Postgame: Red Wings @ Rangers – 3/21

I’m not going to complain about this one.

Call it effort, call it interest, whatever. The Wings looked invested in tonight’s 2-1 OT loss to the New York Rangers, and I’ll take it, ’cause that’s a hell of a lot more than they’ve done in the previous five games of their current losing streak.

The Red Wings made fewer mistakes in their own zone (more on that in a second) and kept up more pressure in the New York end than we’ve seen of late.

Ty Conklin, back in Detroit when no one thought he’d wear the Winged Wheel again, was rock solid in the start. Another loss won’t look good on his record but stopping 32 of 34 shots will.

That said, the Rangers were able to take advantage of blown defensive coverage twice and it was all they needed to get the win.

Brad Richards‘ first-period power play goal saw the Wings give him the entire neutral zone, right up the middle. I realize it was a PK but you can’t give that much space to a player like him. End-to-end rush turns into a goal.

On the game-winner, Pavel Datsyuk inexplicably left his man (Del Zotto) at the blue line to cut towards Dubinsky, who Niklas Kronwall already had. This left Del Zotto open to take the pass starting the play. Kronwall moved over to block his shooting lane and Stuart dropped alongside Dubinsky, leaving Callahan open for the pass from Del Zotto and the shot past Conklin. No idea why Pavs left Del Zotto, nor why Stuart left Callahan. Stick to your man and that play doesn’t happen.

Howard Out, Conklin on Re-Entry Waivers

As noted by many (but it looks like Khan was first), Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard has re-injured his groin and will be unavailable when the Red Wings visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Ty Conklin has been placed on re-entry waivers as the Wings attempt to call him up from the Grand Rapids Griffins. A team could claim him for half of his salary and cap hit. If he clears, he’ll start in New York.

Howard joins backup netminder Joey MacDonald on the shelf, as well as forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves, and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl.

Conklin Clears Waivers

Goaltender Ty Conklin has cleared waivers and been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Conklin had been exposed to waivers on Monday when the Red Wings revealed that Joey MacDonald would be kept with Detroit to back up Jimmy Howard as Howard returns from injury.

Conklin will likely remain with the Griffins for the rest of the season, as he would need to be placed on re-entry waivers to be called back to the Red Wings, at which point a team could claim him for only half of his salary and cap hit.

Conklin Waived, Expected to be Assigned to Grand Rapids

As first reported by The Production Line, the Detroit Red Wings have waived goaltender Ty Conklin with the intention of assigning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Conklin had been the team’s backup goaltender since the start of the season but lost that role over the last week to Joey MacDonald.

After starting netminder Jimmy Howard suffered a broken finger in Vancouver on February 2nd, Conklin was named the starter for the Red Wings’ next game in Edmonton. He lasted only a period, allowing three goals before MacDonald took over en route to a shootout loss.

MacDonald got the start in Phoenix to finish up the Red Wings’ road trip and played well in a Detroit loss. He then started the entirity of the Red Wings’ now-concluded six-game homestand, going undefeated and helping stretch Detroit’s NHL-record home winning streak to 23 games.

In 8 games played, MacDonald has a 6-1-1 record with a 1.66 GAA and a .934 save percentage. Conklin has made 11 appearances, going 3-5-0 with a 3.40 GAA and .878 save percentage.

The other 29 NHL teams will have until noon on Tuesday to put in a claim on Conklin. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll head to the Griffins.

Postgame: Sharks @ Red Wings – 2/19

Quick notes because it’s an afternoon game and I say everytime that I hate afternoon games ’cause I have things to do in the afternoon…

For those saying that getting to twenty-three consecutive home wins means that the asterisk so many people want to put on this streak should be wiped out, remember that if you say the wins needed to be in regulation, the streak ended at twelve. Personally, I think it’s better to just ignore the people arguing that this streak is invalid. As I mentioned last week, you can always find a reason to apply an asterisk when you compare records across eras.

The Sharks played the Wings tough today. To a certain extent, it was a lot like Friday’s game against Nashville in that the visitors dictated the style of play for much of the game. This was probably a bit more physical than Detroit would have liked but they stepped up to the challenge and won anyway.

Notes on some specific plays…

San Jose shouldn’t have been on the power play for their first goal. While fluky as hell, the goal itself was good. The situation that caused it never should have happened, though. Brad Winchester had the puck when Jonathan Ericsson engaged him, that’s not interference. Call it holding if you want, I’d argue that less, I just really don’t like the call.

I won’t nit-pick other calls, but you know I want to. Especially the goalie interference call on Bertuzzi.

I didn’t like the Justin AbdelkaderRyane Clowe fight in the third. Abdelkader put a clean hit on Clowe there and there was no reason to have to fight over it. The fight only served to give the Sharks energy, and they scored shortly after it. Replay didn’t show whether or not Abdelkader tried to decline the fight, I think he should have and if he tried but couldn’t get out of it, I think that’s a play that needs the instigator penalty.

Never like to see people get hurt but it was interesting in that stretch where so many Sharks went down after blocking shots. I’ve noticed for awhile that it seems like the Red Wings would lose players to injury from blocking shots but their opponents never did, and kind of wondered about that. Again, don’t want to see it but the tables turning seemed like something that, statistically, should have happened awhile ago.

The big question after this one will be which goalie stays in Detroit when Jimmy Howard comes back on Tuesday. That’ll be answered tomorrow. Joey MacDonald has earned the backup role but the Red Wings organization is loyal and Ty Conklin wasn’t signed to play in Grand Rapids. We’ll see what happens.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Oilers – 2/4

Considering I was disgusted with the Red Wings’ play by the midway point of the first period, it’s hard to complain about an outcome that saw them pick up a point.

That said, after their third-period rally to take the lead, it really feels like they should have done better.

As a whole, Detroit was awful in the first period, mediocre in the second, fantastic in the third, back to mediocre in the overtime period, and then down to awful again in the shootout. Even with that fantastic third, that’s not enough to get two points, plain and simple.

Other thoughts…

Ty Conklin didn’t get much help but didn’t do himself any favors. With Jimmy Howard on the shelf for what could be days or could be weeks, Conklin has to step his game up or he will be replaced at the trade deadline. The Red Wings might not be willing to part with the pieces needed to trade for a top-six forward but they might be able to pick up a backup goalie.

Or they could go with Joey MacDonald, who backed up Howard through last year’s playoffs and was solid tonight. He took an undeserved loss while stopping 22 of 23 shots. I will not be surprised to see him start in Phoenix on Monday.

If MacDonald’s teammates could have gotten a shootout goal, he might not have been saddled with that loss. The Red Wings looked pretty uninspired in the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk made a nice move and missed the net. Todd Bertuzzi blasted it past Devan Dubnyk. Everyone else? Meh.

But a point is a point, and this was an important one to battle back and get. We’ll see how things play out from here.

Howard Injured, MacDonald Re-called

Via former Red Wing Aaron Ward‘s Twitter feed:

Report out of Detroit that Joey McDonald has been called up.Jimmy Howard sustained a hand injury in the win over Vancouver last night. #TSN

As I said in the game thread, I skipped last night’s game so I have no idea what play it might have been on.

Update (10:05 AM): The Red Wings sent out a press release with some details:

The Detroit Red Wings today announced that goaltender Joey MacDonald has been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. MacDonald will serve as Ty Conklin‘s backup tomorrow night when the Red Wings take on the Edmonton Oilers at 10:00 p.m. ET (FOX Sports Detroit, CBC and AM 1270).Detroit’s starting goaltender, Jimmy Howard, suffered a broken finger on his right hand during the third period of last night’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Howard will miss the next two games of the Red Wings’ current four-game road trip and will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Detroit on Tuesday.

Hudler Scores Lone Goal of Shootout as Red Wings Down Stars, 3-2

Detroit forward Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout Tuesday night, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

The goal kept the Red Wings unbeaten in the tiebreaker this season and at least temporarily moved them into first place in the Western Conference.

Hudler faked twice on Dallas netminder Richard Bachman but couldn’t sell anything before resorting to the cutting to his left and pushing the puck out to the right, into the open side of the net. It was the same “Forsberg move” that Henrik Zetterberg successfully executed last week against Phoenix.

Pavel Datsyuk hit the post on Detroit’s first shot and Todd Bertuzzi fired into Bachman in the third round.

Wings’ goaltender Ty Conklin stopped Loui Eriksson, Michael Ryder and Trevor Daley in earning the win.

Detroit opened the game’s scoring at 6:41 of the first period. Jan Mursak beat Bachman to the puck behind the net and sent it to Justin Abdelkader, who only tipped the puck on his shot attempt from the side of the net. The puck slid out into the slot where Tomas Holmstrom fired a slapper back past Bachman for the early 1-0 lead.

Brenden Morrow tied things up with 9:01 left in the opening frame. With the Stars on a power play, Alex Goligoski fired a shot from above the slot. The puck deflected off of a jumping Morrow at the top of the crease and bounced past Conklin.

With 3:32 remaining, Eriksson made it 2-1 by backhanding the rebound of a Sheldon Souray chance past Conklin with a broken stick.

Hudler scored the last goal of regulation at 1:43 of the second, bouncing the puck off Goligoski’s skate and past Backman on a crossing attempt.

Bachman stopped 30 of the 32 Detroit shots he faced on the night. Conklin made 25 saves on 27 shots for his third win of the season.

Detroit went scoreless on four power play chances. The Stars scored on one of their two tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.


Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were healthy scratches for the Red Wings, with Mike Commodore and Mursak in the lineup in their respective places.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Islanders – 1/10

Pathetic effort by the Red Wings on Long Island tonight, in a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders.

As I mentioned midway through the game, the Isles were reminding me of the Blues in the way that they made the extra effort to win battles along the boards. Moreso than the Blues, they also used their speed to get behind the Wings’ defenders at the other end of the ice.

That said, it’s not like the Detroit defense made it particularly difficult. It’s been awhile since they looked so slow as a unit. How many of those goals against were odd-man rushes. Forget the goals, how many times did New York move the puck into the Detroit zone with little to no opposition?

Hell, we had one point – and Saler pointed this out on Twitter at the time – where Henrik Zetterberg not just didn’t get back on an Islanders rush, he went for a change. I yell at my tech company rec soccer team for that kind of ridiculousness, it’s absurd to see it from a professional hockey team.

I won’t point a finger at Ty Conklin on this one. He didn’t have a great night but he was absolutely hung out to dry all game.

I’m not writing any more about this one. Not even doing a formal recap. Another “they didn’t put in the effort and neither will I” night.

Datsyuk Scores in OT to Lift Red Wings Over Blackhawks

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 1:52 left in overtime on Sunday night, capping a three-goal rally that lifted the Detroit Red Wings past the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2.

Datsyuk whiffed on his first chance from the side of the net with Chicago netminder Corey Crawford sprawled out, then took his time on the second shot and lifted a shot from the acute angle into the net, deflecting off of defenseman Nick Leddy on the way in.

The Blackhawks had scored twice in the first 4:19 of the game to take the early lead but the Red Wings scored three consecutive goals to pull out the win.

Dave Bolland opened the game’s scoring at 3:35 of the first period. With the Blackhawks on a power play, former Red Wing Marian Hossa‘s shot was blocked in the right faceoff circle and Bolland picked up the puck in the slot, flinging it towards Detroit goalie Ty Conklin. Conklin got a piece of it but it slid under his pad and barely crossed the goal line.

Patrick Sharp made it 2-0 just 44 seconds later when he picked up the puck at the top of the left circle, skated all alone into the top of the slot, and blew a shot past Conklin.

Valtteri Filppula got the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal with 6:31 remaining in the opening period, just after the expiration of a five-on-three. Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass from the right faceoff dot through the legs of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Filppula on the far side of the crease for a quick wrister into the open side of the net.

At 7:53 of the third, the Blackhawks had a chance to go back up by two goals but Conklin stopped Jimmy Hayes on a penalty shot after Tomas Holmstrom covered the puck with his hand in the crease.

The Red Wings made that count with 4:45 left in regulation. On a flurry in front of the Chicago crease, Danny Cleary knocked home the rebound of a Zetterberg shot as Crawford was unable to cover the puck.

Crawford finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots. Conklin stopped 29 of the 31 chances he faced.

Chicago scored on one of their five power play chances and missed on their penalty shot while Detroit scored on one of their two chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will wrap up their four-game road trip on Tuesday when they visit the New York Islanders.


Detroit forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm returned from groin injuries. Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins and Chris Conner was a healthy scratch to make room for them in the lineup… Jakub Kindl was the healthy scratch on defense for the Wings.