What makes Hockeytown Hockeytown?: Evil scheming conniving greatness.

Once again the masterminds that are behind one of the greatest sports dynasties of all times is at it again; and no one saw it coming.

Fans, even Red Wing fans, were angry, disheartened and frustrated this summer as they watched their team lose their captain (who just happens to be the best defenseman to ever play the game) to retirement and then have a General Manager do nothing with the teams large cap space.

By nothing I mean nothing. Detroit’s General Manger failed to bring Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to Hockeytown. The two biggest free agency is what is probably the history of the NHL. They were only missing an hour long tv special on ESPN 2 to become the most over hyped signings in sports history. Kenny instead brought in a back up goaltender with a bad heart.

No I don’t mean he doesn’t have love or passion for the game – he literally has a bad heart (medical test have proven he is fine – so says The Monster).

So, Ken Holland brought in a Monster to back up Jimmy Howard – then he brought back Mikael Samuelsson and followed that up 60 seconds later with the signing of Jordin Tootoo.

The announcement of one Jordin Tootoo becoming a Red Wing set off a mass hysteria with Detroit fans on Twitter that can only be compared to the Vancouver riot for utter over reacting. Alright, Ken Holland did something; but according to Wings fans the dawning for the Dead Wing 2.0 Era was upon us all.

Forget the fact that Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch had helped land not only the 2013 Winter Classic to be hosted by Detroit – well, Ann Arbor – in what is to be the largest hockey audience of all time. What Mr. Ilitch could not do was twist the arm of the NHL to get the game in Detroit at Comerica Park where his baseball team plays.

fail there Mr. Ilitch.

Guess you will have to settle for having that Alumni game there. Oh and the AHL game between the Wings’ and Leafs’ affiliate teams, and the Great Lakes Invitational, oh and those OHL teams that are going to play.

Still though, the Hockeytown Hockey Festival is NOT the Winter Classic.

In listing all the major fails of the Detroit Red Wings organization this summer is where we fail to see the devious, conniving, scheming plan that was well played on all of us mere mortals.

Let’s go back to GM Holland:

In the massive failure in bringing the two highest contracts in the NHL it has left the Red Wings being one of 14 teams sitting below what is being speculated at the new cap under the pending CBA agreement. Sixteen teams are going to have a massive trading frenzy to get under the $58 million cap if the latest proposal from the NHL is accepted by the NHLPA; and lets face it, it really is not a horrible team. Pavel Datsyuk is still Pavel Datsyuk, even if he wasn’t rated as a top fantasy hockey pick – but look at who they picked for one of the top wingers … James Neal.

Alright Kenny Holland. We may have freaked out about your lack of inactivity; but you have proven once again why you are the greatest GM in hockey.

Now Mr. Ilitch. You Sir are one amazing man.

You bought half the city of Detroit; two sports teams, and much more that those out of the Detroit area have no idea – and all because of pizza.


You “gave up” the Winter Classic to Ann Arbor for a door price that you tried to re-brand as some special. Something that did not have to be re-branded as special because it is special.It is the special loop hole that has been greatly overlooked.  On the day that the NHL U.S. national television appearances were released; when fans and media alike are doubting if the season will take place; or if the Winter Classic will even happen – you had a plan to save Hockeytown from going without hockey.

Not only is the Hockeytown Hockey Festival going to be a savior for hockey fans during a probable/possible lockout it could in fact be the Phoenix (not the Coyotes they are a lost cause) of the winter.Rising from the ashes of what could be another lost NHL season the Hockeytown Hockey Festival in Downtown Detroit left the biggest loop hole in history that no one could see. Almost like the Chicago Blackhawks sending Cristobal Huet to the Swiss league to get out of the contract.

With an NHL lockout the players are not allowed to work for the NHL; however, they are allowed to sign contracts and play for other leagues. Including the American Hockey League. Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings have their AHL affiliate teams within a greatly reasonable distance (Toronto and Grand Rapids respectively).

What is stopping the NHL players from signing with their AHL affiliates? You know those same teams that are playing an outdoor game at Comerica Park already?

The NHL cannot stop these players from playing with those teams, and they cannot stop the AHL outdoor game becoming what could have/should have been the NHL Winter Classic.

Just the NHL Winter Classic would not take place; and NBC would have to scramble to get a contract with the AHL to start setting up for the AHL Winter Classic, but HBO’s 24/7 could be produced, the same players could still don the blue and white and the red and white and fight it out in Original Six glory – just with different names.And now it would ALL be at Comerica Park.

Mike Ilitch.

Ken Holland.

You two are frickin’ geniuses’.

Five-Goal Second Period Carries Red Wings over Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings rode five second-period goals to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday afternoon, bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit and holding off a third-period comeback by Chicago.

The Red Wings got goals from Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jason Williams and Valtteri Filppula in a 6:15 span and one more from Pavel Datsyuk in the final seconds of the middle frame.

Rafalski put Detroit on the board at 4:12 of the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Chicago netminder Cristobal Huet while the Wings skated with a four-on-three advantage.

Just 28 seconds later Lidstrom tied the game, rifling a shot right down the slot and past Huet, through a screen by Todd Bertuzzi.

Williams put the Red Wings out in front at 9:45 of the period. Henrik Zetterberg threw the puck to the front of the net from the bottom of the left circle and Williams – covered by two Blackhawks and falling to the ice – tipped it into the open side of the net.

Filppula extended the lead 42 seconds later beating Huet after getting the puck from Bertuzzi on a two-on-one.

Antti Niemi replaced Huet in the Chicago crease after Filppula’s goal and was beaten on a breakaway by Datsyuk with two seconds remaining in the period. Datsyuk stole the puck from Patrick Kane in the Detroit end of the ice with nine seconds left, broke in on Niemi, and beat him with a backhand shot.

The Blackhawks had opened the game’s scoring 4:24 into the opening period. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Brent Seabrook shot straight to Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, who fired a shot that deflected off of Rafalski’s leg and past Howard.

Andrew Ladd made it a 2-0 game with 8:23 left in the first, snapping a shot from the right faceoff dot past Howard off a giveaway by Filppula.

The Blackhawks thought they had made it 3-0 early in the second period but a power play goal was called back for goaltender interference, one of the game’s several contested plays around the creases.

Ladd resumed Chicago’s scoring 1:59 into the third period on a similar shot after the Red Wings failed to clear their own end.

To complete the hat trick and pull Chicago to within a goal, Ladd tipped a Keith shot from the blue line past Howard off of a faceoff win in the Detroit end with 7:54 remaining in the third.

Howard finished the afternoon with 28 saves on 32 shots to earn the win. Huet made 13 stops on 17 Detroit chances before getting pulled while Niemi stopped seven of eight shots but let in the eventual game-winner, giving him the loss.

Rafalski’s goal was the game’s only power play goal, scored on Detroit’s lone chance with the extra attacker. Chicago was scoreless on two power plays.

The Red Wings look to extend their winning streak to three games on Tuesday when they host the Calgary Flames.

Bertuzzi left the game in the second period with what the Red Wings called a lower body injury… Combined with Calgary’s win and Nashville’s loss, the Red Wings remain one point up on the Flames in the standings but climb to within a point of the Predators.

Red Wings Blanked by Blackhawks Again

For the second consecutive game the Detroit Red Wings were shutout by the Chicago Blackhawks. After suffering a 3-0 defeat on the road on Sunday, the Red Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena to drop an identically-scored rematch Wednesday night.

Antti Niemi stopped 33 shots en route to the shutout after Cristobal Huet backstopped the Blackhawks on Sunday.

Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago.

Kane opened the scoring with a power play goal 30 seconds into the third period, snapping a shot from the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard through a screen by Troy Brouwer.

Sharp banged a loose puck off of Detroit’s Drew Miller during a goal-mouth scramble to put the Blackhawks up by a pair at 3:47 of the third.

Toews wrapped up the scoring with 1:18 left in the game, beating Howard on a shot from the slot that just trickled through.

Howard finished the night with 28 saves on 31 shots.

In addition to their numerous injuries, Detroit played without defenseman Brian Rafalski, who missed the game with the flu. Jakub Kindl was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to take his spot in the lineup.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Their four-game winning streak snapped yesterday in Dallas (you didn’t actually expect me to recap that, did you?), the Red Wings head to Chicago for the first of a home-and-home with the Blackhawks.

Chris Osgood gets the start for Detroit while Cristobal Huet goes for Chicago. I remember Osgood was strong in his last start but it feels like that was about a month and a half ago. Huet… We can hope he continues being himself rather than one of the many awful goalies that the Wings have made look good this season.

This is an FSD+ game, which is better than a Versus game but you still might need help finding it on your cable provider.

Red Wings Hold off Blackhawks for Season’s First Win

The Detroit Red Wings held off early and late pushes by the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night en route to a 3-2 victory. It was the first win of the three-game old season for the Red Wings.

Chicago carried the play early, outshooting the Wings 12-7 in a scoreless first period and getting the game’s first goal in the second.

The ‘Hawks opened the game’s scoring when Patrick Sharp tipped a pass from Kris Versteeg past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood just 1:23 into the middle frame.

Momentum shifted to the Red Wings several minutes later when Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart led the team in killing a long five-on-three.

Just past the game’s midway point Nicklas Lidstrom put Detroit on the board, bouncing a cross-ice pass off the skate of a Chicago defender and past netminder Cristobal Huet with the Wings on a power play.

Kris Draper converted on a bouncing puck turnover at the Chicago blue line with 3:45 left in the period to put Detroit out in front. Draper coralled the puck on the right wing and ripped a shot into the top of the net.

Just 1:34 later the Red Wings were up by a pair when Johan Franzen tapped home a loose puck behind Huet on a power play. Pavel Datsyuk had fired a shot from the right wing that deflected off of a screening Tomas Holmstrom to slip past Huet.

Versteeg added a power play goal with 9:36 remaining in the third to pull Chicago to back within one but the ‘Hawks couldn’t close the gap, even after outshooting Detroit 15-4 in the final frame and ending the game on a power play and with an empty net.

Chicago outshot Detroit 34-23 on the night. Osgood made 32 saves while Huet stopped 20 shots.

The Red Wings scored on two of their five power play opportunities. The Blackhawks converted once in as many chances with the extra attacker.

Detroit newcomer Brad May – signed to a one-year deal earlier in the day – made his debut with the team. He fought Radek Smolenak midway through the first period.

Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks on Late Penalty Shot

Chicago’s Dustin Byfugliuen scored a penalty shot goal with 28 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday, carrying the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Byfugliuen’s goal broke a 2-2 tie. Andrew Ladd added an empty-net goal to get the ‘Hawks their first victory over Detroit this season.

Chicago had opened the game’s scoring on their first shot, with Niklas Hjalmarsson blasting the puck past Ty Conklin‘s glove just 16 seconds into the game.

The Red Wings evened things up with 9:01 left in the first as Valtteri Filppula scored a power play goal off a no-look feed from Jiri Hudler.

Henrik Zetterberg scored with 1:02 remaining in the second to put Detroit out in front but Chicago tied the game at 8:53 of the third on a blast by Ben Eager.

Conkin finished the game with 22 saves on 25 shots against. Chicago’s Cristobal Huet made 21 saves on 23 Detroit shots.

The two teams meet again Sunday in Chicago to close out the season.

The Red Wings wore their Winter Classic jerseys, giving their home fans the chance to see them live… Detroit was without Marian Hossa and Kris Draper who are both listed as day-to-day. Derek Meech and Chris Chelios filled in as forwards on the fourth line to take the open roster spots.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

I’ve gotta admit, I’ve got a superficial reason for wanting to watch this afternoon’s Red Wings – Blackhawks matchup. Though they may be incorrect, I love Detroit’s throwback jerseys.

Ty Conklin will make his second start of the season in said jerseys, having won in then at Wrigley Field in the New Year’s Day Winter Classic. Chris Osgood was given the option of starting today or tomorrow and chose to start on the road in the last game before the playoffs.

The Red Wings will be without Marian Hossa, who left Thursday’s game early with a groin injury. He will also miss tomorrow’s game but is expected to return for the start of the playoffs.

Cristobal Huet will start for Chicago. The Blackhawks will be without Patrick Sharp and Brent Sopel, with Kris Versteeg also unlikely to play.

With the Wings locked into the Western Conference’s second seed and the ‘Hawks having clinched fourth place, the two games are virtually meaningless. The Red Wings are 4-0 on the season against the Blackhawks and Chicago is looking to break 100 points in the standings for the first time since 1993.

Wings – ‘Hawks Pregame Notes

Andreas Lilja returns to the Red Wings lineup tonight after an appendectomy earlier this week. Derek Meech will be scratched to make room for him on the blueline.

Darren McCarty says he’s making his season debut tonight but there’s been no word on who would be out to make room for him.

Ty Conklin gets the start with Chris Osgood having gone last night. He’ll be up against Nikolai Khabibulin, who’s outplayed Cristobal Huet in the Chicago crease.

The jerseys for the Winter Classic will be unveiled during the first intermission.

The game is supposed to be on FSN Detroit but Comcast’s channel guide currently says college football is scheduled at that time. This is making it hard for me to set my DVR, which I need to do since I expect to miss most of the game hosting a Halloween party.

Western Conference Triumphant in All-Star Game

In the National Hockey League’s first All-Star Game since 2004, the Western Conference’s veteran team outscored an Eastern Conference squad led by young stars, picking up a 12-9 win.

It was the first win by the Western Conference since 2003 and only their second in the six games that have been played in the East vs. West format.

Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres was the game’s MVP, scoring a goal and adding four assists in the losing effort.

Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored the eventual game-winning goal, one of his two goals on the night. He also assisted twice.

Other were Yanic Perrault (Phoenix Coyotes), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lighting), Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes), Libomir Vishnovsky (Los Angeles Kings), Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Justin Williams (Carolina), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild), Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators), Sheldon Souray (Montreal Canadiens) and Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames).

Marty Turco of the hometown Dallas Stars got the win in goal while Cristobal Huet of Montreal took the loss, despite having the best save percentage of any of the Eastern Conference goalies.

Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 All-Star Game as part of the celebration of the Canadiens’ 100th season. The Atlanta Thrashers will host in 2008, after originally having been selected to host the cancelled 2005 game.

Wings Hold off Kings, Clinch Central

The Detroit Red Wings held off a late surge by the Los Angeles Kings to pick up a 4-2 victory Saturday night, moving them into sole position of the top spot in the NHL standings. The Red Wings also clinched the Central Division Championship, becoming the first Western Conference team to officially make the playoffs.

Jason Williams scored twice for the second time in six games to lead the Red Wings offense. Williams also added an assist and captain Steve Yzerman had three assists in the game.

Three shots off the Los Angeles goalposts helped keep the Red Wings off the scoreboard in the first period and the Kings got the first goal of the game from Alexander Frolov on the power play at 4:25 of the opening frame. Frolov stuffed a backhander through Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph‘s pads to put the Kings up by one.

Williams scored twice early in the second to put the Red Wings in the lead. Just 1:30 into the middle period, Williams bounced a wraparound attempt off the pad of Los Angeles netminder Cristobal Huet and into the net to even the game at a goal apiece.

At 5:24, Williams fired a shot from the right faceoff circle that deflected off a LA defender to give the Wings the lead.

Williams’ line with Yzerman and Ray Whitney put Detroit up by two goals with 2:54 remaining in the second. A tic-tac-toe passing play from Williams to Yzerman to Whitney left Whitney with the puck at the top of the crease. After his first shot was stopped, Whitney put the rebound past Huet to make the score 3-1.

Los Angeles pulled out all the stops late in the game. With 4:30 remaining in regulation and two Red Wings in the penalty box, Huet went to the Kings’ bench for the extra attacker. Detroit killed off the six-on-three but before the second penalty was over, former Red Wing Luc Robitaille put a shot from the side of the crease over the sprawled Joseph to put the Kings within a goal.

Even with the extra attacker for most of the rest of the game, the Kings were unable to score the tying goal and with 12 seconds remaining Nicklas Lidstrom scored into the empty net to seal the Detroit victory.

Detroit was held scoreless in their three power play attempts while the Kings scored twice on six chances.

Joseph stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings, while Huet made 20 saves on 23 shots against.

The Red Wings are next in action Sunday night. They face former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the third game of their five-game road trip.

Robitaille’s goal put him into a tie for first place in all-time scoring for left wings.

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