No Victory to Celebrate the Trade Deadline

The Red Wings made a decisive move to increase their defensive depth today at the trade deadline by acquiring Jiri Slegr from Atlanta in exchange for Yuri Butsayev and a third round draft pick. That being done, the Red Wings just couldn’t seem to get worked up for this game, even though by the numbers, it should have been a simple win. Numbers don’t always tell the whole truth, however, and the Mighty Ducks of Anahiem squeaked by Detroit, 2-1.

The first two periods went by at a quick pace, with few stoppages in play. Neither team was able to score, in spite of three power play chances for each team. The Red Wings outshot the Ducks twenty to eighteen through the first forty minutes of play, and four of the Wings’ shots belonged to Brendan Shanahan, still looking for his 500th career goal. His teammates kept trying to set him up with scoring opportunities, but it was no good.

Goaltenders Dominik Hasek and Steve Shields were both sharp, keeping all pucks out of their respective nets, until only four seconds remained in the second period. Paul Kariya got set up on a breakaway pass by German Titov, and flew down the left wing side. Kariya flung a hard wrist shot at the net, and it went right past Hasek, who had come forward to cut down the shot’s angle.

The Red Wings came on hard in the third period, and finally were rewarded during a high-sticking penalty to Pavel Trnka. Nick Lidstrom passed the puck along the blue line to Brett Hull, who let go a hard one-timer. Shields, who was being screened by Shanahan, never had a chance.

Kariya put the Ducks ahead for the win, just as everyone was settling in for overtime. Steve Rucchin dumped the puck into the Detroit zone at a cross angle, rather than straight along the boards, and Jeff Friesen went behind the net to get it. He centered a pass to Kariya, who wristed it high over Hasek’s right side.

The Wings pulled Hasek from the net for the final minute of play, but the flurry of shots from six skaters were not enough to put the puck past Shields.

Shots on net wound up twenty-eight to twenty-four in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be Thursday night at Columbus.

Steve Yzerman will be out for at least ten and as many as fourteen more days, resting his sore knee thoroughly before attempting to return to the ice. The team definitely expects to have him back before the playoffs start”¦”¦ According to, the Red Wings new defenseman Jiri Slegr scored his first ever NHL goal against Patrick Roy. And that, in this reporter’s view, can only be a good sign.

Last Minute Deal Brings Slegr to Hockeytown

The Detroit Red Wings waited until nine minutes before the NHL’s trade deadline to make a move.

After seeing highly-coveted Darius Kasparaitis head to the Colorado Avalanche and Lyle Odelein get dealt to the division-rival Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit dealt Yuri Butsayev and their third-round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft to the Atlanta Thrashers for gritty defenseman Jiri Slegr.

Slegr, twenty-nine, has three goals and five assists in thirty-eight games with the Thrashers. He brings with him a minus twenty-one rating and fifty-one penalty minutes. He had previously played for Vancouver, Edmonton and Pittsburgh before being dealt to Atlanta last season.

Butsayev, twenty-two and the Red Wings’ first choice, forty-ninth overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, has six goals and four assists across three seasons in the NHL with Detroit.

The trade is one of thirteen reported on Tuesday, the day of the NHL’s trade deadline.

Coyotes Not Wily Enough

The Phoenix Coyotes must have hoped to benefit from the World Series-winning ways of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Red Wings showed them that maybe the desert is better suited for baseball than hockey, as the Wings won, 3-1.

Scotty Bowman made a few changes in the lineup, as is to be expected. With Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom both injured, Mathieu Dandenault was moved back to defense, and forward Yuri Butsayev was recalled from Cincinnati to help out.

The first period went scoreless, even though Detroit had a four-minute power play opportunity just sixteen seconds into the game. Phoenix’s Brad May got called for cutting Brent Gilchrist‘s chin with a high stick. The Coyotes ran their penalty kill in a tight box formation in front of their net, keeping the Wings to the outside and allowing few shots on goalie Sean Burke.

Detroit had another power play chance late in the first, but this one would be a greater scoring chance for the Coyotes than the Red Wings, when Daymond Langkow was able to get off a breakaway shot on net. Fortunately, Dominek Hasek was alert and able to stop the puck.

Freddy Olausson opened the scoring with only 6:41 left in the second period. The Wings were shorthanded, with Chris Chelios in the box for tripping, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck and headed up the ice on the left wing side, Olausson trailing on the right. When Shanahan passed across to Olausson, Burke seemed to expect the puck to be passed back again, and Olausson was able to flip it into the net.

With just over 3:10 left in the second, May was given another double minor for high sticking, again on Gilchrist. The Wings were unable to score before the buzzer, but carried fifty seconds of power play over into the third.

Just five seconds after the power play had ended, before May was able to catch up to the play, Sergei Fedorov picked up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and fired hard into the net from the right point, to bring Detroit ahead by two.

Kirk Maltby scored his first goal of the season less than a minute later. Chelios cleared the puck off the glass, Maltby picked it up, and fired past Burke from the right side.

The Coyotes answered exactly one minute later. Krys Kolanos stole the puck when Jiri Fischer mishandled it, and fired against Hasek, who blocked. May was able to pick up the rebound and slide it underneath Detroit’s goalie for his second goal of the season.

Phoenix pulled Burke for the extra skater with three minutes left, then sent him back in when the faceoff came outside the Detroit zone. They pulled him out again with 1:49 left to play. Just as the buzzer sounded, it looked as if Brett Hull had scored a goal into the empty net, but the goal was ruled down after review.

Hasek made sixteen saves on seventeen shots, while Burke made twenty-eight saves on thirty-one shots. Detroit currently leads the league in games, with a 13-3-0-0 record, and in shorthanded goals, with five. They continue their West Coast road trip in Anaheim Friday night.

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