Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings @ Blue Jackets

Remember when I said that the Wings needed to remember their loss to the Capitals (rather than just forget it and move on) so that they wouldn’t do it again? Told ya so.

To a certain extent, tonight’s loss to the Blue Jackets (Columbus’ first win of the season, which will be repeated endlessly I’m sure) felt a lot like Saturday’s game never ended. The Red Wings couldn’t clear their zone, couldn’t gain the offensive zone, couldn’t get set up once they did get into the opposing end, weren’t getting shots through to the net… Pretty much everything went wrong.

At the other end of the ice, the Jackets played like a team determined not to lose. They held the puck, they got shots through, they followed up with rebounds. And they got some help from Ty Conklin, who had some decent stops but didn’t look good on either of the first two goals.

Once again, the Wings can’t just forget this one. Given what that this game happened at all, though, I don’t know that they won’t try to.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Capitals

At least that one’s over. I’ll be quick with this.

Vokoun stopped the Wings early and it gave the Caps a chance to get into the game. This is an entirely different game if two key saves don’t happen in the first period.

Washington got on the board on a power play that didn’t need to happen. Todd Bertuzzi had no need throw that hit on an icing call.

The second Capitals goal came off a giveaway that never should have happened and bad goaltending. Ty Conklin can’t be faulted for every goal tonight, no matter how bad his numbers were, but he was way off the post on that second goal.

I haven’t even seen the third Caps goal yet and the lone Wings goal doesn’t matter, so we’re on to the fourth Caps goal. What a mess. Should’ve been an easy stop by Conklin but it trickles through and he doesn’t know. Caps pounce on the loose puck. Three more goals would be scored but the game was really done at that point.

The Wings will probably say they need to forget this one and move on. I say they need to remember it so they don’t do it again.

Red Wings Remain Unbeaten with 5-2 Win over Columbus

The Detroit Red Wings improved to 5-0-0 on the young NHL season Friday night, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2, to get off to their best start in nearly 40 years, when they started the 1972-73 season 6-0-0.

The Red Wings also turned their power play around, scoring three goals with the man advantage after scoring only once on their first nineteen power play chances to start the season.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring with one of those power play goals. Franzen sent the puck to the bottom of the right faceoff circle for Valtteri Filppula, who poked it back up for Franzen. From the faceoff dot, Franzen snapped a shot over Steve Mason‘s glove, past a screen by Danny Cleary at 9:03 of the first period.

With 5:39 remaining in the period, Franzen knocked a shot in from the side of the net. The puck bouced off defenseman Aaron Johnson to sneak past Mason, making it 2-0.

Derick Brassard made it 2-1 just 57 seconds later, left alone at the side of the net to lift the rebound of a Johnson shot over Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Only 27 seconds into the second period, Pavel Datsyuk restored the two-goal lead. Ian White fired a long shot on net that Mason knocked aside, then Henrik Zetterberg couldn’t score from the side of the net. Tomas Holmstrom swatted at the loose puck at the edge of the crease but it came back out to Datsyuk in the slot to fire past the scrambling Mason.

Johnson got the Blue Jackets back into it at 1:42 of the third period, left wide open in the slot to slap the puck past a screened Howard for a power play goal.

Nicklas Lidstrom scored just seconds after the expiration of a five-on-three to make it 4-2. Lidstrom’s blast from the high slot deflected on its way through to get past Mason at 7:46 of the third.

Filppula added an empty net goal when he tapped in a chance from Franzen that was going wide.

Detroit’s three power play markers came on five chances with the man advantage, including their one long five-on-three. Columbus’ power play goal came on four tries with the extra man.

Howard made 32 saves on 34 shots against on the night. Mason stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced.

The Red Wings meet the Washington Capitals in a battle of undefeated teams on Saturday night.

Patrick Eaves and Fabian Brunnstrom were the healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Brendan Smith was not called back to the Red Wings roster to serve another game of his NHL suspension. He remains with the Grand Rapids Griffins now that his AHL suspension is over.

Postgame: Blue Jackets @ Red Wings

Can’t really complain about a 5-0 start, but the Wings definitely coasted at points tonight. Against a better team that might have meant something. Against a Columbus team that already looks significantly defeated, not so much.

The Jackets definitely had their chances tonight the Red Wings were slow in their own end throughout much of the second period. Here’s the question, though: Was Columbus’ lack of scoring because they’re that bad or because even a slow Detroit team is that good?

Partway through the game I was thinking, “Wow, this has really slowed down but the Wings are locking things down in their own zone.” Then I saw that the Blue Jackets were outshooting the Red Wings in the middle period. Was it really that the Wings had locked things down or were the Jackets just not capitalizing? I’d like to hope the former but I’m not sure.

I tweeted this when it happened but just to mention it again: Great to see Ericsson with a good fight but that didn’t need to happen. Dorsett had nothing to lose and everything to gain in terms of getting his team momentum, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Ericsson decline and not give him the opportunity. That said, it all worked out.

First game without a point for Jiri Hudler but the rest of the second line picked up the slack as Franzen and Filppula each had four points. That line is going to be highly important this season if Datsyuk and Zetterberg are going to be played together on the top line so it’s fantastic to see so much from them early.

Hopefully the slower play by Detroit tonight means they’ll be rested in Washington tomorrow in a battle of undefeated teams.

Red Wings Rally for 3-2 OT Win over Wild

Johan Franzen scored a power play goal with 49 seconds remaining in overtime Saturday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in a game which the Wild led 2-0 in the final minute of the second period.

Franzen’s goal came with the Red Wings overloading the front of the Minnesota net. Ian White threw a shot on goal and Tomas Holmstrom gathered up the loose puck, sending a backhand pass between the legs to Franzen, who poked it home as he himself was cross-checked into the net.

White had gotten the Red Wings on the board with 48 seconds remaining in the second period. With the puck loose in the slot, White charged out of the left faceoff circle to get to it and snap a shot past Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding.

Jiri Hudler tipped a Jakub Kindl shot from the point past Harding at 3:46 of the third to tie things up.

The Wild scored the game’s first goal with 12 seconds remaining in the first period. Guillaume Latendresse sent a pass from behind the Detroit net that made it through traffic to Zanon at the blue line for a one-timer past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Only 16 seconds into the second, Cal Clutterbuck was left alone in the slot and took a pass from behind the net by Colton Gillies, snapping a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 12 saves on only 14 Minnesota shots. Harding stopped 38 of Detroit’s 41 shots.

Franzen’s goal was the first Detroit power play goal of the season, on their third try with the extra attacker of the night. The Wild had one power play attempt and did not score.

The Red Wings are now off until Friday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Patrick Eaves was back in the Detroit lineup, with Drew Miller rotated out as a healthy scratch… Mike Commodore did not play, remaining on short-term injured reserve while recovering from a knee injury… Brendan Smith served the third game of his five-game suspension.

Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings @ Wild

I got back just in time to see the game-winner. Caught the rest on the radio.

First off, I’ve gotta say, the Minnesota radio guys are really good. Nice kind of conversational flow, came across like Ken Kal and Paul Woods but without Kal’s squeaking.

Since I didn’t see any of it (until the end), I’ll just comment on the feel of the game.

It sounded like the Wings got caught on the two Minnesota goals but otherwise pretty much controlled the game. Shots being 41-14 is just unreal. Almost hate to see Josh Harding come back from a year off due to injury and still lose after a great game like that.

All three Wings goals were the second goal of the season for the scorers, breaking a streak that saw the first ten goals of the season scored by ten different players.

I’ll try to catch a replay but overall, it’s great to see the Wings stick with it and rally. It’s the first time they’ve trailed this season and it’s good to know they’ve got the mental toughness to come back when they have to.

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