Postgame: Predators @ Red Wings – Game 4 – 4/17

Ahh, where to begin after this one?

I’m not sure if we can call it the good, since it didn’t lead to anything, but we’ll start with the first two periods where the Red Wings were dominating the Predators. It was fantastic to see Detroit playing their game and felt like it was just a matter of time before they got a goal playing the way they were.

But at the same time, you kind of had the feeling they wouldn’t be able to keep it up. That either they’d make a mistake or Nashville would wake up. Or the calls that they were suddenly getting would stop coming.

Right off the bat, they needed one of those calls in the third. From the side of the net, the puck somehow trickles in off of Jimmy Howard. He really should have had it, I’m not even sure how it got through him right now, but the Wings actually benefit from an “intent to blow” play and the goal doesn’t count.

Rather than come out jumping after that bit of luck, the Wings were completely back on their heels, then they left Gabriel Bourque wide open in front of the net to take a feed that bounced off a skate on its way to him and put it past Howard.

The Red Wings finally converted on a power play to tie things up. We’re back to the good here, as it was a fantastic shot from the blue line by Niklas Kronwall nicely tipped in front by Jiri Hudler.

And just as quickly, we’re back to the awful. Nashville’s second goal was just a disgraceful effort by Detroit. Martin Erat takes the puck into the corner and three Red Wings follow him there, with Jimmy Howard also over-committing in that direction, leaving both Patrick Hornqvist and Kevin Klein wide open. Erat fed Klein for a shot into the open net.

Nashville’s third goal? Another WTF moment. Danny Cleary carries the puck up from behind the net but David Legwand pokes it away at the edge of the crease and it just goes through Howard, who never reacts to it. Cleary has to protect the puck there but Howard didn’t even look awake. Maybe he was thinking ahead to getting out of the net as Cleary cleared the zone. Whatever the reason, it was an awful mental mistake.

So now Detroit is a game from elimination, having lost both games at home after having the league’s best home record all year. I do think this team can come back and win this series but I don’t think they’re going to. The Predators have been too good and the Wings have been unable to sort out their own problems. That said, I thought that against San Jose last year and Detroit made a hell of a series out of it.

Red Wings to Face Predators in Round One After Shootout Loss to Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings will meet the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs following the team’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Had the Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks, they would have at least temporarily jumped into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. A loss would have left them in sixth place. Their single point locked them into fifth place, visiting fourth-placed Nashville to start the postseason.

Pavel Datsyuk scored with just 47 seconds in regulation to pull Detroit into a 2-2 tie with the Blackhawks and force overtime. With Wings’ netminder Jimmy Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, Henrik Zetterberg worked the puck to Tomas Holmstrom at the side of the Chicago crease. With the defense collapsing in on him, Holmstrom sent a pass across the net-mouth to a wide open Datsyuk, who knocked it home.

After a scoreless overtime, Patrick Kane would score the only goal of the shootout, beating Howard between the pads after a series of fakes. Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi failed to score for the Red Wings while Patrick Sharp was stopped on Chicago’s second chance.

Viktor Stalberg had opened the game’s scoring with 9:46 left in the first period when he was left uncovered to pick up the rebound of a Sharp shot from the point and throw it back between Howard’s pads.

Chicago made it 2-0 with 2:40 left in the second on a goal by Andrew Shaw just after the expiration of a power play. With Bertuzzi coming out of the box, the Red Wings left Shaw alone in the slot to take a feed from Sharp and snap it past Howard.

Johan Franzen started Detroit’s rally at 8:11 of the third period, throwing a shot on goal from the right wing that somehow found its way between the pads of Chicago netminder Corey Crawford.

Crawford finished the afternoon with 30 saves on 32 shots while Howard stopped 31 of 33 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal in the contest. The Red Wings had two power play attempts while the Blackhawks had six.

Detroit’s first-round playoff schedule is expected to be announced on Sunday.


Detroit forward Riley Sheahan made his NHL debut wearing No. 15. He swapped into the lineup in favor of Jan MursakDanny Cleary was the other forward scratch for the Red Wings, with Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm still hurt… Jakub Kindl was the healthy scratch on defense.

Hudler Helps Red Wings Past Panthers in Shootout

Jiri Hudler scored the Red Wings’ only regulation goal and added another marker in the shootout, leading Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon.

Hudler snapped a shot over Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen’s shoulder in the second round of the tiebreaker, then Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped former Wing Mikael Samuelsson and Kris Versteeg shot high. Pavel Datsyuk and Wojtek Wolski had scored in the first round and Todd Bertuzzi was stopped for Detroit in the third round.

Tomas Fleischmann opened the game’s scoring with 2:22 left in the first period. The former Detroit prospect was left all alone at the top of the right faceoff circle after Versteeg gained the Red Wings’ zone on a rush. Versteeg sent a cross-ice pass to Fleischmann for a one-timer past Howard.

Hudler tied things up at 5:30 of the third period when his attempted slap-pass from the right wing to Valtteri Filppula at the edge of the crease went off John Madden’s skate and past Clemmensen.

Clemmensen finished the afternoon with 31 saves on 32 shots against. Howard made 27 saves on 28 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal, with the Panthers getting six tries with the extra attacker and the Red Wings getting three.

Detroit will be back in action on Wednesday with a visit to the St. Louis Blues.


Just eight seconds after Hudler tied the game, Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey was ejected for elbowing former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky in the head…. Ian White was the healthy scratch on defense as the blueline rotation continued. Jan Mursak was the healthy scratch at forward.

Postgame: Panthers @ Red Wings – 4/1

Make no mistake: the Red Wings should not need a shootout to beat the Florida Panthers in April. That said, these Wings seem to, so I’ll take the two points however they come.

In the final week of the regular season, I’ve got a lot of concern about a lot of Red Wings. Henrik Zetterberg‘s line with Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler I’m not worried about but that’s the only one. Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist look great together but Nyquist still makes some rookie mistakes and they’re not getting help from the other winger, whether it’s Johan Franzen or Todd Bertuzzi (who look like they’ve been skating in sand). The third line is apparently Justin Abdelkaer centering the rejects from the top two lines (today it was the aforementioned Bertuzzi and the perma-injured Danny Cleary). The fourth line… You know something’s wrong with the fourth line when Tomas Holmstrom is outskating the other players on the line (I don’t think Drew Miller looked bad and he was big on the PK, not thrilled with Cory Emmerton though).

Going back to the Datsyuk – Nyquist pairing… That needs to see power play time. I’m also not happy that Nyquist wasn’t out for overtime. The rookie is ready, play him.

On defense, it looks like the six-man group is set for awhile as I expect Kyle Quincey to get at least a few games of suspension for his stupid elbow to Tomas Kopecky. He’ll probably be helped by the fact that, like Jakub Voracek when Niklas Kronwall hit him a few weeks ago, Kopecky kept his head down and led with it, but Quincey jumped and lifted his elbow, two entirely unnecessary actions.

I wanted to like the Quincey acquisition but he is not adapting to the Red Wings’ style of play and he’s still taking bad penalties. Highly disappointing.

On the flip side, Jonathan Ericsson looked very solid today. Maybe the time off shook the cobwebs out of his head and he’ll go back to playing like he did in his first stint with the Wings.

Other random notes from this afternoon…

I love it when Datsyuk does crazy stuff like throw the puck over the net from behind it. If there had been anyone there to take that pass, it would have been a highlight-reel play whether or not a goal was scored.

Hudler’s shot in the shootout was sick. This is the Hudler the Wings expected to get back from the KHL last year. Of course, it’s a contract year so we’ll see what happens to him this summer.

Red Wings Fall to Predators in Howard’s Return

Goaltender Jimmy Howard returned to the Red Wings lineup Friday night but Detroit couldn’t hold off the Nashville Predators, dropping a 4-1 decision.

With the loss, Detroit falls to fifth place in the Western Conference standings, one point behind the fourth-place Predators, who have a game in hand.

After the first half of the game was scoreless, Nashville’s Gabriel Bourque opened the scoring with 6:55 left in the second period. Bourque flipped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic and past Howard to give the Predators the 1-0 lead.

Francis Bouillon made it 2-0 with just 33 seconds left in the period when he picked up a loose puck and snapped it past Howard after a net-front scramble.

At 2:40 of the third period, Alexander Radulov was left all alone at the top of the crease to take a feed from Andrei Kostitsyn and punch it past Howard.

Jiri Hudler scored Detroit’s lone goal with 3:03 remaining, knocking the puck past Nashville golie Pekka Rinne from the side of the net on a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.

Shea Weber wrapped up the scoring with an empty-net goal in the game’s final minute.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with Detroit having three chances and Nashville having two.

Howard made 23 saves on 26 shots against in his return from a groin injury. Rinne stopped 31 of 32 shots.

The Red Wings play again on Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers.


Detroit’s healthy scratches were Kyle Quincey on defense and Jan Mursak up front.

Red Wings Rout Blue Jackets to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 21st consecutive season on Monday night with a 7-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The streak is the longest active in professional sports. The NHL’s all-time record is 29 consecutive seasons, set by the Boston Bruins.

Four goals in the first ten minutes of the game propelled the Red Wings to the win, including two power play tallies by Tomas Holmstrom.

Holmstrom opened the game’s scoring just 1:06 in with Columbus’ Cam Atkinson off for tripping. Niklas Kronwall sent a pass from the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the Blue Jackets’ net. Goaltender Steve Mason overcommited towards him and he sent a pass across the crease to Holmstrom to bang home.

Gustav Nyquist made it 2-0 at 5:35 with his first career NHL goal. In the slot, Pavel Datsyuk spun to send a pass to Nyquist all alone at the edge of the crease, where he roofed a shot past the diving Mason.

Holmstrom’s second came at 8:55, when Kronwall sent a hard pass from the point to Zetterberg in the slot, who turned and sent it backwards through his legs to Holmstrom for a shot past Mason from the left faceoff circle – another power play goal.

Jiri Hudler rounded out the period’s scoring 56 seconds later. After Mason stopped his initial shot, Hudler wrapped around the goal while Valtteri Filppula gathered in the rebound. Filppula sent a pass to Hudler to knock home from the side of the net to make it 4-0.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 5-0 at 6:17 of the second period, sliding a shot from the right faceoff dot under Mason’s pad after almost whiffing on the chance.

Brad Stuart ended Mason’s night 2:17 later, jumping into the play to take a feed from Todd Bertuzzi and beat Mason from the inside edge of the right circle.

Datsyuk capped off Detroit’s scoring at 1:25 of the third period. Zetterberg spun in the right circle before sending a pass across to the left side for Datsyuk to knock past backup goalie Allen York.

The Blue Jackets would finally get on the board just 19 seconds later, with Mark Letestu splitting the Detroit defense to break in alone on Ty Conklin and snap a shot past him.

Rick Nash made it 7-2 with 9:28 remaining, blasting a shot from the top of the right circle off the post and in behind Conklin.

Conklin finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots against, half of those chances coming in the third period. Mason made 22 saves on 28 shots in 28:34 while York stopped 10 of 11 in 31:26 of play.

Holmstrom’s goals were the only power play tallies on the night, though Lidstrom’s goal came on a delayed call. The Red Wings finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play while the Blue Jackets went 0-for-4.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Columbus for the second game of the home-and-home series.


Detroit was without goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves.

Zetterberg Leads Red Wings’ Rally Past Hurricanes

Henrik Zetterberg scored the first two goals for Detroit on Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The win snapped Detroit’s six-game losing streak and coincided with the return from injury of defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings were down 4-1 when Zetterberg scored his second of the night. With 3:02 left in the second period, Zetterberg took a feed from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot off Carolina netminder Cam Ward‘s mask and into the net, through a screen by Jiri Hudler.

Just 18 seconds later, Todd Bertuzzi batted the fluttering rebound of a Gustav Nyquist chance out of mid-air and past Ward to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to a single goal.

At 8:10 of the third, Filppula banked the puck off the side of the net and out to Brad Stuart just inside the blue line. Stuart’s shot deflected first off Hudler in front of the net, then off defender Jay Harrison before trickling across the goal line to tie the game.

With 8:25 left in regulation, Drew Miller gave the Red Wings their first and only lead. The Hurricanes won a faceoff in their own zone but Cleary knocked the puck loose to Miller, who went to the front of the net alone and beat Ward on the backand to make it 5-4.

Carolina had opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game, when Jiri Tlusty threw a backhander from down low on the right wing towards the Detroit goal. The puck deflected off defenseman Ian White‘s stick and went over the shoulder of goalie Ty Conklin to give the Hurricanes the early lead.

Another quick goal made it 2-0, with Chard Larose scoring just 26 seconds into the second period. Larose was left alone in the left corner of the Detroit zone and he cut to the middle to take a pass from Eric Staal before beating Conklin.

Zetterberg scored his first of the night to halve Carolina’s lead at 5:10 of the second. Zetterberg threw the puck to the net from the right circle and it deflected off defenseman Bryan Allen to get past Ward.

A pair of power play goals gave the Hurricanes their 4-1 lead. With 4:22 left in the second period and a single second left on a five-on-three, Jamie McBain rifled a shot from the top of the left circle past Conklin. Tlusty got in behind Kyle Quincey and tapped in a chance from the edge of the crease just 17 seconds later.

Those two goals were the only power play goals by either team on the night. Each team had two tries with the man-advantage.

Conklin finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots, with the Red Wings holding the Hurricanes to just three shots in the third period. Ward stopped 45 of Detroit’s 50 shots on the night.


With Lidstrom and Kindl returning to the lineup, Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch. The Red Wings reassigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins after the game. Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald remain injured for Detroit.

Red Wings Remain Winless in Philly Since 1997, Drop 3-2 Decision to Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings lost in Philadelphia Tuesday night, running their winless streak there to seven games with a 3-2 loss to the Flyers.

The Wings haven’t beaten the Flyers on their home ice since a pair of wins there en route to a sweep of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. In 62 total regular season and playoff matches, Detroit is 15-36-11 on the road against Philadelphia, with one of the ties coming in a Flyers’ “home” game in Cleveland, Ohio.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring at the game’s four-minute mark. Jiri Hudler gained the Flyers’ zone on a three-on-two and passed it off to Valtteri Filppula in the right circle. Filppula looked as though he would shoot while cutting to the slot but dropped it to Zetterberg, who cut to the bottom of the circle and roofed a backhander over Philadelphia goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Flyers responded on a Detroit miscue with 6:10 left in the period. Detroit netminder Joey MacDonald came behind his net to stop the puck for defenseman Doug Janik, who thought MacDonald was going to pass to him. The Flyers’ Jakub Voracek ended up being the first one to the puck and his wraparound attempt went off the skate of defenseman Brendan Smith, slipping past MacDonald.

With 1:49 left in the first, the Flyers took the lead when Niklas Kronwall failed to hold the puck in at the Philadelphia blue line, leaving Claude Giroux clear for a breakaway, on which he beat MacDonald stick-side to make it 2-1.

Kronwall would be involved in another big play in the first half of the second period, when he stepped up on Voracek, who was attempting to carry the puck out of the Philadelphia zone down the right wing. Voracek didn’t see Kronwall coming and put his head down as Kronwall slammed into him.

Voracek also hit his head on the ice on the way down after the hit. He did not return to play.

The Flyers took a 3-1 lead with 5:50 left in the middle period on a shorthanded goal by Maxime Talbot. Giroux had another break in towards MacDonald when Ian White flubbed the puck at the Philly blue line, but White and Kronwall got back to cover him and MacDonald was able to make the initial stop. Talbot jumped up to bang the rebound past MacDonald for the ninth shorthanded goal against Detroit this season.

Johan Franzen made it close at 8:47 of the third, snapping a shot from the inside edge of the left faceoff circle past Bryzgalov just after the expiration of a Detroit power play. The Wings would be unable to pull even, however.

Detroit went scoreless on four power play tries. The Flyers couldn’t score on their two attempts with the extra attacker but did add the shorthanded goal.

MacDonald stopped 20 of 23 shots he faced. Bryzgalov made 37 saves on 39 shots.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Friday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.


The Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Todd Bertuzzi, Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Patrick Eaves for the game. With Howard out, Jordan Pearce backed up MacDonald. Chris Conner replaced Bertuzzi up front while Doug Janik replaced Kindl on the blue line… Before the game, Philadelphia retired the jersey of former Flyer and Red Wing Mark Howe, a current Detroit scout.

Postgame: Avalanche @ Red Wings – 2/25

Quite honestly put… The Red Wings did not deserve to win tonight. They put forth 20 minutes of effort and in no world should that be enough to win a game in the National Hockey League. The third period was pretty fantastic but, as the score showed, it wasn’t enough to outweigh how bad the first two periods were.

Detroit has got to stop coasting into games like this. They were out of this one five minutes in. Twice they completely failed to cover Colorado’s (arguably) best player, leaving Gabriel Landeskog open in the slot. These aren’t things caused by lack of skill, it’s all mental. They’re just not thinking out there.

That said… It was brutal to see Jiri Hudler hauled down in front of the Avalanche goal with about 45 seconds left, the puck nowhere near him, and no call made. If the refs didn’t see it because they were looking elsewhere, it’s an embarrassment that they missed it. If they chose not to call it because it was so late in the game, it’s gutless on their part.

And to make matters more fun… Jonathan Ericsson is now expected to miss a month with a fractured wrist. I give him sh*t often but the Wings need him healthy and playing well to make a long playoff run. Bottom line, he’s usually better than Jakub Kindl and Mike Commodore and that’s who the Wings have to work with if Ericsson is out.

On the plus side of things… The reunited line of Henrik Zetterberg, Hudler and Valtteri Filppula single-handedly provided the Detroit comeback. I like the idea of keeping that line together as the new first line and then having Johan Franzen center Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary on the second line. Fil just doesn’t work as a center on this team, to the point that Franzen is actually better there than he is.

The third line of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller provided just about all of Detroit’s chances in the first two periods. Had they managed to score, we might be talking about something different, but as it is it was still good to see them continue to click.

Canucks End Red Wings’ Streak in Shootout

Newest Red Wing Kyle Quincey scored in his first game back with Detroit and the Wings’ third line contributed to three goals but it didn’t stop the Vancouver Canucks from ending their NHL-record home winning streak at 23 games, defeating the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout.

Alexandre Burrows scored the only goal of the tiebreaker on Vancouver’s third shot, beating Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard high.

Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo stopped Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi while Howard made saves on David Booth and Alexander Edler.

The Red Wings appeared to be headed to their 24th consecutive home win until the Canucks tied things up with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.

Off an icing call, Vancouver won the draw in the Detroit zone and kept control of the puck, getting a couple chances before Daniel Sedin blasted a shot from the high slot through a screen and past Howard.

Darren Helm had opened the game’s scoring with 8:44 left in the first period. On a two on one with Justin Abdelkader, Helm looked like he was going to pass all the way down the ice before finally flipping a weak shot past Luongo to give the Red Wings their first lead.

Daniel Sedin made it 1-1 with 6:26 left in the second period. Edler’s shot from above the right faceoff circle was slowed down by Henrik Sedin before Daniel picked it up at the edge of the crease and shoveled it in around Howard.

Quincey restored the Detroit lead at 6:08 of the third, swatting a shot from the slot past Luongo off a feed from Abdelkader.

With 6:34 remaining, Cody Hodgson‘s attempted pass from the left circle went off Detroit defender Niklas Kronwall‘s skate and past Howard to tie things back up.

Just twenty seconds later, Abdelkader made it 3-2. Helm drove to the net and put a shot off the post, with the puck sliding up to Luongo’s pad. Abdelkader jumped in and knocked the loose puck into the net.

Luongo finished the night with 33 saves on 36 Detroit chances while Howard stopped 40 of the 43 shots he faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with the Wings having five tries with the extra attacker to Vancouver’s four.

The Red Wings are next in action on Saturday night when they host Quincey’s former team, the Colorado Avalanche.


With the Red Wings now carrying eight defensemen on their roster, Jakub Kindl and Mike Commodore were both healthy scratches… Pavel Datsyuk missed his second game since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday… Quincey wore #27, after having worn #45 and #4 in his first stint with the Red Wings.