut it tonight for Detroit. Can’t be surprised there.

It was a frustrating game in that the Wings seemed to control play for long stretches but Anaheim got all the bounces. Two goals on deflections, one of which may or may not actually have been legal, and one on a broken play.

In all honesty, this kind of game is one you can’t take anything from not because the Wings played poorly but because they played well enough to win and just couldn’t get the goals. Detroit played a solid game, I can’t complain about that.

On the plus side, the one goal the Wings did score was beautiful. Not that it matters for anything, of course.

Red Wings Rally for Win over Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings fell down 2-0 early in the first period Tuesday night but scored four unanswered goals to earn a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Two goals in a 4:04 span late in the first pulled Detroit back into a tie with the Sharks after Joe Thornton scored twice 3:34 apart earlier in the period to put San Jose up by two. A pair of goals 4:18 apart in the third wrapped up the game’s scoring to give the Red Wings the win.

Dan Cleary beat San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov from in front of the net off a feed from the side of the goal by Valtteri Filppula to get the Red Wings on the board with 5:08 left in the first.

With 1:02 left in the period, Henrik Zetterberg banged home a rebound chance after Nabokov made an amazing save on Tomas Holmstrom with Detroit on a five-on-three.

Derek Meech put the Red Wings in front at 4:40 of the third period, banking a bad-angle chance off of Nabokov’s pad and into the net on an attempted centering pass.

Patrick Eaves added an insurance marker at 8:58, putting in a rebound chance from the side of the net.

Thornton had opened the scoring at 6:11 of the first period, knocking home a rebound that Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard couldn’t handle.

At 9:45 Thornton extended the lead, corralling another loose puck and putting it in past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 32 saves on 34 shots while Nabokov made 33 stops on 37 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings scored on two of their six power play chances. San Jose was scoreless on three tries with the extra attacker.

Niklas Kronwall left the game after the second period with an ankle injury. He is not expected to play in Anaheim on Wednesday.

Red Wings – Sharks Postgame Notes

It’s after one in the morning, some ungodly hour at which hockey has no right being played. Niklas Kronwall went out with a mysterious “tweak” of some kind. None of that matters ’cause that was one of the best games the Wings have played all year.

I’ll admit, I was ready to quit when the Wings went down 2-0. These late games just make it too tough to watch when Detroit is getting beat to hell. But the Red Wings didn’t quit, they rallied before the first period was over and pretty much dominated the rest of the game en route to their 4-2 game.

It was a game the Wings could have quit on but they didn’t and it got them an important pair of points in the standings.

Howard Solid Again as Red Wings Fall to Penguins in Shootout

Jimmy Howard stopped 46 shots for the second consecutive game but this time the Detroit Red Wings couldn’t pull out a win, falling in a shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon.

After a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators in which Howard stopped 46 of 48 shots, the Penguins picked up a 2-1 win despite Howard allowing only a goal on 47 chances. Pittsburgh scored on two of three shootout attempts while the Red Wings missed on two tries in the tiebreaker.

The Penguins carried the play in the first two periods but their only goal came with 3:14 left in the second, when Alex Goligoski fed a wide-open Sidney Crosby on the left wing. Crosby skated in on Howard, faked around him, and put it into the open side of the net.

Danny Cleary tied the game for Detroit with 8:50 left in regulation, tipping a Brad Stuart blast past Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored the only goals of the shootout.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker – including a four-on-three to end the overtime period – while Pittsburgh had three.

Fleury stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced.

The Red Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, whose return from injury was delayed at least one more game.

Red Wings – Penguins Postgame Notes

After thinking about this for most of the day, there are a few things from today’s loss that are sticking with me.

The Red Wings absolutely survived this one. It was in Pittsburgh’s hands all game and Detroit just held on enough to get the point. It was a much-needed point but the problem is two-points were much-needed as well.

The offense and defense are still not communicating, leading to some awful turnovers on clearing attempts. Either that or the blueliners are just being stupid. Since the latter has never been a problem before, I lean towards the former being the issue.

Had the Wings been able to clear their own zone more efficiently the offense might have had a chance to get going but as it was there were probably only two or three memorable shifts in the Penguins’ zone. Thankfully one yielded a goal or we’d be talking about another game where the Wings didn’t even get a point.

Jimmy Howard continues to stand on his head… in the game itself. In the gimmick he’s a mess. I know it’s an unpopular opinion and I don’t think we have much better of an option but I have no faith in Howard once it comes to the shootout. He commits too early and gets burned on the deke. This isn’t a problem if Detroit wins in regulation but that’s been an issue of late.

I also question Mike Babcock‘s strategy in the shootout. Jason Williams as the second shooter? If you’re going to move Henrik Zetterberg out of that spot, Todd Bertuzzi has to go second. He’s earned that with his shootout performance this season, even if Williams was part of the shootout go-to group before he got hurt.

That there are things to take away from this loss at all make it better than the one to Minnesota a few nights ago.

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