Wings Representatives Ineffective at All-Star Game

The representatives of the Detroit Red Wings at Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in St. Paul didn’t fare so well, combining for a single point and a plus/minus rating of zero.

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s assist on a goal by Phoenix’s Shane Doan midway through the second period was the only point tallied by a Red Wing in the game as Pavel Datsyuk was held scoreless.

Datsyuk’s line with Columbus’ Rick Nash and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla was held off the scoresheet and Datsyuk did not have a single shot while going 2-for-7 one faceoffs.

Lidstrom played the game alongside Colorado’s Rob Blake. His assist on Doan’s goal helped put the Western Conference team up by a goal but the Eastern Conference struck back before getting the win.

Despite a hat trick for the Western Conference by Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche, the Eastern Conference was able to pull out a 6-4 victory.

The Eastern Conference got goals by Adrian Aucoin (NY Islanders), Mark Messier (NY Rangers), Gary Roberts (Toronto), Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta) and two goals by Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa).

Doan and Sakic were the only Western Conference scorers.

Wings Close Out ’03 with OT Win over Atlanta

In their last game of the 2003 calendar year, the Detroit Red Wings claimed a 6-5 overtime win over the Atlanta Thrashers. Henrik Zetterberg‘s second goal and third point of the game gave the Wings the victory.

Zetterberg scored after taking a cross-ice pass from Ray Whitney while streaking down the left side of the ice. He one-timed the puck over Thrashers’ goaltender Pasi Nurminen’s shoulder, off the post, and into the net 2:24 into the overtime frame.

The Thrashers forced overtime with a fluke goal with 7:02 remaining in the third period. Daniel Tjarnqvist threw the puck from the left point to the right side of the Detroit goal. The puck deflected off of the stick of Pavel Datsyuk and was redirected by Jiri Fischer‘s leg before bouncing past Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph‘s skate.

After a scoreless first period, Detroit opened the scoring just 32 seconds into the second. Mathieu Schneider put a rebound of his own shot past Nurminen to give the Wings a one goal lead.

Just 1:32 later, Tomas Holmstrom put the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk shot past Nurminen to put the Red Wings up by two goals. The Thrashers cut Detroit’s lead back to on goal 1:34 later as former Red Wing Vyacheslav Kozlov fired a shot past the heavily screened Joseph.

Whitney put Detroit back up by two goals at the 8:31 mark of the second, one-timing a shot from the side of the net to score his third goal in six games since returning from injury.

The Thrashers scored three straight to take their only lead of the game. With 8:53 remaining in the second, Ronald Petrovicky beat Joseph, unintentionally kicking the puck by the Detroit netminder. Zdenek Blatny scored his first NHL goal 4:39 later, picking up the rebound from a shot by Ilya Kovalchuk on a two-on-one. Kovalchuk put the Thrashers up by a goal 1:41 into the third period, cutting around a falling Jason Woolley and rifling a shot past Joseph.

Zetterberg’s first goal of the night pulled Detroit back into a tie 4:04 later. Pavel Datsyuk dropped the puck to Zetterberg skating through the slot on the power play and Zetterberg one-timed it into the net.

Brendan Shanahan scored 8:31 into the third to give the Wings a 5-4 lead before Atlanta tied it.

Atlanta’s Kovalchuk scored three points to take over the NHL scoring lead, while Datsyuk’s two points lifted him into a tie for second.

Joseph stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced, while Nurminen made 38 saves on 44 shots.

The Red Wings will play their first game of the 2004 calendar year on Friday when they play in Carolina.

Grigorenko in Critical Condition Amid Rumors

Detroit Red Wings’ prospect Igor Grigorenko is in critical condition in a Russian hospital after suffering what is rumored to be an adipose embolism in his left lung.

Mark Lapush, Grigorenko’s agent, denies reports that the twenty-year-old forward is in a coma. Lapush also says that the lung is merely infected.

An adipose embolism is similar to a blood clot is that it blocks blood vessels. However, the fatty tissue creating the obstruction cannot be dissolved as most blood clots can. Reports state that Grigorenko is on a ventilator, which is typical in cases of adipose embolisms.

Grigorenko is under heavy medication and has undergone two surgeries. He has been asleep most of the time since the car accident in which he suffered the initial injuries of a broken left hip and a broken left tibia (shin).

“He hurt himself very badly,” Lapush said. “But everything is fixable. It just takes time. In two weeks, he can be in better shape than today. He’s a strong, young guy. He’s going to be all right.”

Red Wings doctors have been in communication with those treating Grigorenko in his hometown of Togliatti. Detroit center Igor Larionov acted as a translator between the two parties on one occasion.

The Red Wings considered sending their own doctors to Russia to observe Grigorenko but decided against it due to the many obstacles they would face.

“In the end, I don’t know how beneficial it would have been,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure Igor Grigorenko gets the best treatment. Obviously it’s a difficult situation. I wish we could help more.”

Grigorenko is the Red Wings’ top prospect. He played on a line with Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk and Atlanta star Ilya Kovalchuk at the World Championships earlier this month in Finland. The Wings had hoped to bring him over to North America next season, but that now seems unlikely.