Posts tagged “Sharks”

Wings 2, Sharks 3

I missed the first period and watched the second and third without taking notes. So just a couple thoughts before deferring to JJ and George.

Helm: Awkward collision at center possibly cost the Wings another forward injury. Gustav Nyquist set the Griffins’ rookie scoring record last night, but he may not have a chance to extend it. Helm will have an MRI done tomorrow.

Filppula: What a shot, eh? I like the new Valtteri Filppula.

Booo: I’m not sure there is a dumber-sounding in-arena set of fans in hockey. No other group boos when things simply don’t go the Sharks’ way. The Wings turn back a Sharks rush? Boo. The Wings touch up an icing? Boo. It’s stupid.

1 of 6: That’s how many points out of the possible that the Wings got on this trip. Unacceptable, injuries or not. They can now not make .500 on the road for the season. Thankfully, they just have three road games left. They’re going to need the benefit of the Joe to fight off the Predators’ advances thanks to their blowing it on the road the past four games. If I sound annoyed, it’s because I am. Anyway.

The Race: The Blues were the first team to hit 100 points with their win over the Lightning yesterday, putting them 8 points up with 9 games (for them, to the Wings’ 10) remaining. The Predators lost to the Kings and are now two points back.

As a side note, the Sharks’ win put them in 8th place, dropping the idle Coyotes out.

Other takes:JJ’s got his over at Winging It In Motown and George’s quick take is here at The Malik Report.

Game Day Notes: @ San Jose

Update (3:01 PM): Franzen’s confirmed out. Pavel skated with Cleary and Bertuzzi. – Matt

Family in town, so real quick:

… This is the fourth and final game beween the Wings and the Sharks. The series stands at 2-1-0 in San Jose’s favor. They won the first two, but the Wings took the last meeting 3-2 last month.

… The Sharks are 2-3-3 in March, but won their last: 2-1 against Nashville in a shootout.

… They’re 35-25-10 and one point out of the playoffs at 80. They’re chasing Colorado and have three games on the Avs.

… The Sharks are down just one guy, Tommy Wingels.

… Antti Niemi’s the presumptive starter.

… The Wings will look to improve their 2-5-0 record in March.

… They’ve lost their last three, starting with a 3-2 decision to the Predators and continuing with losses to LA and Anaheim.

… This stretch and their 3-7-1 record since February 19th have put them 8 points back of the ridiculously consistent Blues in the Central and in fourth place in the Conference. They’re virtually to the point now where they’re fighting for the last home ice spot with Nashville. The Preds are one point back.

… The Wings will benefit from the return of Pavel Datsyuk, who’s missed 11 games. He last played against San Jose.

… They’ll be missing Johan Franzen, however, who went down with back spasms yesterday.

… Nick Lidstrom’s not with the team in San Jose, having returned to Detroit to take time away from the ice to give his ankle more rest.

… They’re also without the option of Joey MacDonald as backup, as he has back spasms too. Jordan Pearce will back Jimmy Howard up.

… The Wings have had an awful trip so far. They need to do what they can to redeem it by putting in a better effort tonight. The Sharks are desperate for points and will be formidable, but the Wings have reason to match that desperation, with the Predators breathing down their neck. In theory, it should be a closely-matched, hard-fought game.

Wings 3, Sharks 2

23: The Wings made it to 23 consecutive home wins and they did it against a team that has consistently given them fits over the past few years. The Sharks’ staying power in this game was both a sign of their innate ability and their residency in the Wings’ heads, but the Wings’ finishing power at the end of the day is a promising sign of a possible first step toward exorcising those San Jose demons. This group may lack certain fit-and-finish elements that previous Red Wings teams have had, but they make up for it with a big dose of clutch.

The great ride continues Thursday at home against the Canucks. In the meantime, they get to test out their moderate road play improvement on a waffling Chicago team tomorrow. Should be fun.

MacDonald: Looked seriously sharp in this one. His pad save ability was flat out stellar and overall, he looked to be on top of his game when the Wings weren’t. He was victimized by a weird bounce for the Sharks’ first and by his own defense leaving Marleau alone on their second.

He definitely earned #2 status in this organization, which is why he’ll be remaining in Detroit while Ty Conklin looks to resurrect his career in Grand Rapids.

Jimmy will be back tomorrow night, unless they opt to give him another couple days. Here’s hoping whenever he makes it back, he can pick up roughly where he left off.

Zetterberg: Shutting up doubters since, uh, February 4th.

Power Play: Fell a bit flat at 0-for-3, but might have gotten a couple had the Sharks penalty tally been a more accurate 6 or so.

Ken Daniels: It was a pleasant surprise to hear Kenny’s voice for this game. I’m glad NBC got him, though I guess I have to be consistent and say it’s a little goofy that he was calling a Red Wings game in a national environment. However, he didn’t come across as overtly biased, unlike Eddie O calling a Chicago game. Obviously, I have blinders there, but really: Ken Daniels is a pro and the production quality of the NBC broadcast was notably better.

Miller: He’s been a beast lately, eh? It seems like half of the team’s pressure shifts for the past month+ involve that third line and virtually all of those shifts involve Miller right at the center. Miller’s never been more valuable to this team, which is another way of saying his trade value’s never been higher. But I’d hate to see that. Maybe he’s interchangeable, maybe he’s not. Either way, I’m a fan of the guy. Keep it up, Drew.

Helm: I see now what Helm needs to do in order to finish: rip a shot from a good distance. Lesson learned: all future breakaways need to end in a sudden long, hard shot rather than a vain attempt at a move close-in.

Abdelkader: Hit Ryane Clowe cleanly and got challenged to a fight, so he of course took up the challenge. Lame.

Bertuzzi: In a definite Tawd rut. He just was not effective in this game. And hasn’t been for a few games. Downturns are natural, but this one’s something to keep an eye on for how long.

Franzen: Also, more of a down game for him. It’s a good thing he wears a 90-something sweater, because he’s the closest thing we have to a superstar taking nights off since Fedorov was in town.

The Race: The Blues lost to Chicago, so the Wings extended their lead to five points. St. Louis still has a game in hand, but this gives the Wings a little breathing room.

Make It 23

The game’s in less than an hour, so I’m not going to try to fit in a notes post. The Sharks hardly need an introduction, anyway.

The Wings have an opportunity here to start down the road toward balancing the ledger between them and San Jose. The Sharks seem to have something over them and it’s meant playoff losses and stunted expectations. Today, maybe the Wings have something over the Sharks: they’re looking for their 23 consecutive home win and have looked unbeatable at the Joe this season in general. They’re confident enough now to not even rush back their #1 goalie for a game against a team that always makes life miserable for them.

Maybe there’s a change coming. Maybe they make it 23 and we can start talking about the day the Wings got over the Sharks.

Wings 2, Sharks 4

Update (1:17 PM): Looks like it’s Jimmy tonight rather than Conklin. Interesting. – Matt

Kernel of Concern: Okay, so it’s only 8 games in. But a three-game losing streak’s still cause for a bit of concern. Losing to the Capitals sucked, but bad losses happen in isolation all the time. Losing to the Jackets was a bad sign, but given the Jackets’ motivation for that game, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Losing to the Sharks, though, bugs me. The Wings should have been at their consistent best, playing through the full game at top level. Maybe the Sharks are good enough that it still would have resulted in a loss. Maybe not. But at least it would have been a sign that the guys are where they should be, even this early in the season.

Instead, we got a team that was fairly owned early. To their credit, they killed off a penalty and took command of much of the rest of the first period. But it didn’t last. The second period was mostly Sharks, and though the Wings were more assertive in the third, they didn’t rise to the level of their first period peak. The consistency issues that have been characteristic of the Wings the past couple years are still there, even with new voices on the bench. Frustrating.

Jimmy: Came to play. He looked very sharp, though like JJ said, it would have been nice if he could have been just a little sharper. Not to put the blame on him for anything in particular, of course. He did a great job for a guy who can’t have had a ton of sleep this week.

White: I’ve been really impressed with White so far, but he had a couple rough plays that led directly to goals. He got beat by Marleau for the Sharks’ second and then didn’t register that he was the last man back, which led to Thorton having half the rink to himself and Jimmy for the Sharks’ third. He’ll bounce back.

Ericsson: Hasn’t been as noticeably terrible as usual, but his contact with Thornton on the Clowe goal wasn’t cool. That’s two slew foots in two games by Wings. I hope it’s not becoming a pattern.

Waived Off Goal: One of the more disappointing elements of this game was the waived off goal and the Wings’ apparent reaction to it. First, the call was total BS. Holmstrom’s falling near Niemi did nothing to interfere with Niemi’s ability to stop the puck. Holmstrom putting puck out of Niemi’s reach did that. If the ref wants to blow away a goal, he should have the guts to hand out a penalty. I truly despise that rule. The NHL can’t be in the business of wiping away goals on a play like that for less than a penalty.

The Wings’ usual reaction to these things is to be a bit deflated. Maybe that’s natural. But it’s annoying. They reacted even more negatively to the Clowe goal in the second, but the Holmstrom waive-off got them started in the first.

Eurotwins+Newfie: The first line was very good throughout the game, especially in the first. More of that please.

Fil-Franzen-Hudler: These guys did next to nothing. I didn’t notice Franzen at all until the third period. They had a couple shifts later in the game that were nice, but it was too little, too late.

Bert-Helm-Eaves: Mostly quiet.

Miller-Abdelkader-Holmstrom: Maybe the second best line in terms of offensive presence. Created a number of opportunities for themselves.

Tonight: The Wings face off against the 3-3-3 Wild in Minnesota. Should be a great opportunity to pull out of this skid, even with Conklin (presumably) starting.

No Preview Today

Work crazy has flared up again, so I have no time for anything other than this dashed off post. Sorry. Believe me, this is not how I want it.

I hope to be able to catch the game, so I should have thoughts on it tomorrow.