Red Wings – Blackhawks Exhibition Postgame Notes

Quick thoughts on the Red Wings’ 3-2 win over the Blackhawks tonight, without the benefit of replay…

I’m sure Tomas Holmstrom was in the crease on the goal that was called back. Someone tell me why that matters. He didn’t interfere with Corey Crawford and the crease rule hasn’t existed since Brett Hull, yet the Wings lose goals to it all the time. When is someone going to explain that?

The goal that did count for Holmstrom was a very nice tip out of the air. Seems like he’s in midseason form.

Early on, Crawford had no lateral movement and the Wings used it to burn him. He got better as the game went on.

Both Detroit goalies had trouble with rebound control. The lone goal Jimmy Howard allowed was because he couldn’t cover up a rebound and Joey MacDonald seemed to be fighting the puck as well. Not a bad night for either but they weren’t tested that much.

Brendan Smith looks a bit out of his league. I think he got caught flat-footed a couple times where it looked like he didn’t know where he needed to be. He also had a giveaway when he tried too hard to make a play. Not a horrible debut, though.

Horrible? Jonathan Ericsson. He was in full-on pylon mode several times. Highly disappointing.

Also a little disappointing… Mike Modano. We’ve heard he’s been doing this all camp but it was tough to see the chances he gave up to make another pass. Mike Babcock seems to think that’ll fix itself once he gets comfortable and I don’t doubt it but right now it jumps out at you.

Detroit’s other free agent signing, Ruslan Salei, looked pretty solid out there. Nothing amazing, nothing horrible, about perfect for a #5 defenseman.

Jordan Owens stood out most to me. He was all over the place, getting into the corners, moving the puck. I fully expected to see him and Brandon Bollig fight by the end of the night but that didn’t come to pass.

In all, I’d call the game as a whole a little disappointing because the roster that Detroit dressed should have beaten the roster that Chicago dressed a bit more handily. That said, if not for a couple close calls I might be calling it an easy win. If Howard controls that rebound and Detroit’s final goal isn’t called back, it’s 4-1 and looks a lot different. That didn’t happen, though, so what I’ll call it is something to build on.

Red Wings – Penguins Exhibition Postgame Notes

I’d love to give a review of the Red Wings’ 5-1 loss to the Penguins in their exhibition opener (and the first game in Pittsburgh’s new CONSOL Energy Center) but I didn’t actually see any of it.

I swear preseason games used to get more coverage in Detroit. Does anyone have a broadcast schedule from 2001? I thought we saw every game that year. I don’t remember missing any, at least. Since then we get three games at best, most of them home games where tickets are available.

The big news is that Johan Franzen left the game with a charley horse after taking a knee from Brooks Orpik. Todd Bertuzzi jumped Orpik and got ejected for his trouble. Franzen says he’ll be fine and is going to sit for a few days but I have to wonder why the Red Wings obliged the Penguins by sending anyone NHL-worthy to the game.

Five goals against is going to lead questions about Chris Osgood, so it should come as no surprise that The Chief jumps on that. Saler points out that it could also mean trouble with the defense, not just Osgood sucking.

Who knows, since none of us saw it?

Fourteenth Birthday

A year ago I spent some time looking back at the history of DetroitHockey.Net. Today, the site’s fourteenth birthday, I’m looking forward as we kick off our fifteenth season.

There’s a lot planned for the season. More t-shirt giveaways and several changes to the site, some of which I had hoped to have done already.

I’m also in the very early planning stages for an event that would coincide with the site’s fifteenth birthday. I think it’s something that could be very cool but it’ll be tough to pull off. Hopefully there’ll be more news about that throughout the year.

Thanks to all of DH.N’s visitors, whether you’re here for the Wings or for the DFHL or for any other reason. I’d probably keep the site up even if no one was here but you guys are what motivates me to keep making it better.

Maltby Signs Two-way Deal with Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings signed veteran forward Kirk Maltby to a one-year, two-way deal on Wednesday.

While financial terms were not officially announced, the contract is reportedly worth $525,000 at the NHL level. Maltby would earn $105,000 while playing in the AHL, the maximum allowed for players on a two-way contract without having to clear re-entry waivers.

Maltby is likely to start the season in Grand Rapids as there are already six forwards fighting for three spots on the Red Wings’ fourth line. Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Kris Draper, Drew Miller and Mattias Ritola are all fighting for a spot in the lineup, with either Miller or Ritola expected to be moved before the start of the season.