Posts filed under “2003-2004”

GameDay: @ Buffalo (12-13-2-1), 8:00 EST

The Wings play their first and only game against the Buffalo Sabres tonight. The Sabres have had a passable season and should present more than enough of a challenge for the insanely decimated Red Wings. This is a chance for Wings fans to see their future and all goes well, it’s a bright one. There will be seven Grand Rapids Griffins players in the roster tonight.

Because Dominik did, after all, aggravate his groin injury during Monday’s game and because Manny Legace has a sprained knee, the Wings were forced to call up Curtis Joseph, who will start, and Joey MacDonald. The Wings will be without Steve Thomas, Chris Chelios, Ray Whitney, and Steve Yzerman besides all the other injuries the team has had for a while now. That adds up to ten regulars out of the lineup.

The Wings will be relying very much on Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull, both of whom have been on scoring tears recently, to provide the bulk of their offense. The Wings are very fortunate to have such an opponent as the Sabres for their first game with about half the team sidelined because if they were facing a team with some serious talent, they’d be destroyed. Hopefully, Joseph can find some kind of motivation within himself to play well tonight because I have a feeling the Wings will need his help in a big way.

Wings 3, Kings 2 (OT)

Brett Hull celebrates his 732nd career goal which put him in the #3 spot all time and won the game for the Wings in overtime last night agains the Kings

The Wings salvaged what could have been an embarrassing loss last night by beating the Kings 3-2 in overtime. The Wings led 2-0 at the start of the third before giving two goals in the last nine minutes of the game to a Kings team that slightly outplayed them the whole game. The Wings scored on their first two shots and did not score again until their last shot. There wasn’t a whole heck of a lot excitement between those either.

Dominik Hasek was in net last night and he looked better than he did against the Blues, though he was still rusty. I only saw the goals he let in on replay but from what I saw, they were fairly weak, especially the second one. Hopefully he did not re-injure his groin because he had to make some fairly acrobatic saves at time which I’m sure tested his healed injury a lot.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Wings get another major injury. During the first period last night, in yet another seemingly harmless collision, Chris Chelios tweaked his knee. He went down immediately after former UM star Mike Cammalleri barely hit him and had to be helped off the ice. He retured at the start of the second period but had to leave after one short shift. He had an MRI today and the Wings have announced that he will miss three to four weeks with a sprained knee. I guess it’s better than a torn ACL but it’s still terrible news. The Wings need Chelios even if he hasn’t been as strong this year and are now going to be even weaker defensively than they have been.

To cover for these injures, the Wings continued their butchering of the Griffins, bringing up RW Kevin Miller and D Niklas Kronwall while sending Nathan Robinson back down. That forced the Griffins to do a few signings and move-ups of their own. I feel sorry for Grand Rapids fans because the Wings keep taking away their players. Hopefully these injuries will end soon. You gotta wonder how much longer this bad luck can continue……

More bad news: Ray Whitney, making a comeback after missing 10 games, had to leave in the second period after he aggrevated his groin injury. He looked good for the little amount of ice time he had, though, and the Wings really need him to be back soon.

Brett Hull scored his 732nd goal last night off a perfect pass from Mathieu Schneider and won the game for the Wings in overtime. He is now in sole posession of third place all time in goals scored and perhaps even in striking range of #2. Obviously, he’d have to have at least two more good years after this one but with his style of play, that’s not impossible. His only obstacle is a lockout and that’s why I have a feeling he will be stuck at #3. Brett said “Just to be there behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe, I can’t put it into words. One guy is known as the greatest player ever and the other guy in known as Mr. Hockey.” The biggest mouth in hockey can’t describe the feeling. Pretty amazing, huh? Hull has got to go down as one of the greatest acquisitions the Detroit Red Wings organization has ever made and Hull as one of the best players ever. To think that I used to hate the guy. He’s been amazing ever since coming here. Thank you, Brett and congratulations!

Brendan Shanahan’s first period goal was his 544th career goal and tied him with Maurice “Rocket” Richard for 19th place all time.

The Captain did not play.

The Wings’ 35 points keps them two points ahead of the Blues for first place in the Central Division but St. Louis now has five games-in-hand on them. Colorado now leads the Western Conference with 36 points though Philly leads the league with 41.

The Wings are now 16-10-3-0.

Next up: @ Buffalo, tomorrow, 8 EST

Freep | News | ESPN | Box Score

Lines-
Shanahan-Mowers-Whitney
Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull
Maltby-Draper-Dandenault
Devereaux-Williams-Bootland
Shanahan-Williams-Bootland
Maltby-Draper-Devereaux

Lidstrom-Chelios
Fischer-Schneider
Woolley-Rivers
Lidstorm-Schneider
Lidstrom-Dandenault
Fischer-Dandenault

PP-
Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull
Shanahan-Draper-whitney
Shanahan-Datsyuk-Draper

Lidstrom-Schneider

PK-
Draper-Maltby
Shanahan-Whitney
Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Chelios
Lidstrom-Schneider
Fischer-Dandenault

OT-
Maltby-Draper
Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Dandenault
Woolley-Schneider

Net-
Dominik Hasek

Wings 2, Leafs 5

Brett Hull maneuvers the puck around Leafs goalie Ed Belfour in the process of scoring his 731st career goal during the first period of last night’s 5-2 loss to Toronto

The Wings had their five-game unbeaten streak ended last night when the Leafs beat them 5-2 in Toronto. The game was much closer than the score indicates and could have gone either way until the third period when the Wings fell apart and the Leafs jumped ahead. The Leafs extended their winning streak to eight games with the win.

Manny Legace made the start after all but he did not look as sharp as he has in his past four starts. Dominik Hasek was supposed to be backing up but was not ready to go when Lewis was looking to pull Legace. He did not have his equipment fully on and looked like he was there as a fan rather than a paid player of the Detroit Red Wings. It was pretty disturbing.

More awful injury news for the Wings: Steve Yzerman left the game during the second period with some kind of a groin injury. That was around the time the Wings began to fall apart and being without The Captain for the whole third period made things even worse. I don’t even want to think about how they’ll be playing for the next few games as Yzerman gets better if they cannot even keep “it” up during such a close game as last night’s was. The Captain is listed as day-to-day and now they have no right handed centerman and even less depth overall at that position. Wonderful. The Wings might as well bring up the whole Grand Rapids Griffins team what with all these injuries they’re getting. I really would like to know what goes on during Wings’ practices because groin injuries are usually direct results of poor stretching and light conditioning. They need to do whatever needs to be done to stop these injuries because there’s only so many more players to call up. It’s getting to be ridiculous.

There should be some injury relief soon, however. Dave Lewis expects Ray Whitney to be ready to go for tomorrow’s game against the Kings. He took part in the morning skate yesterday and scrimmaged with the scratches and coaches afterward. He has missed 10 straight games with a groin injury. Also, Ken Holland said to Ron MacLean of CBC before the game last night that Henrik Zetterberg will begin skating full-time tomorrow and should be back in the lineup within a week or two. That’s really great news.

The Schneider-Fischer pairing does not work, Mr. Lewis. You need to find someone else to pair those guys with because their screw ups last night led directly to the Leafs’ first two goals. The fact that Bryan Marchment was able to skate in unmolested, cut across the net and roof a backhander is shameful. Fischer and Schneider pretty much just stood around and watched it all happen. It was much the same with Tie Domi’s goal 11 minutes later. Those two don’t seem to have very much cohesion and I think that because of their different styles of play, they should not be paired together very often, if at all. I say, put Schneider with Lidstrom and Fischer with Chelios because that seems to work best.

Brett Hull scored his 731st goal last night which tied him with Marcel Dionne for third place all-time in goals scored. It wasn’t a typical Hull-like goal, though, with Hull puckhandling across the crease and sending the puck over a prone Ed Belfour. The signing of Brett Hull by the Wings was one of the smartest things they’ve ever done. He’s been awesome. Congratulations, Brett!

The Wings need to get back to playing full games. On Thursday, they might as well have only played one period, the third. Last night it was the reverse. They played passably in the first two periods and poorly in the third. I’m surprised they’ve gone back to their old habits because they won those four games in a row playing much more complete games, with the exception of the St. Louis game last Saturday.

I’ve noticed that the officiating has been much more lax in recent games. The refs are allowing much more to go on, both ways. There were many things that should have been called last night on both teams but were allowed to go on because of the nebular nature of the NHL rules. I knew they had stopped calling obstruction so tightly but it’s gotten to be ridiculous. The Wings are just as guilty of it as any other team. There have been very few power plays recently for the Wings power play to work with but there have not been fewer penalty committed if not called.

The Wings fell to third place in the conference last night when the Blues beat the Preds 4-1. The Wings, Blues and Canucks all have 33 points but the Wings have the most losses (10) of the three teams. Right now the Flyers are leading the league with 39 points and the Leafs are second with 37. The Wings have just one more point than the Thrashers, something that would have been embarrassing last year but is more acceptable now because of how well Atlanta has done so far. The Wings are 9-3-2 in their last 14 games and have outscored opponents 30-13 in their past six games with a record of 15-10-3-0.

Next up: vs. LA, tomorrow, 7:30 EST

News | ESPN | Box Score

Lines-
Shanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux
Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull
Maltby-Draper-Mowers
Robinson-Williams-Bootland
Robinson-Devereaux-Mowers
Shanahan-Draper-Mowers
Maltby-Williams-Devereaux
Robinson-Datsyuk-Bootland

Lidstrom-Chelios
Fischer-Schneider
Woolley-Dandenault
Fischer-Chelios
Lidstrom-Dandenault
Woolley-Schneider
Woolley-Chelios
Fischer-Dandenault

PP-
Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull
Shanahan-Yzerman-Draper
Shanahan-Draper-Mowers

Lidstrom-Schneider
Woolley-Chelios

Net-
Manny Legace