Datsyuk, Howard Selected by Team Chara for All-Star Game

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk and goalie Jimmy Howard were selected by All-Star team captain Zdeno Chara at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Thursday.

Datsyuk was the first overall selection of the draft. Howard was the last goalie selected, going in the tenth round (the round by which all goalies were required to be selected).

Team captains were Boston’s Chara, with Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul as an assistant, and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, assisted by Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

The full draft list is as follows:

Round 1
Team Chara: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa

Round 2
Team Chara: Tim Thomas, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Spezza, Ottawa

Round 3
Team Chara: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
Team Alfredsson: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles

Round 4
Team Chara: Marian Hossa, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

Round 5
Team Chara: Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia
Team Alfredsson: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh

Round 6
Team Chara: Corey Perry, Anaheim
Team Alfredsson: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay

Round 7
Team Chara:Carey Price, Montreal
Team Alfredsson: Brian Elliott, St. Louis

Round 8
Team Chara: Phil Kessel, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Shea Weber, Nashville

Round 9
Team Chara: Ryan Suter, Nashville
Team Alfredsson: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver

Round 10
Team Chara: Jimmy Howard, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Dan Girardi, NY Rangers

Round 11
Team Chara: Brian Campbell, Florida
Team Alfredsson: Keith Yandle, Phoenix

Round 12
Team Chara: Patrick Kane, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Milan Michalek, Ottawa

Round 13
Team Chara: Dion Phaneuf, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver

Round 14
Team Chara: Jarome Iginla, Calgary
Team Alfredsson: James Neal, Pittsburgh

Round 15
Team Chara: Dennis Wideman, Washington
Team Alfredsson: Alexander Edler, Vancouver

Round 16
Team Chara: Marian Gaborik, NY Rangers
Team Alfredsson: John Tavares, NY Islanders

Round 17
Team Chara: Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
Team Alfredsson: Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia

Round 18
Team Chara: Tyler Seguin, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Pominville, Buffalo

Round 19
Team Chara: Jamie Benn, Dallas
Team Alfredsson: Logan Couture, San Jose

Pre-emptive Postgame: Red Wings @ Canadiens – 1/25

I’m not going to waste the rest of my night watching the Red Wings put in zero effort in Montreal so I’m writing my postgame thoughts up in the middle of the second period.

It’s not the lack of Nicklas Lidstrom that has Detroit looking this bad. Missing Lidstrom doesn’t cause Jimmy Howard to screw up on the third and fourth goals against. Missing Lidstrom doesn’t cause Niklas Kronwall to pinch in on that third goal. It doesn’t cause some of the stupid penalties.

If you want to say this is what Life After Lidstrom will look like, remember that the Red Wings aren’t going to replace Lidstrom with Mike Commodore when he retires. They’re going to take Lidstrom’s salary and put it towards another top defnseman. No, it won’t be an even trade, but it won’t be the lineup we see tonight.

Tonight is an anomaly. Like the loss in Washington in October. A game to learn from, of course, but hardly a reset of the status quo.

Red Wings’ Streak Reaches Seventeen with Home Win over Blues

The Detroit Red Wings extended their franchise-record home winning streak to seventeen games on Monday night, handing the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues a 3-1 loss.

With the win, the Red Wings move three points up on the Blues for first place in the division and the league, with the Blues holding a game in hand.

St. Louis had opened the game’s scoring at 9:12 of the first period, when they caught Detroit on a bad line change and B.J. Crombeen gained the offensive zone on a three-on-one. Crombeen’s pass to Scott Nichol got around defenseman Niklas Kronwall and goalie Jimmy Howard couldn’t get across to stop Nichol’s shot.

The tide turned late in the first period. After Red Wings’ defenseman Brad Stuart laid out the Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo, Stuart was jumped by Chris Stewart. Stewart earned the extra two minute minor for instigating the fight, putting Detroit on a power play that continued into the second period.

It was on that power play that the Red Wings tied things up. Just 51 seconds into the middle frame, Datsyuk carried the puck off the left wing boards and into the slot before lifting a backhander past St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Johan Franzen put Detroit out front at 8:52 of the period. With Franzen heading to the front of the net, Jonathan Ericsson‘s shot was blocked in the slot. Franzen got his stick on it and backhanded it around Halak’s pad to make it 2-1.

A second power play goal finished off the game’s scoring. With Carlo Colaiacavo off for roughing and just after the expiration of matching minors to Todd Bertuzzi and David Backes, Niklas Kronwall fired a shot from the top of the left circle that went through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom and past Halak.

The game closed on a chippy note, with Backes, Pietrangelo and Howard each taking roughing minors in the final two seconds. Backes and Pietrangelo also took ten-minute misconducts in the scrum around the Detroit net.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on 22 shots against. Halak made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Red Wings scored on two of five power play chances, though one of those lasted for 1.5 seconds. The Blues did not score on their lone power play.

The Red Wings will start a four-game road trip in Montreal on Wednesday, their last game before the All-Star break.

Postgame: Blues @ Red Wings – 1/23

Quick postgame notes ’cause I’m sick and need to try to get to sleep.

Chris Stewart challenging Brad Stuart at the end of the first period was just a stupid move by the St. Louis forward. Your team has the lead and you put them on the PK? Wings took advantage and that was the turning point of the game. From then on, the Blues were chasing the Wings.

Similarly, Carlo Colaiacovo spending 15 seconds with Darren Helm in a headlock while skating four aside and with his team down by one? Why the hell do you do that? Worst-case (which happened), it’s an insurance goal against. There’s just no upside to it.

It shows that the Blues still have a ways to go mentally.

That said, they’ve proven throughout this season that they’re a much more dangerous team than a lot of people are giving them credit for. They’re a lot like Nashville in that they’re a system team with solid goaltending but I think the Blues have more talent and a better coach than the Predators do. They may drop off their current pace, they may not. I’m glad the Wings don’t play them until April.

Seventeen consecutive home wins. They’ve needed a lot of extra time to get those points but that’s impressive nonetheless.

Jimmy Howard. Don’t love seeing him getting into fights but I love that he’s willing to. He’s proving why he’s an All-Star this year. I wish he could rest this weekend but I’m glad he gets the honor. Since I’m on the topic of Howard, I’ll close with a tweet from @Apetrelak:

Fact: Jimmy Howard has more wins than 27 NHL teams have and is on pace to BREAK Brodeur’s wins record. Dude’s unreal

Red Wings Down Blue Jackets on Filppula’s Shootout Goal

Valtteri Fillpula scored in the fourth round of the shootout Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Filppula’s goal was the only one of the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi couldn’t beat Columbus netminder Curtis Sanford while Rick Nash, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard and Ryan Johansen failed to score on Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.

To beat Sanford, Filppula faked to his backhand, then pulled it back to his forehand and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

It was Detroit’s third consecutive 3-2 shootout win and their six consecutive win overall. The Red Wings also extended their franchise-record home winning streak to sixteen games.

Columbus’ Ryan Russell opened the game’s scoring at 8:51 of the first period, jumping towards the net to knock the rebound of a Dorsett shot past Howard.

With 8:26 left in the period, Niklas Kronwall tied things back up. Kronwall joined the rush and carried the puck into the Columbus zone, fighting off a check to get into the high slot before wristing a shot past Sanford.

The teams traded power play goals in the second period.

Nikita Nikitin beat Howard from the point off a faceoff win at 8:43. His shot deflected off Datsyuk’s skate to confuse the Detroit goalie.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-2 with 8:57 left in the frame. His shot from the blue line went wide of the net with Tomas Holmstrom screening in front, but the puck bounced off the back boards, then went off Sanford and into the net.

With 9:51 remaining in regulation, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg was ejected from the game and given a five-minute major for boarding after he pushed Nikitin into the boards. Nikitin lost his balance and crashed feet-first. He needed to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Each team had one power play goal on the night. The Red Wings had four chances with the power play to Columbus’ three, though the Blue Jackets had more time with the extra skater due to Zetterberg’s major penalty.

Howard stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced in earning the win. Sanford made 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings next game is Monday when they host the St. Louis Blues.


Jan Mursak and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings. Former Red Wing Brett Lebda was Columbus’ only healthy scratch.

Postgame: Blue Jackets @ Red Wings – 1/21

Short and sweet: It should not have taken the shootout for the Red Wings to beat the Blue Jackets tonight. Detroit is the best team in the league (or among them, depending on the time of day) and Columbus is the worst. Needing the gimmick to get the win is disappointing.

That said… Valtteri Filppula‘s shootout goal was fantastic and Jimmy Howard was a beast once again. Howard has now only allowed two goals on 14 shootout attempts against this season. Unreal.

Ridiculous stat time… The Red Wings now have three consecutive 3-2 shootout wins. Six of their last eight games have been 3-2 OT/SO wins. Every OT/SO win this season has been 3-2. The only time Detroit has lost outside of regulation is also their only non 3-2 OT game, a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild (which means the opposition has scored exactly two goals in every Wings overtime game this season).

Only thing left to mention is Henrik Zetterberg‘s upcoming suspension. I don’t know if he’ll get one or not. I fear he will because the NHL is trying to protect players going into the boards but I think that was a pretty innocent play. Ugly, but innocent. We’ll see.

Bertuzzi Scores in Shootout to Carry Red Wings Past Coyotes

Todd Bertuzzi scored the only goal of the shootout Thursday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The victory put the Red Wings back into first place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of both the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bertuzzi’s shootout goal came on the backhand on a spin-o-rama move at the edge of the crease.

Phoenix netminder Mike Smith stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler on Detroit’s first two stops. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stopped Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata while Gilbert Brule lost the puck on his chance.

Bertuzzi had given the Red Wings their only lead of the game with 8:47 left in the second period. Johan Franzen sent the puck from behind the net to Bertuzzi at the bottom of the left circle, where he fired a rocket of a shot past Phoenix netminder Mike Smith to put Detroit up 2-1.

Brule tied things back up just 2:55 later when he carried the puck into the Detroit zone on a three-on-two and drove to the net, putting a shot between Howard’s pads.

Raffi Torres opened the game’s scoring only 2:23 into the game, beating Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on a wraparound chance.

Ian White‘s shot from top of the right circle made it 1-1 at 1:36 of the second period. It was the Red Wings’ 30th goal of the season from a defenseman.

Howard finished the night with 31 saves on 33 shots against. Smith made 33 stops on 35 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker to Phoenix’s two, the second of which was in overtime.

The Red Wings’ next game is Saturday evening when they host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.


Mike Commodore and Jan Mursak were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.