Wings’ Roster Set

Bruce MacLeod blogs that the Red Wings’ final roster has been announced.

As expected, Derek Meech claims a spot as the 7th defenseman. The injured Kyle Quincey will work out in Grand Rapids and join the Griffins when healthy.

Matt Ellis will remain in Detroit. Free agent try-out Aaron Downey has been offered a contract and will play in Detroit if he accepts, which he’s expected to do.

Igor Grigorenko will head down to Grand Rapids. This is likely only to last through the end of the month as he’ll have the ability to return to Russia. At that point, Ellis or Downey would have to be sent down.

Mark Hartigan has been placed on waivers and will go to Grand Rapids if he clears.

More Wings Number Changes

George Malik points out this morning that Red Wings Central has their training camp roster posted. I try not to pay too much attention to camp in seasons when the roster is virtually set, such as this one, but I do like taking a look at what sweater numbers the players are assigned.

Most players will never see time with those digits on their backs (does anyone really think Dominic Vicari would show up in the Detroit crease wearing #70?) but for players that have either spent time on the Red Wings’ roster in the past or are expected to make the team out of camp, this can be the first time we see what number they will wear.

The previously confirmed number change for Tomas Kopecky (from #28 to #82) is reflected on the roster, as is the re-assignment of #28 to newcomer Brian Rafalski and #17 to Dallas Drake. We also find that Russian prospect Igor Grigorenko has been given the #21 that was to be worn last season by Greg Johnson before he was forced to retire.

Two unexpected changes are found on the blueline. Kyle Quincey (who may or may not make the lineup this season, a casualty of limited roster spots) is switching from #45 to the #4 last worn in 2006 by Cory Cross. Derek Meech, who has spent limited time with the Red Wings wearing #36 but is expected not to be sent to Grand Rapids as he would have to clear waivers, has taken on the #14 formerly worn by Brendan Shanahan.

I’m a bit surprised by the Red Wings giving out Shanahan’s number only a season after his depature to New York. It had to happen sometime, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of a push to have the #14 retired for Shanny, but it seems like the team would have waited longer.

Lebda, Holmstrom Expected to Miss Game One

Ansar Khan blogs that Mike Babcock doesn’t expect defenseman Brett Lebda or forward Tomas Holmstrom to play in Game One against San Jose on Thursday.

Both are still recovering from injuries suffered over the weekend. Lebda’s ankle is still bothering him and Holmstrom’s eye still has blood in it.

With Lebda out, Kyle Quincey will get his second playoff start with the big club.

Less easy to determine is who will take Holmstrom’s spot with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Khan points out that most of the “usual suspects” are clicking with their current lines right now, so Babcock might not want to shake things up.

Flames Extinguished: Red Wings Claim Series Win on 2OT Goal

The Detroit Red Wings eliminated the Calgary Flames from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday, scoring at 4:23 of the second overtime period to wrap up the two teams’ Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Detroit snapped a trend with the win. Prior to game six, the home team had won every game of the series. Calgary was unable to hold off a relentless Red Wings’ attack and finally fell on home ice.

Either the Dallas Stars or the San Jose Sharks will be Detroit’s next opponent. If Dallas wins their game seven matchup with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, they will advance to face the Wings. Should the Canucks win, they will play the Anaheim Ducks, leaving the Sharks to travel to Detroit.

Johan Franzen gave the Red Wings the win. Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom sent an outlet pass from the Red Wings’ blue line across the ice and off the boards for Franzen to pick up and carry into the Calgary zone. Franzen cut across the top of the right faceoff circle before blasting a shot from the slot over the shoulder of Flames’ netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

It was Franzen’s second goal of the playoffs, coming on Detroit’s 55th shot of the night.

Calgary got on the board first at 3:09 of the second period. Daymond Langkow threw a pass from behind the net out to Jarome Iginla, who reached to grab it with his stick at the top of the left circle and whip a shot past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

Robert Lang tied things back up with 3:07 remaining in the middle frame. Chris Chelios sent an outlet pass to Todd Bertuzzi along the right wing boards. Bertuzzi poked it along to Lang, who jumped into the Calgary zone and wristed a shot from the right faceoff dot between Kiprusoff’s pads.

Even with four minutes of power play time for each team in the first overtime, no one could put the puck home. Thoughtout the game both goalies made several key stops.

Hasek finished the night with 20 saves on 21 shots against. Kiprusoff made and incredible 53 saves on Detroit’s 55 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had five attempts to do so while Calgary had four.

The Red Wings were without defenseman Brett Lebda for the game, out with a mild concussion and an ankle injury. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to take his place on the blueline… Tomas Holmstrom left the game in the first overtime period after taking a stick to the head from Craig Conroy, suffering a cut above the eye.

Red Wings Steamroll Blackhawks to End Season

Neither the Detroit Red Wings nor the Chicago Blackhawks needed a win in Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Original Six rivals but only the Blackhawks played like it, as the Red Wings rolled to a 7-2 win to clost out their regular season schedule.

A shootout loss by the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night assured the Red Wings that they had clinched the Western Conference’s regular season championship but that didn’t stop them from jumping out to an early lead and staying in control for the rest of the game.

Danny Markov got the Red Wings on the board just 4:31 into the game with a shot from the point that deflected off of a Blackhawk defender, hit the back boards, came out in front of the net, bounced off the skate of goalie Patrick Lalime, and went into the net.

It was 1:03 later that Detroit got a goal that did not require a series of lucky bounces, when Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of two on the afternoon with a quick shot from the right faceoff dot past Lalime.

Kyle Calder added a power play goal with 8:30 remaining in the period, deflecting a blast by Samuelsson.

Detroit kept the pressure on in the second, scoring at 3:51 when Tomas Holmstrom slipped a shot from the slot under Lalime.

Calder notched his second of the day against his former team 1:36 later. After a Blackhawk giveaway in their own zone, Robert Lang sent the puck up to Samuelsson, who threaded a pass back down low to Calder alone in front of the net to roof a shot over Lalime.

Samuelsson added his second with 7:30 remaining in the middle period with the Red Wings on a power play, seconds after the expiration of a four-on-three, when his wrister from the top of the right circle got past Lalime with Dan Cleary screening him.

Radim Vrbata got Chicago on the board with 1:46 remaining in the second but Kyle Quincey‘s first career goal put the Red Wings back up by six just 12 seconds later.

Nikolai Khabibulin replaced Lalime to start the third period and did not allow a goal.

Jeff Hamilton closed out the game’s scoring at 7:37 of the final period when his wrister from the top of the right circle deflected off of Markov and past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Osgood finished the game with 19 saves on 21 shots against, the first of which didn’t come until the Red Wings already had a three-goal lead. Khabibulin stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third while Lalime made 17 stops on 24 shots in the first two periods.

Detroit scored twice on eleven power play chances. Chicago was held off the board on their four tries with the extra skater.

The Red Wings now await to find out whether their first round playoff opponent will be the Calgary Flames or the Colorado Avalanche. The two teams meet on Sunday in what would be a de facto playoff if the Flames lose to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night and the Avalanche defeat the Nashville Predators.

Whichever team Detroit faces, general manager Ken Holland expects the series to begin on Thursday or Friday night, with game two to be held on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Wings were prevented from claiming a third-straight Presidents’ Trophy by the Buffalo Sabres’ win over the Washington Capitals, clinching Buffalo’s first regular season championship.

Red Wings Avoid Repeat of Blown Lead in Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rebounded from a Friday night game in which they blew a 3-0 lead late in the third period to hold on to the same lead on Sunday afternoon, earning a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While the Red Wings allowed three late third period goals to the Dallas Stars on Friday before losing in the shootout, they kept the Blue Jackets off the board until the game’s final minute on Sunday, securing the victory.

Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek‘s shutout wasn’t snapped until 59 seconds remained in the final period, when Rick Nash scored on a wraparound attempt, banging in his own rebound.

After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:57 into the second when a blast from above the right circle by Brett Lebda found its way into the top of the net on a Detroit power play.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by a pair 8:30 later, putting the rebound of a Lebda shot around goalie Fredrik Norrena while being knocked to the ice by defenseman Marc Methot.

Pavel Datsyuk wrapped up the period’s scoring with the Red Wings on the penalty kill, stealing the puck from defenseman Anders Eriksson in the neutral zone and breaking in along on Norrena before rifling a quick shot past him.

Holmstrom added his second of the afternoon just 49 seconds into the third when a Kris Draper shot deflected off his skate, then the skate of defenseman Rostislav Klesla before getting past Norrena.

With the win, the Red Wings pull into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, as well as the overall lead of the National Hockey League.

Hasek made 31 saves on 32 shots overall while Norrena stopped 21 of the 25 attempts he faced.

Detroit scored on one of three power play attempts. Columbus was without a goal on six chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again on Tuesday night to close out the season series in Detroit. Detroit will then end the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings were without captain Nicklas Lidstrom who sat out the game with a back sprain. He is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in on the blue line.

Kronwall Out with Fractured Hip

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday that they will be without defenseman Niklas Kronwall for one to two months.

For Kronwall, who suffered the injury 24 seconds into Friday’s loss to the Dallas Stars, it likely means an end to his season.

“It’s a tough break for Niklas and our team,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “Dealing with adversity is part of the NHL playoffs. We still feel we have good depth on defense.”

Kronwall was injured on a hit by Stars’ forward Joel Lundqvist. After the hit, Kronwall fell to the ice and stayed there until he was helped off by Chris Chelios and Valtteri Filppula.

It is the third major injury in Kronwall’s young career. He suffered a broken leg that ended the 2003-04 season for him and a knee injury that kept him out of much of the 2005-06 campaign.

The Red Wings will also be without captain Nicklas Lidstrom for Sunday’s matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lidstrom has a slight back sprain and is expected to miss only one game.

“Given what’s occurred over the last 24 hours, we’re not going to take any chances,” Holland said.

To help fill the void, the Red Wings called Kyle Quincey up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Red Wings Bounce Back with 7-3 Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings had a lot of reasons to be down heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the archrival Colorado Avalanche.

On the ice, they were on a season-high four-game winless streak. Of the ice, concerns about defenseman Jiri Fischer‘s health were still at the front of everyone’s mind. And just 1:30 into the matchup they had another thing to come back from, as the Avs already had a 1-0 lead.

Detroit was able to get past all of that and pick up a 7-3 win over Colorado, a win that comes at the time when it is most needed.

After Andrew Brunette opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal, Detroit took over.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of his four points just 48 seconds later, at 2:18. Jason Williams skated around the Colorado net for a wraparound attempt and picked up his own rebound as he skated along the goal line to Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj‘s left. He sent a crossing pass through the crease and Samuelsson was on the far post to knock the puck in.

Robert Lang scored on a two-on-one with Samuelsson at 5:32 of the second to give the Wings their first lead of the game.

Ian Laperriere tied it 2:22 past the game’s midway point. Alex Tanguay controlled the puck behind the net and sent it out to Laperriere, who blasted home a shot from the slot.

Detroit regained the lead on Dan Cleary‘s first goal as a Red Wing just 2:19 later. Samuelsson ripped a shot on net from the right circle and it was kicked aside. The long rebound came to Cleary in the left circle, who rifled it through the scrambling Budaj.

A power play goal by Brendan Shanahan put Detroit up by two with 1:30 remaining in the period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Shanahan tipped in front of the net, setting the score at 4-2 after two periods of play.

The Avalanche pulled to within one when John-Michael Liles scored at 7:14 of the third. Joe Sakic sent a pass from the right circle to Liles on the edge of Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s crease. Liles put the puck on net and Legace got a piece of it but not enough.

With 4:16 left, another two-on-one put the Red Wings back up by two. Pavel Datsyuk made a quick move at the Detroit blue line to break past a defender and he and Jason Williams faced Budaj and a lone defenseman. Datsyuk got the puck to Williams, who redirected it into the net from the top of the crease.

Samuelsson added his second goal and fourth point of the night with a wicked wrist shot from the slot just 55 seconds later and Johan Franzen added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining.

Legace ended the night with 24 saves on 27 shots, while Budaj stopped 22 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Detroit power play went one-for-three on the night. Colorado, whose power play had been slumping of late, scored on two of their seven opportunities.

The Red Wings will be back in action for an afternoon game from Anaheim on Friday.

Jamie Rivers took Fischer’s spot in the Red Wings lineup and Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as an extra defenseman… Fischer was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and has been placed on the 24-day disabled list. Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill expects the situation to be sorted out in a month to six weeks.

Wings Rout Flu-Ridden Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets came to Detroit missing thirteen players from their normal starting roster and certainly played like it, allowing nine goals and scoring none en route to a loss to the Red Wings.

Detroit got goals from Nicklas Lidstrom, Robert Lang (2) and Kyle Quincey in the first period to take a 4-0 lead into the intermission. The Blue Jackets managed only two shots to the Red Wings’ twenty-one on the period.

Dan Cleary and Rem Murray added goals in the second before Columbus goalie Marc Denis was replaced by Pascal Leclaire. Mathieu Schneider scored one more goal in the second before Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom added goals in the third.

Lidstrom scored the only goal of the shootout in the fifth round.

The Blue Jackets roster has been decimated by a flu bug going around the team.

The Red Wings were without captain Steve Yzerman, defenseman Jamie Rivers and goalie Chris Osgood, all suffering from groin injuries. Pavel Datsyuk did not play after practicing with the team for a second day and Andreas Lilja sat after playing the night before in Colorado. Niklas Kronwall was out with the knee injury he suffered in Denver.

Wings Down Avalanche in OT

The Detroit Red Wings bounced back from being down 2-1 in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, in overtime of their preseason matchup on Wednesday.

Nicklas Lidstrom scored on a one-timer while the Red Wings were on the power play in the overtime period to win the game for Detroit. Skating four-on-three, the Red Wings just kept cycling the puck and waiting for good shots before Lidstrom was able to put one past Colorado netminder David Aebischer.

Kyle Quincey had opened the scoring for Detroit in the first period on a goal originally credited to Valtteri Filppula.

Paul Healey tied the game in the second and Antti Laaksonen gave Colorado the lead early in the third period, breaking in alone on Detroit goalie Manny Legace and putting a shot over his shoulder.

Jason Williams tied the game late in the third, breaking into the Colorado zone and taking a cross-ice pass from Brendan Shanahan before slipping the puck between Aebischer’s legs.

Shanahan scored the lone goal of the shootout, which was not required but was played anyway to educate the players and the fans.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood will be out two to three weeks with a tear on the right side of his groin muscle. He will miss the remainder of the preseason schedule… Rookie Jimmy Howard is slated to start in net for the Red Wings against Columbus on Thursday.