Red Wings Fall to Rangers in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, stretching their losing streak to six games.

Goaltender Ty Conklin, recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins with both Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald injured, stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the effort.

Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan gave his team the win at 2:42 of the overtime period. Brandon Dubinsky gained the Detroit zone and passed off to Michael Del Zotto on the left wing, who sent it back across to Callahan all alone in the high slot for a shot past Conklin.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring just 3:36 into the first period. Henrik Zetterberg‘s wrister from the top of the right faceoff circle found it’s way through a screen and past New York netminder Henik Lundqvist.

Brad Richards responded for the Rangers with 5:02 left in the opening period and Detroit down a man. The Red Wings’ left a lane up the middle of the ice open and Richards carried the puck end-to-end before skating around Niklas Kronwall and beating Conklin from in close.

It was the only power play goal of the game, with the Rangers having three tries with the extra attacker and Detroit having one.

Lundqvist finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots against.

The Red Wings look to snap their skid on Saturday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

In addition to Howard and MacDonald, Detroit was without Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Nicklas Lidstrom.

On the Center of the NHL Universe

It wouldn’t be hard to argue that the center of the NHL universe is Toronto, but it appears that St. Louis might have some evidence to back up a claim to that title.

Out of curiousity, I mapped out this history of what I’m calling the weighted geographic center of the NHL. I’m not a geographer, I don’t know if there’s a better term for this or not. It’s the average of the longitude and latitude of each NHL host city.It turns out that for the last 15 years or so, the weighted geographic center of the NHL has bounced around various points between St. Louis and the Quad Cities.

During that time, the center was the furthest west it’s ever been (1997) and the furthest south (1999).

The furthest north and east it’s ever been were the same year, 1919, when the league consisted of Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto.

The center of the NHL has been in the United States since the first American team joined the league, when the Boston Bruins and Montreal Maroons were added in 1924.

It bounced around Western New York for 15 years until settling east of Buffalo for the Original Six era. The 1967 Great Expansion saw it jump to south of Gary, Indiana.

There are no insightful conclusions to draw from this or anything, it’s just something I was interested in and figured I’d share.

I’ll admit that my method for calculating this is a little flawed. I used the Google Maps API to find the longitude and latitude of each NHL city. “NHL city” is defined by the city a team’s arena is in, except for the fact that I counted the 1926-27 Detroit Cougars as being in Detroit rather than Windsor and the entire history of the Minnesota North Stars was attributed to Minneapolis rather than Bloomington. Additionally, the Phoenix Coyotes’ move to Glendale and the New Jersey Devils move from East Rutherford to Newark weren’t accounted for until 2011, when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg. Quite honestly, this wasn’t expected to be scientific so I just didn’t bother to fix those mistakes.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Rangers – 3/21

I’m not going to complain about this one.

Call it effort, call it interest, whatever. The Wings looked invested in tonight’s 2-1 OT loss to the New York Rangers, and I’ll take it, ’cause that’s a hell of a lot more than they’ve done in the previous five games of their current losing streak.

The Red Wings made fewer mistakes in their own zone (more on that in a second) and kept up more pressure in the New York end than we’ve seen of late.

Ty Conklin, back in Detroit when no one thought he’d wear the Winged Wheel again, was rock solid in the start. Another loss won’t look good on his record but stopping 32 of 34 shots will.

That said, the Rangers were able to take advantage of blown defensive coverage twice and it was all they needed to get the win.

Brad Richards‘ first-period power play goal saw the Wings give him the entire neutral zone, right up the middle. I realize it was a PK but you can’t give that much space to a player like him. End-to-end rush turns into a goal.

On the game-winner, Pavel Datsyuk inexplicably left his man (Del Zotto) at the blue line to cut towards Dubinsky, who Niklas Kronwall already had. This left Del Zotto open to take the pass starting the play. Kronwall moved over to block his shooting lane and Stuart dropped alongside Dubinsky, leaving Callahan open for the pass from Del Zotto and the shot past Conklin. No idea why Pavs left Del Zotto, nor why Stuart left Callahan. Stick to your man and that play doesn’t happen.

Howard Out, Conklin on Re-Entry Waivers

As noted by many (but it looks like Khan was first), Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard has re-injured his groin and will be unavailable when the Red Wings visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Ty Conklin has been placed on re-entry waivers as the Wings attempt to call him up from the Grand Rapids Griffins. A team could claim him for half of his salary and cap hit. If he clears, he’ll start in New York.

Howard joins backup netminder Joey MacDonald on the shelf, as well as forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves, and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl.

Postgame: Capitals @ Red Wings – 3/19

I’m going to stand by the following Twitter exchange from early in the first period:

@wingingitmotown: Imagine the Aucoin Quincey Trip goal is the game-winner and hate me for asking you to.

@detroithockey96: Hell no, that’s the only appropriate way for this to end. Wings battle back just enough for that to matter

This “fight back in the third period after an awful first forty minutes” joke has got to stop. The Wings deserved to lose on a goal that should in no way have counted because it emphasizes the fact that they didn’t do enough to win. They haven’t for awhile now, so I’m not going to be mad about the outcome, just about the fact that they can’t seem to put together a full game.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Sharks – 3/17

No formal recap for this one, it’s too late, so let’s just get to my thoughts on the Wings’ loss in San Jose.

The game-winning goal… I want to complain on the basis of weaker calls having gone against Detroit, but a lot of that goal falls on Justin Abdelkader. If he doesn’t push Braun, maybe the goalie interference call gets made. If he doesn’t follow through like an idiot, he’s not laying on top of Jimmy Howard himself as the goal is being scored. Just a bad play to cap a game full of them.

Speaking of bad plays, was there a time when Brad Stuart was on the ice tonight and didn’t screw something up? We know he wants to bolt for California this summer but he seriously was playing like he’s already a Shark again. Awful, awful night for him.

That said, there were a handful of plays where players just fell down or the puck bounced funny. Bad ice? I don’t know, didn’t seem like the Sharks were having as much of a problem.

So on top of the loss, we’ve got an injury to Darren Helm. From @AnsarKhanMLive

Helm walks out of room limping. Says he is in pain. Will have MRI on Monday. Doesn’t know extent of injury

It’s gonna be bad, I can feel it.