Archive for October, 2007

Wings 2, Oilers 1

Okay, I don’t have a recap of the game today. I didn’t take notes, and we were driving back from Holland during the third period. Basically, I remember it being very tightly-contested and that Henrik Zetterberg’s goal was sweet. For a recap, check out Dave’s at Gorilla Crouch. If you’re looking for entertainment, read the comments over at Abel to Yzerman’s liveblog post.

I do have some observations about things off the ice, though:

First: what is it with FSN’s amazement about this new fangled thing, the Internet? They’re enough out of touch with technology that they’re shocked to get so many emails from viewers during the game. John Keating joked that the Internet is “all the rage these days.” Um, yeah. That’s right. It is. As refreshing as it is to see FSN and the Wings discovering this “new” medium, it’d be nice if they’d drop the golly-gee-guffaw thing.

Second: Anyone else get a kick out of Niklas Kronwall’s Oxford don look? Seriously, he had a sweatervest on. Stylish.

Third: speaking of style, did anyone need to know that Mikael Samuelsson wears tight clothes? Draper dropped that one on us while discussing Henrik Zetterberg’s new clothing line. Drapes didn’t take the bait when Keating asked him about which Red Wing would do best on the runway. Too bad.

I wish I’d seen Filppula’s game winner live. Oh well. Hopefully he’s getting going now and we’ll see more of that. Nice timing on it, too.

GameDay: @ Edmonton (5-7-0, 10 Pts) 9:30 ET

Tonight is the second of four games between these two teams this season. The Wings won the first meeting, 4-2 on October 8 in Detroit. The remaining games are December 13 and February 26th.

Since the 8th, the Oilers have gone 3-6-0, with their wins coming over Phoenix, Minnesota, and Anaheim. They beat the Coyotes to end a four-game skid, of which the loss to the Wings was the first. After that, they dropped two more before beating the Wild. Then, they traveled to LA and lost to the Kings before heading over to Anaheim the next night, where they beat the Ducks in their most recent game. Tonight is the first of a two-game homestand for the Oilers, who will face the Nashville Predators Friday before heading back on the road.

Shawn Horcoff leads the Oilers in goals, assists, and points with 4, 7, and 11 respectively. Ales Hemsky is just behind him with 9 points.

The Oilers will be without Sheldon Souray (shoulder) tonight.

Mathieu Garon started against the Ducks, but it was the second night of a back-to-back, so it’s no surprise that the backup would get the nod. Tonight, though, Dwayne Roloson should be in net for Edmonton.

The Wings have posted a 7-2-0 record since the 8th, with the losses coming to Chicago and Anaheim. They’ve won their last five since dropping a penalty-filled game to the Ducks on the 15th. Their most recent win came in Vancouver Sunday night, a hard-fought 3-2 decision. Tonight’s game is the second of a three-game road trip to Western Canada. They’ll be in Calgary Thursday night.

Henrik Zetterberg, who is starting to get the recognition he deserves, leads the Wings in goals, assists, and points with 9, 12, and 21. Tomas Holmstrom is second in points with 14 and Pavel Datsyuk is right behind him with 13.

Dallas Drake (cheekbone) and Johan Franzen (knee) are slated to make their returns to the lineup tonight after missing 4 and 10 games respectively. They practiced on a line together with Tomas Kopecky yesterday. Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey get the shaft and will sit out.

Dominik Hasek was placed on the IR to make room for Franzen and keep the Wings at the 23-man limit. Obviously, he won’t play until Thursday at the earliest. Chris Osgood should get the start again tonight.

The Wings need to play better tonight than they did on Sunday, where they let the Canucks control play a little too often. The Oilers aren’t having the best season, but they remain a talented team and, as their win over the Wild demonstrates, can surprise another team. Hopefully the Wings will play their game and not become complacent.

10/29 Injury Update

I was wrong in my assessment yesterday: both Ansar Khan and Helene St. James report that Johan Franzen and Dallas Drake will return to the lineup tomorrow night in Edmonton. Their return will come at the expense of Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey, who Babcock told Khan would be scratched. Sucks for those two, but their positions on the team are replacements, so I guess it isn’t really that big a surprise that they’d get pushed out once everyone’s healthy. Apparently, Franzen will center the fourth line with Drake and Tomas Kopecky on the wings.

Neither Niklas Kronwall (groin) nor Dominik Hasek (hip) practiced so they won’t be back tomorrow night.  So, Chris Osgood should get another start, and Derek Meech will get another game under his belt.

Wings 3, Canucks 2

Briefly:

… It was a hard-fought game for both teams. Each side had its moments of dominance and down to the final seconds it wasn’t clear which team would win. I recall the Canucks controlling play more often, so this game had the feeling of a bit of a steal. The Wings played well, though, and hopefully will be able to carry this strong start through the rest of this road trip.

… Chris Osgood was strong and continued his regulation winning streak, which puts him at 12-0-5 since his last loss in 60 minutes. His counterpart, Roberto Luongo, had a strong game as well and did a good job of keeping the Wings from pulling away.

… Jiri Hudler’s game winner was a great individual effort and definitely belongs on a highlight reel of the team’s best goals of the season.

… Tomas Holmstrom’s goal felt pretty good, coming as it did 12 seconds after the Canucks scored. Henrik Zetterberg got a secondary assist on the play, so the streak is still alive. The top line was skating circles around the Canucks all night and it’s only because they got too cute at times, and because of Luongo’s strong play, that they did not get another goal or two.

… Nick Lidstrom had one of his best games of the season, I thought. His stick was everywhere, ending rush after rush with a perfect poke-check. He was a wall.

… Derek Meech looked strong in his debut. He was a little more adventurous offensively than I prefer to see in a young defenseman, but he didn’t get burned, so it turned out alright. He made more than a few veteran plays and generally looked like he belonged out there.

… With the net empty in the final seconds of the game, Chris Osgood teed up the puck, maybe in an effort to go for a goal. It was a momentary lapse in judgment and one he immediately regretted when the puck went off a Canuck forward and created a good scoring chance. Fortunately for Ozzie, he was able to keep the puck out of the net long enough to get a whistle from the ref, though the Canucks knocked it in at about the same time. It was immediately waived off, however, because the ref had thought about blowing the play dead before the puck went in. Even if he hadn’t blown the whistle, the goal wouldn’t have counted because the Canucks pushed Osgood into the net.

… I was a little surprised at the silence of the Vancouver crowd. The place was packed, but it seemed dead. That may have been the feed, though. Things did get loud on a shift in the third period when the Canucks hit just about every Red Wing on the ice. The crowd also got vocal when the goal was waived off.

… Be sure to check out the liveblog over at Abel to Yzerman, George Malik’s roundup at Snapshots, Dave’s recap at Gorilla Crouch, and the highlight reel.

GameDay: @ Vancouver (5-6-0, 10 Pts) 10:46 ET

Update (4:50 PM): Ansar Khan reports that Niklas Kronwall will sit out with a groin injury. He’ll be replaced by Derek Meech, who will make his season debut paired with Chris Chelios. Brett Lebda will move up to the second pairing to play with Andreas Lilja.

Khan also says that Dallas Drake, though cleared to play, will not dress tonight because Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey are now ahead of him on the depth chart. I don’t imagine Dallas is too thrilled about that, but it’s good to see Ellis and Downey continue to be rewarded for their hard work.

Lastly, Khan provides an update on Johan Franzen, who asserted he’ll be ready to play Tuesday in Edmonton. If so, the Wings will be one man over the roster limit and would have to make room somehow. Khan points out that Dominik Hasek could be put on the IR, but that’s a little thin given the supposedly minor nature of his injury. Because of the roster problem, I suspect Franzen won’t be back until Hasek’s ready to go, at which point the the team can make room by sending Jimmy Howard back to Grand Rapids, as his services would no longer be needed. If Dom’s injury really is minor, Thursday doesn’t seem out of the question for a return date. - Matt

Tonight is the second of four games between these two teams this season. The Wings won the first meeting, 3-2 this past Wednesday at home. They’ll wrap up the season series in January and February. The game will start ten minutes later than usual, hence the unusual start time in the post title. (via Snapshots)

After losing to the Wings on Wednesday, the Canucks flew to Washington, where they beat the Caps 3-2 Friday night. Tyler Pyatt scored two of their goals, while Daniel Sedin scored the first. Roberto Luongo made 26 saves, extending his personal win streak against the Caps to 10 games and holding off a rally led by Alexander Ovechkin in the final minutes. The win put them at 2-2 over their last four.

Luongo should be in net again for the Canucks.

The Wings won their only game between Wednesday and today as well, rolling the Sharks 5-1 on Friday night. This game is the first of a three-stop road trip that will take them to Edmonton and Calgary Tuesday and Thursday.

Dallas Drake is listed as probable for tonight, so it looks as though he’ll be returning after sitting out two games. My guess is he’ll replace Aaron Downey in the lineup.

Dominik Hasek (hip) is still out, so expect to see Chris Osgood in net again, with Jimmy Howard backing him up.

The Canucks will be looking for some revenge for their loss last week and should be energized playing in front of their home crowd. The Wings need to pick up where they left off Friday night and put on another strong performance. It should be a good game.

Wings 5, Sharks 1

Update (12:00 PM): Apparently, they’re giving Henrik Zetterberg the Wings’ third goal after initially crediting it to Tomas Holmstrom. That puts Hank at 9 goals and 20 points for the season. - Matt

I only caught the tail end of the game, so I’m just going to provide a few links:

Grigorenko returning to Russia

Update (27. Oct, 11:15 AM): Bruce MacLeod has more here and IwoCPO has a good roundup at Abel to Yzerman (and be sure to check out the comments). -  Matt 

Ansar Khan reports that Igor Grigorenko is headed back to Russia. The team will retain his rights if he wants to try again next year, though they’ll need to sign him to another contract this summer if they hope to give him another chance. It goes without saying that he’ll have to come better prepared next time around, if there is one. Good luck in Russia, Igor.