Pregame: Coyotes @ Red Wings – 4/22

The Red Wings kick off their final three-game homestand of the season tonight, hosting the Phoenix Coyotes in what could be (though we’ve said that for the past three years) the final meeting between the teams.

Detroit currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference, three points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets but with two games in hand, meaning that if they win out they’re in the playoffs. Failing to claim a single point would mean that they need help, but they can help themselves as they face the current tenth seeded Dallas Stars to close out the season on Saturday.

Dallas is currently tied with the Red Wings but has played one more game. The Coyotes are two points back in eleventh.

The only lineup change the Wings are going with from Saturday’s loss in Vancouver is Patrick Eaves swapping in for the injured Drew Miller. Miller suffered a broken hand against the Canucks and is expected to miss four to six weeks, at which point the Wings’ season will likely be over.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Fall in Shootout to Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings entered the final week of the NHL’s regular season with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Maxim Lapierre scored the only goal of the tiebreaker in the third round, skating in slowly on Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard before making a series of quick moves to snap a shot past him. Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy failed to score for Vancouver while Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner were unable to beat the Canucks’ Cory Schneider.

Alexander Edler opened the game’s scoring with 7:45 remaining in the first period, blasting a one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle past Howard on a Vancouver power play.

Cory Emmerton evened things up with 21 seconds left in the period. Damien Brunner threw the puck to the front of the net from the right wing boards and Emmerton was there to tip it between his legs and past Schneider to make it 1-1.

There would be no further scoring until the shootout.

The Edler goal was the only power play goal of the night. Vancouver had four tries with the extra attacker to Detroit’s three.

Howard made 13 saves on 14 shots. Schneider stopped 33 of 34 chances.

With the point for the shootout loss, the Red Wings move into ninth in the Western Conference standings, one point back of the Columbus Blue Jackets with one game in hand and one point up on the Dallas Stars, against whom Detroit ends the season.

Forward Drew Miller left the game in the first period and did not return. After the game it was revealed that he will be out for four to eight weeks with a broken hand.

Gaffes Cost Red Wings in 3-2 Loss to Flames

Two Calgary goals off mistakes by the Red Wings were enough to lift the Flames to a 3-2 win over Detroit on Wednesday.

Steve Begin broke a 1-1 tie at 2:28 of the third period when Detroit netminder went behind the net to tee up the puck for defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. As Howard came to the side of the net, Ericsson played the puck but sent it right back into Howard’s skates. It went off both of Howard’s feet before Begin got there to poke at it, sending it off the post and back off Howard again before sliding into the net.

Begin would make it 3-1 with 7:07 remaining on another botched play. With the Red Wings shorthanded, the Flames sent the puck into the Detroit zone. No defenders came back to get it, so Howard went behind the net again, this time whiffing on his clearing attempt. Begin was there to scoop up the puck and wrap around, throwing it into the open net.

Johan Franzen pulled the Wings to within a goal with 2:42 remaining lobbing a bouncing shot from the neutral zone in on Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who misplayed it as it slipped through his legs to make it 3-2.

Curtis Glencross had opened the scoring with 6:32 remaining in the first, knocking the rebound of a Cory Sarich chance past Howard.

Gustav Nyquist tied things up with 7:29 left in the second taking a feed in the left faceoff circle from Joakim Andersson in the opposite corner for a one-timer into the open side of the net.

Kiprusoff finished the night with 36 saves on 38 shots. Howard made 14 saves on 17 shots.

Begin’s second was the only special teams goal of the night. Detroit had five power plays to Calgary’s one.

The Slow Death of Hockey in Flint

About an hour north of Hockeytown Flint, Michigan sits as a slowly dying hockey area.

Born in Flint and raised in a small town, and by small I mean one stop light at the time small town, outside of Flint I can remember as a kid the excitement of going to what was then the Flint IMA to see the … again THEN Flint Generals.

The lights outside the area, the noisy busy Lobby area, the crowded concourse and fans cheering. That is how I remember hockey in Flint. I remember going with my mom and dad and running into people they went to high school with and co workers. The community loved it’s hockey.

Darren McCarty’s return to the NHL came via the Flint Generals and as he made his last run so did the team.

Once the IHL closed up and left Flint with a vacant arena; however, hockey didn’t abandon Flint – it abandoned hockey.

The NAHL came to town.

In fact they actually ousted the Generals in a lease agreement summer. Wouldn’t that have been something after the CBA expired to see NHL teams come back with no arenas? It happened in Flint. The city decided it wanted to go a new direction and opted for the younger players hoping that it would catch on.

OHL caught on in Saginaw why wouldn’t NAHL catch on in Flint?

To paraphrase Roberto Luongo: “Because it sucks.”

Not the NAHL; but the team, well more to the point the management of the Michigan Warriors.

This new team has failed to gain any hold with the community and in fact has given it a cold shoulder by pulling gimmicks like bringing in The Situation for autograph sessions during intermissions.

The team now run by the arena is in as sad a state as the arena itself.

I took a walk around the lobby area of the now Perani Arena and it is depressing.

Banners from the Warriors first season still hang high; because that was their highlight. One spectacular season – now they are at the bottom of their division. No pictures of the current team, nothing in the lobby. Looking at pamphlets on the box office window for learn to skate classes for a different local link are even dated for 2011. I wish I had taken pictures with my phone with how barren it was.

I realize their season is over. You can use that as an excuse and claim they took it down but I doubt it as the outdated stuff was still up.

There are pictures in the lobby sure… for peewee teams from 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Where is the pride?

The same people that run this arena are now running this team and they can’t figure out why their attendance is so low?

I took my kids to a game this year. Every one got in free. Even that didn’t sell out. Tickets are $5-$7 it’s not that they cost a lot it is the fact that people go to games to have fun, have a good time, not feel depressed.

To those that grew up in the Flint area of my generation and those of older generations don’t want to go to the arena that is being run by people that don’t care; by people that don’t care about the team. When you don’t care it shows.

I know people that have gone and preformed anthems for the Michigan Warriors and I was floored when I found out that they had to pay for a ticket to stay and watch.


I use to be a performer.

We are pretty use to having to pay for parking to perform at events, that isn’t really a big deal; however, telling the performers if they wish to stay for the game they need to purchase a ticket is completely mind boggling.

You do realize performers like to socialize and have a good time right? You know they talk with other performers’ right? You would have made your money up from the free tickets in the concessions sales that night but I know that many refused to order any concessions because of having to buy a ticket to an event they were asked to perform for. It’s not like the Warriors paid them for their time either.


It might cost more in gas and in tickets but I will be taking my kids to either Saginaw and watch the Spirit or to Plymouth to watch the Whalers for now on.

Why would we give you our money? The people getting hurt in this are the players who are just trying to develop and get into the USHL, the OHL or play for college, and hope to get drafted one day.

GM died in Flint and you can see it is decaying corpse all over the city – the stench is all over hockey and the way things are going they wont be alive in Flint much longer.

Red Wings Ink Howard to Six-Year Extension

The Detroit Red Wings made it official on Tuesday, announcing the signing of a six-year contract extension for goaltender Jimmy Howard.

Howard had spoken about the deal late last week, stating that the two sides were “really, really, really close” to an agreement.

Though team policy prevents the release of financial details, the contract is reportedly worth $31.8 million, good for a $5.3 million salary cap hit. It makes Howard the Red Wings’ highest-paid goalie since the team had both Dominik Hasek and Curtis Joseph signed to $8-million deals during the 2003-04 season.

Howard has a 17-12-6 record this season, with a .920 save percentage and a 2.31 goals against average. In four seasons since becoming the starter for Detroit, he has a 126-61-25 record. His career save percentage is .917 and goals against average is 2.39.

With the signing, the Red Wings are projected to have approximately $12.5 million remaining in cap space for the 2013-14 season, with 18 current roster players (including goalie Jared Coreau) already signed. The team has nine pending free agents. Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson will be restricted free agents while Damien Brunner, Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary, Drew Miller and Ian White will be unrestricted.

Howard Blanks Predators as Red Wings Regain Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings moved back into playoff position Sunday night behind a shutout of the Nashville Predators by goaltender Jimmy Howard.

Howard stopped 22 Nashville shots for his second blanking of the Predators this season. With the two points, the Red Wings moved past Dallas and back into eighth place in the standings, though the Stars have a game in hand.

After a scoreless first period, Henrik Zetterberg got Detroit on the board at 6:23 of the second. Pavel Datsyuk forced a giveaway in the right faceoff circle and the puck came out to Jakub Kindl at the point, who sent it back along the blue line to Datsyuk. Datsyuk moved it along to Danny DeKeyser, who fired a shot from the top of the left circle intentionally wide of Pekka Rinne in the Nashville goal. The puck caromed off the back boards to the opposite side of the net where Zetterberg snapped a shot in behind Rinne.

Johan Franzen virtually locked things up with 2:59 left in the third period, roofing a backhander from the slot over Rinne’s glove off a Nashville turnover.

Justin Abdelkader‘s empty-net goal with 1:19 remaining wrapped up the game’s scoring.

Rinne finished the night with 29 saves on 31 shots against.

Both teams were scoreless on two power plays each.

Kyle Quincey was a healthy scratch on defense for the Red Wings, with Brendan Smith swapping back into the lineup… After the game Brian Lashoff was sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins to help alleviate the logjam on the blue line, giving the Red Wings eight defenders on the roster.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Predators – 4/14

Now outside the playoff picture looking in, the Red Wings visit the Nashville Predators tonight looking to regain control of their postseason fate.

The big news from Nashville is that the Predators are expected to debut Swedish forward Filip Forsberg, acquired at the trade deadline for Martin Erat.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal and you can expect at least one change on the blue line from Friday’s loss to the Blackhawks, and possibly a change up front.

Stupid stat of the game: The Red Wings are 1-1 in Nashville in April regular season games all-time.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

TGTW: Red Wings Fall in Shootout to Avs, End Season in Sixth

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings ended their season Saturday night with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. With the loss, the Red Wings back into the playoffs as the Western Conference’s sixth seed and will face the Northwest Division Champion Edmonton Oilers, who actually finished the season with fewer points in the standings than Detroit.

Detroit had a 3-1 lead over the Avs late in the second period but goals by P-A Parenteau with nine seconds remaining in the middle period and David Jones at 1:20 of the third evened things up. Niklas Kronwall had opened the scoring with 3:10 to go in the first and Jamie McGinn tied it up with 1:27 remaining. Kyle Quincey and Mikael Samuelsson scored for the Wings in the second period to build their lead.

The Wings complete the season with a 44-31-7 record, good for 95 points.

Detroit’s leading scorer on the season was Valtteri Filppula, notching 28 goals and 56 assists – both career-highs – for 84 points in 82 games, good for 12th in the league. Pavel Datsyuk also finished above the point-per-game mark, with 82 points (25 goals, 57 assists) in 81 games.

Starting goalie Jimmy Howard finished the season with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage. Backup Jonas Gustavsson had a GAA of 3.47 and a .846 save percentage.

The Games That Weren’t will not be simulating the playoffs.