Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

Compare Wednesday’s game against Vancouver and tonight’s matchup vs. Nashville and it’d be tough to believe they featured the same Red Wings team.

Jimmy Howard looked sharp, the forecheck was strong and the defense was sound positionally for most of the night against the Predators.

Negatives? Three of the four goals (not counting the ENG) were on amazing individual efforts rather than great team play and the fourth included a lucky bounce. Of course, as Mickey Redmond is fond of saying, “They don’t ask ‘How?’ just ‘How many?'”

The Nashville goals came on mental lapses and on most nights the Wings can’t afford that. Tonight they could but it’s something to be concerned about.

The two points are huge no matter what led to them. Detroit now sits three points back of Nashville with two games to play between the teams. No matter what else happens tonight, the Red Wings won’t drop out of eighth spot in the Western Conference. That’s a successful night.

Red Wings – Canucks Postgame Notes

I was all set to disagree with Ken and Mickey about goaltending being the difference tonight and then I saw the game summary.

The Red Wings seriously had 31 shots tonight? Could have fooled me, I feel like they got ridiculously few chances through on Roberto Luongo. Yes, Detroit’s goaltending didn’t get it done tonight, but their offense wasn’t clicking either.

This loss was a team effort, or lack thereof.

Red Wings Deal Newbury to Rangers for Owens

The Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Kris Newbury to the New York Rangers for forward Jordan Owens.

Newbury spent most of the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins but was called up to Detroit for four games, scoring his lone goal of the season on his second shift with the Wings.

The 23-year-old Owens has yet to make his NHL debut, spending his pro career with the ECHL’s Charlotte Checkers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. He was undrafted, signing with the Rangers in 2007 after a 74-point campaign with the OHL’s Mississauga IceDogs.

Maltby Out for Season After Shoulder Surgery

Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby will miss more time than originally expected after his shoulder surgery, general manager Ken Holland announced on Tuesday.

“There was more damage to the shoulder than the doctor originally anticipated,” Holland said. “There was way more wear and tear, and given the surgery, in all likelihood, it’ll be at least 12 weeks before Kirk can start to push weights. So right now, looks like he’s out for the season.”

Maltby, who scored the opening goal in his final game of the season, could have played his last game as a Red Wing. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“From talking to him, I think he’d like to play (next season),” Holland said. “I have interest in him coming back. A lot depends on if his shoulder is in good shape. We’ll address it in June.”

Power Play Goal Lifts Red Wings over Avalanche

Nicklas Lidstrom scored a power play goal with 9:03 remaining in regulation Monday night, carrying the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the host Colorado Avalanche.

Pavel Datsyuk set up the game winner. He carried the puck off the right wing boards and gave it to Tomas Holmstrom down low before getting it back to cut across the slot. Drawing the defense and goalie Craig Anderson to him, Datsyuk dropped the puck to Lidstrom for a blast into the open side of the net.

The goal put Detroit back in front after they had lost a two-goal lead in the second period.

T.J. Galiardi scored at 8:29 of the second, driving the net and banging the puck past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Chris Stewart tied the game 2:45 later, beating Howard from an acute angle on the left wing.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring with a pair of first period goals.

Holmstrom took a centering feed from Datsyuk and beat Anderson stick-side to put Detroit on the board at 6:06 of the period.

Johan Franzen added a power play goal with 7:20 left in the frame, faking Anderson into dropping down before roofing a shot from the right side of the net over him.

Franzen appeared to give Detroit a three-goal lead early in the second period but the goal was waived off by referee Kerry Fraser, who determined that Holmstrom had interfered with Anderson on the play.

Detroit’s two power play goals came on four chances with the extra attacker. Colorado was scoreless on two power plays.

Howard finished the night with 22 saves on 24 Colorado shots. Anderson made 27 saves on 30 chances.

Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja played in his first game in 366 days, returning from post-concussion symptoms… Red Wings defender Brian Rafalski was in the Detroit lineup despite having played the day before in the Olympic gold medal game.

On Franzen’s Negated Goal

I know it’s kind of bad form to complain about the refs after a win but I do it all the time so I’m just keeping with my established M.O.

After several replays I stand by my assertion that calling back Johan Franzen‘s goal was wrong.

Tomas Holmstrom made incidental contact with Craig Anderson in the Colorado crease on the initial Detroit scoring chance. Holmstrom moved to the side of the net as the puck came free to Franzen and was clear by the time Franzen scored.

If Kerry Fraser had called Holmstrom for goalie interference on the first chance I’d think it was a weak call but I’d understand it. Fraser saying that Holmstrom obstructed Anderson on Franzen’s opportunity is just not true.

Red Wings – Avalanche Pregame Notes

The National Hockey League returns to action following the Olympic Break tonight as the Detroit Red Wings visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Colorado forward Paul Stastny, Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski and Detroit head coach Mike Babcock were all active yesterday, with Babcock’s Team Canada downing a Team USA squad featuring Stastny and Rafalski in the Gold Medal Game.

Andreas Lilja will make his first appearance of the season on the Red Wings’ blue line, having been cleared to play after suffering post-concussion symptoms for nearly a year. His last game was 366 days ago, February 28, 2009.

I’d been thinking that Lilja’s return combined with Rafalski having played three games in five days would lead to Rafalski sitting this one out but I’m not seeing any news on that front. I actually haven’t come across any lineup notes.

The Red Wings are as healthy as they’ve been all season, with Kirk Maltby the only injured player. With Maltby out and Brad May having been sent to Grand Rapids, the Red Wings will dress all 12 healthy forwards. Two defensemen will be scratched, with one of them possibly being dealt for a depth forward before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

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