Franzen Leads Red Wings over Panthers

Johan Franzen scored 4:40 into the third period Friday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. It was his 14th game winning goal in his last forty games played.

Franzen tipped a blueline shot from Niklas Kronwall past Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun with the Red Wings on a power play.

Detroit had taken a 2-0 lead early on goals by Marian Hossa.

With 2:53 remaining in the first period, Hossa threw a shot on goal from the corner, banking it off of goaltender Craig Anderson and into the net.

At 1:37 of the second, Hossa scored again on a slapper from the top of the faceoff circle, chasing Anderson.

The Panthers rallied before the end of the middle frame on goals by Richard Zednik and Stephen Weiss.

Zednik scored at 6:02 of the period, backhanding the rebound of a Bryan McCabe shot past Ty Conklin.

Weiss snapped a wrister past Conklin with 8:09 left in the second, evening the game up.

Red Wings – Ducks: More Random Babbling

I was going to recap the Wings-Ducks tilt from this afternoon but, especially with the way it ended, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more editorial.

Over at Abel to Yzerman, Bill’s got a piece posted called Screwed. It’s his opinion of what happened to the Wings on the potential game-tying goal late in the third.

I’m torn on agreeing or disagreeing with sentiment.

Part of me that says that on a day that saw Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik take a skate to the throat, arguing about a goal seems insignificant. We all remember Jiri Fischer here and when things like this happen, we’re all reminded that there are bigger things than the game itself in hockey.

That said, the events of a Buffalo-Florida game that hadn’t happened yet were not at the front of Wings fans minds this afternoon.

I spent most of the afternoon pretty upset, which is why I’ve kept my comments limited. I’ve tried to give myself time to calm down and gain perspective.

The non-goal at the end of the game is just the exclamation point on a game that was horribly-run from the beginning. It’s huge but it shouldn’t be the focus.

At 7:15 of the second, Chris Pronger was called for tripping Mikael Samuelsson and Sammy was called for diving. After the whistle, Chris Kunitz threw a couple punches at Samuelsson that went uncalled. In the ensuing four-on-four – which should have been a Detroit power play, whether by not calling the dive or by calling the roughing – the Ducks scored.

The officials spent the rest of the day trying to make up for that, calling cheap penalties on Anaheim that the Wings couldn’t capitalize on.

It made for an awful game. Wings fans will complain about the things that weren’t called, Ducks fans will complain about the things that were, and the national TV audience will have missed a chance to see a great game.

I don’t agree with calling extra penalties to “even things up.” It cheapens things. If the refs really cost a team a goal, they need to be able to own up and rectify it, but there’s no way to do that.

The funny thing is that the easiest way to even things up would have been to allow Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game at 3-3 but that didn’t happen.

Do I believe that Tomas Holmstrom interfered with Jean-Sebastien Giguere‘s ability to make the save on that goal? No. From my replay, Giguere’s stick was impeded by Holmstrom’s leg only after the puck was in the net. Giguere couldn’t see the puck through Holmstrom’s screen and that wouldn’t have mattered if he was three more inches out. The video for that will go into my archive for if I ever start to archive these incidents.

Does that matter? Of course not. We’ll never hear what the Red Wings organization really thinks of that play. We’ll never hear what the NHL has to say about it. It’s done to them.

My thinking a few hours after the game? Forget about it. The whole game was a mess, might as well write it off and move on.

Habs Hold Off Late Surge To Win 2-1 Over Wings

The Red Wings did their best to overcome a slow start on Monday night, but the Montreal Canadiens held on to keep the 2-1 lead.

Dominik Hasek had plenty of work to keep him busy in the first period. The Canadiens started the game with plenty of offensive fire, and the Red Wings struggled to keep up. Hasek, on the other hand, was superb, keeping his team in the game until they could find their skating legs and take a little bit of control back from Montreal.

The opening twenty minutes was fast paced for both teams, but no one got on the scoreboard until the second period. Detroit made an error on a line change, which let Jason Ward and Steve Begin get into the zone all alone against Hasek. Jason Williams did his best to catch up and try to get in between the two skaters, but Ward got the pass through to Begin, and Begin slid the puck past Hasek’s left side.

Another defensive error by the Red Wings allowed the Canadiens to increase their lead to two. Stephane Quintal poke checked the puck away from Brendan Shanahan at the Montreal blue line. The Red Wings had four players on the offensive rush, so only Jason Woolley was back to play defense. Mike Ribeiro and Richard Zednik brought the puck into Detroit’s zone. Woolley tried to take the pass away so that Hasek would only have to worry about stopping Ribeiro, but the puck jumped over Woolley’s stick and Zednik was able to knock it into the net.

Things seemed to go from bad to worse for the Red Wings when Chris Chelios was given a roughing penalty just one minute after Zednik scored. Detroit managed to shift the momentum in their favor, however, with a shorthanded goal. Jiri Fischer intercepted the puck in his own zone. He carried it up ice with Henrik Zetterberg on his right and Mathieu Dandenault trailing. Two Canadiens were in front of them. Fischer passed to Zetterberg as they entered the Montreal zone. Zetterberg carried into the right corner, then centered the puck for Dandenault. Goalie Mathieu Garon was screened by his own defender and couldn’t see Dandenault’s shot until the puck was in the net.

The shorthanded goal turned the game’s momentum in favor of the Red Wings. Detroit controlled the play through the end of the second and into the third period, but Garon had a strong night. The young netminder stopped a number of quality scoring chances, including a pair of shots by Brett Hull and a hard point shot by Shanahan.

The Red Wings pulled Hasek from the net in the final minute to send in their extra attacker, but the Canadiens were able to clear the puck and keep the Wings from scoring.
The final count of shots on net was 19 to 15 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Curtis Joseph will play a conditioning game with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night so that the Wings can get a better idea of how his surgically repaired ankle is rehabilitating. If all goes well, Joseph should make his season debut with the Red Wings within the next week or so.

Habs Spoil the Home Opener

Before the game, the 2001-2002 Stanley Cup Championship banner was raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with all due ceremony. Scotty Bowman, Dominik Hasek, Steve Duchesne, and Vladimir Konstantinov all were on hand to salute the Stanley Cup one last time before it was taken back to its home in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. It was one last chance for fans, players, coaches, and staff to revel in last season’s glorious ending before settling down to the regular season grind and hopeful road to the 2003 playoffs.

Detroit’s Original Six rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, were on hand to be the first home opponent of the young season. The Canadiens got a slow start in the game, but their excellent goaltending bought them the time they needed to find their rhythm, and they wound up beating the Red Wings by a score of 3-2.

The Red Wings got a power play early in the game, when Richard Zednik was sent out for hooking, and that was all they needed to jump out to an early lead. Tomas Holmstrom brought the puck into the zone and made a short pass to Henrik Zetterberg on the left side. Zetterberg headed for the goal, drawing the defensemen to himself. Meanwhile, Brendan Shanahan had quietly maneuvered in behind the two defensemen. Zetterberg passed across the goal crease, and Shanahan’s tap-in goal caught all of the Canadiens by surprise, including goaltender Jeff Hackett.

The bigger surprise for both teams was that Detroit only had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. They applied steady offensive pressure to a Montreal team who looked to be not entirely prepared defensively. Perhaps Hackett sensed a chance at becoming the Canadiens’ starting goalie if last year’s star Jose Theodore is unable to break out of his slump soon; the winner of last year’s Hart and Vezina Trophies has allowed twelve goals in Montreal’s past two games. Hackett came up huge for his team, stopping eleven shots in the first period alone.

The Canadiens regained their rhythm in the second period, their confidence aided by scoring a goal in the early going. Andreas Dackell was able to backhand the rebound into the net after Joe Juneau’s shot just barely trickled free from Curtis Joseph‘s catching glove. The Red Wings continued to put the puck on net at every opportunity, but Hackett remained solid, and the game was tied after two periods.

The Red Wings lost their lead a few minutes into the third period. Zednik and Saku Koivu got away on a two on one rush against Dimitri Bykov, with defensive partner Max Kuznetsov held up in the neutral zone. Bykov tried to take the passing lane away, while Pavel Datsyuk tried at top speed to get to Koivu and take him out of the play, but the pass was released and Koivu sent the shot into the net just as Datsyuk got him enough off balance to send them both sliding into the end boards.

Danny Markov scored what would be Montreal’s eventual game-winner just about midway through the period. The teams were four-on-four, resulting from overlapping penalties to Kirk Maltby and Joe Juneau. Yanic Perreault shot the puck towards the Detroit net. The puck deflected off the stick of Nick Lidstrom, but with Joseph out of the net a little way to challenge Perreault’s shot, Markov was able to get the deflection and put it in behind Joseph before Luc Robitaille was able to get himself properly positioned to cover Markov.

Datsyuk brought the Wings back within one with just over six minutes left to play. Robitaille got the puck from a left side scrum and centered it to Datsyuk, who let fly a fast, hard, one-time shot that Hackett didn’t even see until it was behind him and the red goal light was already on.

The Red Wings went on the attack then. Most of their third period shots on net came in these last few minutes. Hackett was ready. Even when Detroit pulled Joseph to send in the extra attacker, Hackett kept the Canadiens in the lead, stopping shots by Holmstrom, Brett Hull, and Sergei Fedorov in quick succession. Eventually time ran down, and the banner celebrating last year’s glory looked down over the reminder that this season still has many, many games left to go.

Shots on net were thirty-two to fourteen in favor of the Red Wings.

The Wings’ next game will be on the road; they travel to Minneapolis to face the as-yet unbeaten Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Boyd Devereaux returned to the lineup tonight. His broken thumb healed more quickly than expected, and his “Two Kids and an Old Goat” line with Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull was reunited. Stacy Roest was moved to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for Devereaux in the lineup.

Deadline Past, Eric Stays in Philly

An hour after the deadline, the trades are still being reported. Here are all of todays deals that can be found:

To Capitals:
Dean Melanson
To Flyers:
Matt Herr

To Sabres:
Donald Audette
To Thrashers:
Kamil Piros, Fourth Round Pick

To Blues:
Cory Stillman
To Flames:
Craig Conroy, Seventh Round Pick in 2001

To Sabres:
Steve Heinze
To Blue Jackets:
Third Round Pick in 2001

To Senators:
Curtis Leschyshyn
To Wild:
Third Round Pick, future considerations

To Panthers:
Kevyn Adams
To Blue Jackets:
Ray Whitney

To Maple Leafs:
Aki Berg
To Kings:
Adam Mair, Second Round Pick

To Blues:
Keith Tkachuk
To Coyotes:
Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, Jeff Taffe, First Round Pick in 2001

To Capitals:
Trevor Linden, Dainius Zubrus, Second Round Pick in 2001
To Canadiens:
Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis, First Round Pick in 2001

To Coyotes:
Todd Simpson
To Flames:
Second Round Pick in 2001

To Penguins:
Frantisek Kucera
To Blue Jackets:
Sixth Round Pick in 2001

To Stars:
Grant Ledyard
To Lightning:
Seventh Round Pick in 2001

To Capitals:
Jason Marshall
To Ducks:
Alexei Tezikov, Fourth Round Pick in 2001

To Flyers:
Dean McAmmond
To Blackhawks:
Third Round Pick in 2001

To Oilers:
Sven Butenschon
To Penguins:
Dan LaCouture

To Senators:
Craig Millar
To Lightning:
John Emmons

Want to have your say about the deals? Visit the Fan Forum.

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