Notes on Ericsson’s Game One Goal

A couple late-coming notes on Jonathan Ericsson‘s goal that I thought I’d share…

With the goal, Ericsson became only the third last-overall pick to score an NHL playoff goal. He’s the only one to do it in his playoff debut. He’s also the lowest pick to ever score a playoff goal, having been selected 291st overall.

Andy Brickley scored one career playoff goal after being selected at 210 in the 1980 Entry Draft and Kim Johnsson has two playoff goals after going 286th overall in 1994.

Osgood Leads Red Wings to Game One Victory

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood took a step towards answering his critics Thursday night, stopping 20 of 21 shots in leading the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game One of their first-round matchup.

In the lead up to the playoffs, Detroit’s goaltending tandem of Osgood and Ty Conklin had been named as a prime reason why the Wings might not repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.

Osgood started out strong, stopping 13 first-period shots as the Red Wings were shorthanded four times, including a brief five-on-three.

Jiri Hudler opened the scoring for Detroit 48 seconds past the game’s midway point, taking a feed from Valtteri Filppula for a tap-in on a two-on-one.

Just 52 seconds later, RJ Umberger tied the game on a backhander when he was left alone in front of the net.

Rookie Jonathan Ericsson, making his first career playoff appearance, put the Red Wings back out in front with 5:39 left in the second. Ericsson fired a shot from the right point and Columbus’ Manny Malhotra attempted to glove it out of the air. Malhotra only got a piece of the puck and deflected it past goalie Steve Mason.

Niklas Kronwall‘s power play goal 48 seconds later was also a deflection on a shot from the point. Kronwall’s blast bounced off of Jan Hejda’s hip and through a Johan Franzen screen to get past Mason.

Franzen added a goal of his own 2:54 into the third, stuffing the puck in from the side of the net.

After the frantic first period, Osgood faced only eight shots for the remainder of the game. Mason faced 34 shots on the night, stopping 30 of them.

The Red Wings went one-for-four on the power play while the Blue Jackets were scoreless on five power play tries.

Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the two teams will be Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings were without Kris Draper, who will also miss Game Two of the series.

One Game at a Time, Starting Now

It’s been a quiet week around here while a lot of other places have been buzzing with pre-series storylines. I don’t bother with that ’cause I (finally) learned last year to take the playoffs one game at a time.

Around these Intarwebs the Blue Jackets seem to be a pretty sexy pick for first-round upset. I can see why people would say that, it makes for a good story. If you don’t have a stake in the Wings’ success why wouldn’t you go for the great underdog story. Having finally made the playoffs the young, scrappy Blue Jackets are stuck going against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, led by their core of evil players who sign long-term, low-cap-hit contracts and refuse to fight.

I don’t buy it but I’m not expected to, I’ve got my rooting interest in this one.

So bottom line? I don’t care about the stories. Just like last year, this is one game at a time. Starting in about 97 minutes.

Red Wings to Open Playoffs Thursday Against Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings will begin their 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff run on Thursday, April 16, the team announced Sunday. They will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

The Blue Jackets finished the season as the conference’s seventh seed, a position not finalized until the St. Louis Blues defeated the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

The second-seeded Red Wings were 3-2-1 against Columbus this season.

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1 – April 16 – @ Detroit – 7:00 PM
Game 2 – April 18 – @ Detroit – 6:00 PM
Game 3 – April 21 – @ Columbus – 7:00 PM
Game 4 – April 23 – @ Columbus – 7:00 PM
Game 5 – April 25 – @ Detroit – 7:00 PM
Game 6 – April 27 – @ Columbus – TBD
Game 7 – April 29 – @ Detroit – TBD

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