Red Wings – Ducks Postgame Notes

I expect my initial reaction to the Red Wings’ win tonight to go over rather poorly: Detroit didn’t deserve the win, Anaheim did.

The Red Wings were too sloppy tonight. You can win sloppy games, they proved that tonight, but if this had been a loss you could look at their play and say, “Of course it was.”

Turnovers, blown defensive coverage, missed opportunities in general. It should have been a loss.

Meanwhile, the Ducks have a couple things to complain about.

While I think Corey Perry could have avoided Johan Franzen, the first period penalty on Perry that led to Detroit’s first goal was weak. It might have been technically right but it I’d be upset if it were called on a Wing.

Detroit’s third goal was a bit questionable, too. Paul Mara appeared to touch the puck in attempting to clear it from the goal line. On a delayed penalty, the play could have been blown dead. That said, Mara did not have control of the puck so maybe that’s why the whistle didn’t blow.

I think there’s a lot less controversy to Anaheim’s goals than there was to Detroit’s.

Speaking of controversy… I still say Nicklas Kronwall will get a one-game suspension for his hit on Teemu Selanne. I don’t think there was an intent to injure but Kronwall’s hits look bad. He has a bit of a history and Selanne is a future Hall of Famer. That Selanne came back to play (and score) in the game helps Kronwall but that hit was another case where I’d be mad if it happened the other way around.

Despite Montreal Comeback, Red Wings Pick Up 3-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 lead Saturday night but still managed to earn a 3-2 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal forward Michael Cammalleri scored twice in the third period to erase Detroit’s lead and force overtime. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the tiebreaker to give the Red Wings the win.

Detroit had taken the lead in a bizarre first period that saw twelve minutes of penalties called on the Canadiens and only two on the Wings.

The first three of those calls came at the same time to Montreal forward Georges Laraque. Laraque high sticked Darren Helm at one end of the ice, drawing blood. Before the play was over he stuck his leg out for a knee-on-knee hit to Niklas Kronwall at the opposite blue line.

Kronwall had to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Brad Stuart got the Red Wings on the board during the fourth minute of the six-minute power play, blasting a shot from just inside the blue line that powered its way past Montreal goalie Carey Price.

During the time of the third Laraque penalty, Canadiens defender Paul Mara went off for cross-checking Tomas Holmstrom in front of Price. Just as the ensuing five-on-three expired Detroit tallied again when Brian Rafalski sent a shot intentionally wide for Datsyuk to tip in from the side of the net.

After a scoreless second period, Cammalleri scored just nine seconds into the third to pull the Canadiens within a goal, snapping a shot from the high slot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

At 8:45 of the period Andrei Kostitsyn picked off a Nicklas Lidstrom pass around the boards and fed Cammalleri for a tap-in from the edge of the crease.

In the shootout, Datsyuk and Zetterberg both deked to score on Price while Howard stopped Cammalleri and and Tomas Plekanec hit a post.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-seven on the power play while the Canadiens were scoreless on their one try with the extra attacker.

Howard made 16 saves on 18 shots against. Price stopped 32 of 34 Detroit chances.

Kronwall is expected to miss at least two weeks with an MCL injury but further tests will be necessary… The Canadiens played in blue sweaters with a white C and white trim, throwbacks to their first year of existence in the National Hockey Association.

Hull Ties Record as Wings Defeat ‘Yotes

Brett Hull scored his 263rd career power play goal Wednesday night, helping lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The goal put Hull into a tie with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk for first place all-time in career power play goals scored.

Hull’s goal was the second of the game, scored with 3:55 remaining in the second period. With Detroit leading by a goal and Phoenix’s Todd Reirden in the box, Hull took Henrik Zetterberg‘s pass from the right corner in the faceoff circle and blasted one of his trademark one-timers by Coyotes’ goalie Brian Boucher.

Detroit had opened the scoring with 6:15 left in the first period. Mathieu Dandenault, moved back to defense to compensate for the scratched Jason Woolley after playing recently at forward, fired a shot from the right point that deflected off a skate and by Boucher.

The Coyotes pulled back to within a goal after Hull scored. On a power play of their own, Chris Gratton banked a shot off the back of Detroit netminder Manny Legace‘s leg. Legace was left sprawling after Paul Mara‘s shot went wide of the net, the puck bounced off the back boards straight to Gratton, who couldn’t be stopped at the 6:22 mark of the third period.

Just 2:05 later, a second Detroit power play goal put the Red Wings up by two again. As the puck was kicked and tipped around the ice on a broken play, Mathieu Schneider stepped into the slot and picked it up, firing a wrist shot past Boucher.

The Coyotes pulled within one again 1:09 later, when Fredrik Sjostrom flipped a shot from the side of the net past Legace as he fell to the ice.

Kris Draper‘s career year continued with two insurance goals in the final two minutes of the game. With 1:50 remaining Draper intercepted a pass and wristed a shot at Boucher from the slot. The puck slipped through the goaltender’s pads and trickled across the goal line to put Detroit back up by two goals. He added an empty-net goal with 57 seconds left on the clock.

Legace stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in net for Detroit. Boucher made 29 saves on the 33 shots he faced making the start for Phoenix.

The Red Wings are next in action Friday night when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Special Teams Lead ‘Yotes over Wings

Three power play goals and two shorthanded goals lifted the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Friday night. The Coyotes ended the night three-for-six on the powerplay with goals on three of their first four chances with the man-advantage.

Phoenix’s first powerplay goal opened the game’s scoring just 47 seconds into the first period. With Detroit’s Ray Whitney in the box for hooking, Daymond Langkow deflected a Shane Doan shot from the point past Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph, giving Phoenix the 1-0 lead.

Detroit came back buzzing after the Phoenix goal and evened things up at 6:45 of the first. Pavel Datsyuk kicked a pass from Steve Thomas from his skate to his stick as he crossed the blue line, then carried the puck down the left side of the ice and rifled a shot by Coyotes’ goaltender Brian Boucher.

The Coyotes regained their lead when Radoslav Suchy scored a powerplay goal with 7:26 remaining in the period. Suchy took a pass in the slot and fired a quick shot under the sliding defenseman Chris Chelios and through Joseph’s five-hole.

Another powerplay goal gave the Coyotes a 3-1 lead 3:44 into the second period. Paul Mara took a point shot that went wide on the short side. Joseph moved to follow the puck behind the net but it took a lively bounce off the back boards and came out to Jan Hrdina, who had an open net to put the puck into.

Mathieu Schneider pulled the Wings back to within a goal of the Coyotes, scoring at 8:46 of the second. Schneider darted in from the blue line to one-time a deflected pass in the slot past Boucher.

Daniel Cleary gave Phoenix a shorthanded goal with 1:07 remaining in the second and Branko Radivojevic added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 29 seconds left in the game.

Detroit’s Joseph stopped just four of the eight shots he faced in the first two periods before being replaced by Manny Legace. Legace was perfect on five shots. Boucher stopped 44 of the 46 shots he faced.

The Red Wings will conclude their Pacific Division road trip on Monday night in Dallas.

The game was Detroit’s first at Glendale Arena, the Coyotes’ new home… Jiri Fischer missed the game due to a one-game suspension handed down by the NHL. Fischer was suspended for head-butting Los Angeles’ Ian Laperriere on Thursday night.

Coyotes’ Acme Super-Goalie Does the Job

The Red Wings worked on their offense. Then they worked on their defense. Then they reminded Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille to shoot the puck hard and often. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to defeat Phoenix goaltender Sean Burke, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Detroit came in eager to play and shake off the ghosts of the losses to New Jersey and Colorado. Their first period showed off their new resolve. The Red Wings made a total of twenty-two shots against Burke in the first period alone, compared to the Coyotes’ four shots against Dominik Hasek. Hull, prominent on the power play and paired up with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux for five-on-five, was responsible for five shots against Burke after having gone two games with no shots at all.

In spite of the flurry of shots and two Detroit power plays in the first, Burke came up big for his team, stopping everything the Red Wings could throw at him.

It wasn’t until six minutes had passed in the second period that the Wings were able to break past Burke’s guarded play. During a Phoenix penalty to Mike Sullivan for cross-checking Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom took a pass from Igor Larionov at the blue line. He carried it forward to try to pass to Hull, but instead the puck deflected off the right skate of Paul Mara and up into the net for the Red Wings’ ninety-ninth goal of the season.

Burke played like a brick wall for the rest of the game, not letting in another goal despite the multitude of shots sent against him. The Red Wings played a strong defense, managing to shut down the Coyotes’ forward units almost completely.

At least, until the final minute of the third period. Down by one, the Phoenix bench pulled Burke from net in favor of the extra attacker. Sergei Fedorov got a breakaway chance and sent the puck fluttering towards the empty net, but knocked the puck just wide as he tumbled to the ice, squeezed between two Phoenix skaters.

Phoenix brought the play back to Detroit’s zone, and Hasek lost his stick behind the net while trying to clear the puck away. Unable to get it back with the play deep in his zone, he was helpless to stop a wrist shot from Daymond Langkow, leaving the game tied with only thirty-three seconds remaining.

Both goalies played strong in the overtime. Hasek made two especially spectacular saves. On both, the Phoenix players were so certain the puck had gone into the net that they raised their arms to celebrate the “victory”, only to hear the referees shouting, “No goal!” Detroit kept the play in the Coyotes’ zone for the second half of the overtime, but Burke continued as he had done all night, leaving the game tied at one apiece.

The Red Wings leave town for a northwest road trip next week. They will play against Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver before returning home to the Joe.

Selanne Dealt as Deadline Nears

But first, the recaps for the bad tie with Phoenix and the even worse loss to Los Angeles.

Now the fun trade stuff… San Jose picked up sniper Teemu Selanne from the Ducks for goalie Steve Shields, winger Jeff Friesen, and a conditional draft pick. Selanne makes the Sharks a threat in the regular season but San Jose will be forced to ride a rookie goalie through the playoffs. Phoenix dealt holdout goalie Nikolai Khabibulan and Stan Neckar to Tampa Bay for defenseman Paul Mara, forwards Mike Johnson and Ruslan Zainullin and a second-round draft pick. The Blues picked up d-man Alexei Gusarov from the Rangers for rookie blueliner Peter Smrek. Defenseman Sean O’Donnell was picked up from the Wild by the Devils for Willie Mitchell and future considerations. I bet this much doesn’t happen on the day of the deadline.