Postgame: Red Wings @ Penguins – 4/9

Kind of hard to do postgame notes on a night when the lone point the Red Wings earned clinched the team’s 23rd consecutive playoff appearance. In the end, that point is all that mattered. Two would have been nice and the Wings are now in a quick battle with the Blue Jackets for playoff seeding, but the team can drop the last two games and their season will still go beyond next Sunday.

I guess I’ll work backwards?

The minute I saw Jussi Jokinen’s shootout goal, I knew it would hold up as the winner. Jonas Gustavsson successfully poke-checks the puck away only for it to pop up, flutter over him and in? That was the kind of ridiculousness this game deserved as a finish.

A similarly wacky bounce tied things up with 1:15 left in regulation, as Riley Sheahan‘s shot from the point was deflected, floated over Marc-Andre Fleury, off the crossbar and in. The play kind of summed up Detroit’s season, as the Kid Line was out there for a crucial faceoff in the offensive zone in the closing seconds and came through. Sheahan beat Sidney Crosby on the faceoff the started the play off. These guys weren’t even supposed to be on the team this year (okay, Tatar was on the roster but a healthy scratch to start the season) and they got the Wings into the playoffs.

Detroit seemed to be heading home with no points earlier in the period, when Jokinen found the loose puck off a Kris Letang chance and knocked it home to put the Penguins up 3-2. Letang’s shot slipped through Gustavsson, who thought he had it covered, and Jokinen got to it before anyone else realized it was still live to give Pittsburgh its first lead.

James Neal scored both of Pittsburgh’s previous goals early in power play opportunities. Tomas Jurco and Jakub Kindl scored for Detroit.

I’ve gotta say, I thought Kindl’s goal could have come back for goalie interference. I guess the Wings are only owed about seven more of those at this point.

But as I said off the top, the loser point is all that matters tonight. With it, they sit eighth in the East, tied with Columbus but the Blue Jackets have the tiebreaker. Detroit hosts Carolina (a game they should win) and visits St. Louis (a game they should lose). Columbus visits Tampa (a game they should lose) and Florida (a game they should win). The Jackets’ finish up on Saturday while Detroit does on Sunday, so the Wings will go into their last game knowing what they need to do.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Wings’ Cleary Among Organizers of Windsor NHLPA Charity Game

Detroit Red Wings forward Danny Cleary is one of three NHLPA members organizing a charity game at Windsor’s WCU Centre.

Buffalo forward and former Windsor Spitfire Steve Ott and Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff are also organizing the event, scheduled for December 8, unless the NHL and NHLPA can come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement before then.

The game would be the latest of several organized by locked-out players, all benefitting local charities.

In addition to the three organizers, the following players are tentatively scheduled to appear:

From the Red Wings, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Cory Emmerton, Darren Helm and Jonas Gustavsson.  From the Colorado Avalanche, Windsor-native Ryan Wilson.  From the Oilers, Eric Belander and Jeff Petry.  From the Chicago Blackhawks, Jamal Mayers.  From the Pittsburgh Penguins, James Neal.  From the Phoenix Coyotes, Keith Yandle.  From the Dallas Stars, Brenden Morrow.  Former Carolina Hurricane, Boston Bruin, and Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov.

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.

PIZZA! 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’.

Datsyuk, Howard Selected by Team Chara for All-Star Game

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk and goalie Jimmy Howard were selected by All-Star team captain Zdeno Chara at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Thursday.

Datsyuk was the first overall selection of the draft. Howard was the last goalie selected, going in the tenth round (the round by which all goalies were required to be selected).

Team captains were Boston’s Chara, with Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul as an assistant, and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, assisted by Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

The full draft list is as follows:

Round 1
Team Chara: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa

Round 2
Team Chara: Tim Thomas, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Spezza, Ottawa

Round 3
Team Chara: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
Team Alfredsson: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles

Round 4
Team Chara: Marian Hossa, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

Round 5
Team Chara: Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia
Team Alfredsson: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh

Round 6
Team Chara: Corey Perry, Anaheim
Team Alfredsson: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay

Round 7
Team Chara:Carey Price, Montreal
Team Alfredsson: Brian Elliott, St. Louis

Round 8
Team Chara: Phil Kessel, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Shea Weber, Nashville

Round 9
Team Chara: Ryan Suter, Nashville
Team Alfredsson: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver

Round 10
Team Chara: Jimmy Howard, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Dan Girardi, NY Rangers

Round 11
Team Chara: Brian Campbell, Florida
Team Alfredsson: Keith Yandle, Phoenix

Round 12
Team Chara: Patrick Kane, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Milan Michalek, Ottawa

Round 13
Team Chara: Dion Phaneuf, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver

Round 14
Team Chara: Jarome Iginla, Calgary
Team Alfredsson: James Neal, Pittsburgh

Round 15
Team Chara: Dennis Wideman, Washington
Team Alfredsson: Alexander Edler, Vancouver

Round 16
Team Chara: Marian Gaborik, NY Rangers
Team Alfredsson: John Tavares, NY Islanders

Round 17
Team Chara: Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
Team Alfredsson: Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia

Round 18
Team Chara: Tyler Seguin, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Pominville, Buffalo

Round 19
Team Chara: Jamie Benn, Dallas
Team Alfredsson: Logan Couture, San Jose

Red Wings Rally but Fall in OT to Penguins

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 4-0 deficit to force overtime Monday night but couldn’t hold off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the shootout, dropping a 5-4 decision.

Mike Modano scored a power play goal to tie the game on a power play with 9:33 remaining in the third period but James Neal scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Penguins the win.

Pascal Dupuis opened the game’s scoring with 4:46 remaining in the first period when he slid a backhander from the right of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard past him and into the far side of the net.

Chris Kunitz made it 2-0 4:03 later, beating Howard in close after scooping up the rebound of a Dupuis shot.

Dupuis added a shorthanded goal with 9:09 left in the second, jamming the puck home from the side of the net after his own initial shot bounced off the end boards and came right back to him.

Tyler Kennedy picked up the rebound of a Kunitz shot all alone in front of the net and put it past Howard 2:25 later, ending the Detroit netminder’s night.

Henrik Zetterberg got the Red Wings on the board with 2:19 left in the middle frame, scoring on a backhander similar to the Dupuis goal that started the night off.

Valtteri Filppula made it 4-2 at 1:57 of the third, jamming the puck under Pittsburgh goaltender Brent Johnson from in close.

Danny Cleary tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot from the point past Johnson at 8:06 with the Red Wings on the power play and Modano’s goal 2:21 later tied things up.

The final two goals put the Red Wings at two-for-four on the power play. The Penguins were scoreless on three tries with the extra attacker but did net Dupuis’ shorthanded goal.

Johnson stopped Todd Bertuzzi, Modano, and Cleary in the shootout. Joey MacDonald made stops on Alexei Kovalev and Kris Letang before Neal beat him on the final shot.

MacDonald stopped all ten shots he faced in regulation and overtime but took the loss allowing one goal in the shootout. Howard stopped 11 of 15 shots he faced while Johnson stopped 31 of Detroit’s 41 chances.