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It wasn’t long ago that the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks were two of the best teams in the Western Conference — if not the league. Just last year, in fact, the Sharks were the No. 2 seed in the West and the Wings were No. 3. The Sharks eliminated the Wings in the Western Conference semifinals in seven games before losing to the Vancouver Canucks in the conference final. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Canucks in another post.) This year, though, the Wings were the No. 5 seed and the Sharks had to wait until the last couple days of the season to clinch a playoff spot — as the No. 7 seed.
Anybody going to the game? I will be taking the train into STL from my home in KC. I have done this the last few years and had a great time. The Blues fans are pretty good. I always wear my Gordie Howe jersey and when they see it has the number 9 on the back, they always say something nice about him.
Here’s an article from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star discussing Red Wings interest in Bogosian and the development of Kindl and Smith:
Brian Rafalski’s retirement gives Red Wings cap flexibility By Dave Waddell, Postmedia News May 24, 2011 5:02 PM
Ken Holland’s summer is suddenly a whole lot busier.
The Detroit Red Wings announced Tuesday that they’ll hold a news conference Wednesday morning at Joe Louis Arena where it’s expected that defenceman Brian Rafalski will announce his retirement. Rafalski’s departure leaves the Wings with a hole on the team’s blue-line.
Combined with the unrestricted free-agent status of Nick Lidstrom, Jonathan Ericsson and Ruslan Salei, Detroit only has two of their top six defencemen from last season committed to return next season. While Lidstrom will be in Detroit or retired, the uncertainly will remain until he declares his intentions for next season.
“I look at the unrestricted free agent market as two parts,” Holland, the team’s general manager, said of his free agent strategy. “The first week of July is the premier guys at the prime dollars. Then there’s the real nice group of players that sit out there until early August that aren’t getting the money they hoped for, but their good additions to a team.
Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk answers to SovSport readers’ questions
By: Roman Piontkovsky Updated March 23, 2011 05:38 AM EST 1442 views
Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk is known not only for his smart and skilled game, but also for his incredible sense of humor. Recently the Russian forward met SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov to answer the readers’ questions.
Sovetsky Sport: Would you like to live in the USA after your career will be over?
Pavel Datsyuk: I don’t know, haven’t decided yet.
SS: Can you call yourself a patriot?
PD: Yes, for 100%. Certainly I will come over to motherland, will live in Russia. But it’s up to what iI will do after my playing career. I hope this moment won’t arrive soon. Man proposes, but God disposes…
On Friday night during the Wings/Flames game, Brad Stuart sustained a broken jaw that will require surgery. He will be out indefinitely. The injury resulted from a blindsided, vicious hit to the head with a deliberate intent to injure by Tom Kostopoulos. Unbelievably, Kostopoulos only received a two minute minor for roughing. Stuart left the game hunched over and bleeding. How did four on ice officials miss the severity of this deliberate intent to injure?
Well, now it’s up to Colin Campbell. If we want to get blindsided hits to the head out of the game, here is your clear textbook opportunity to do so. This action deserves a ten game suspension. Maybe that will wake up the players to knock it it off. Someday, I hope that the discipline becomes that you are out as long as the injured player is out. That will hit them hard on games lost and in the pocketbook.
Paul recently posted about a speculative trade of Versteeg for Filppula. Although interesting, I think Filppula offers far more to the organization over time. Versteeg could boost the Red Wings’ offense and offer some scrappy, physical play on the wing, but I think Versteeg’s potential is at best a second-line winger on a poor offensive team.
Filppula, on the other hand, is a center that is being given a growing role as the team’s number two centerman. He is slowly filling into that role, being given a regular opportunity on the power play and playing on the second line. He began last season on the third line with Leino and Jason Williams, an unproven NHL rookie and a gamble forced on Holland by Hudler’s departure. When he returned from his hand injury, he was soon given an opportunity to play on the first and second line wing and now started the season as our second line center, alongside proven NHL veterans Franzen and Bertuzzi. Babcock’s belief in Filppula is reflected not only in the line combinations but his post-game comments. Everyone knows Filppula is always being encourage to shoot the puck more often, and we’ve heard that he is like a mini-Datsyuk. To be compared to one of the star forwards is no small compliment.
Chris Osgood won his 400th game tonight with a 4-3 overtime win versus the Colorado Avalanche in Colorado. Osgood was the #1 star of the game turning away 46 of 49 Avalanche shots. Osgood was stellar during the second period.
Tonight, Osgood became only the 10th goalie to ever win 400 games.
Ozzie has won three Stanley Cups, of which in two of them (1998 and 2008), he was the starting goalie.
Of the other nine to win 400 games, seven are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Only two, Curtis Joseph and Marty Broudure (still active) are not in the HHOF.
Is hockey’s Rodney Dangerfield (I get no respect! ) Hall worthy? Is 400 wins equal to 500 or 600 goals? Should three cups and 400 wins make him automatic entry to the HHOF?
On Friday night, an original six match-up occurred between the Habs and Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Hockeytown.
This battled featured a battle of two of the best young goalies in the game, Cary Price and Jimmy Howard.
The Red Wings won the game 4-2. The Canadians were down 3-1 after two periods, yet put on a strong push in the third period and outshot the Wings 20-3 and cut the lead to 3-2 late in the third. An empty net goal by Patrick Eaves sealed the win for the Wings 4-2.
Jimmy Howard was the first star of the game and stood on his head, especially in the third period.
The Canadians played shorthanded most of the first period. They were leading 1-0 and nearly fought off a 5-3PK until Nick Lidstrom scored with a little more than a second left in the first period.
Nick Kronwall and Paval Datsyuk scored for the Wings in the second period. Datsyuk’s goal was another highlight reel goal as he broke in on Cary Price and put a backhand shot past Cary Price on the short side.
The Wings literally held on in the third period as the Canadian dominated the play. Jimmy Howard stole this game for the Wings.
This paragraph from Scott Burnside in Paul’s recent post made me sick to my pants:
With the Wings hard against the salary cap, it’s going to present a dilemma for GM Ken Holland moving forward. That’s to say nothing of the fact that Howard can become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Stay tuned.
I admit to having been completely clueless about Jimmy Howard’s UFA status after this season. I probably knew about it at one point, but it has long since been pushed down deep into my reservoir of repressed knowledge, personal failures, and shameful acts. Until I make contact with my spirit animal and recover some memories with the help of a guru or whisperer of some sort, I’m not ready to even entertain the possibilities.
So I pose the question to you all:
Let’s say Jimmy Howard wins 40 games this year, puts up a roughly 2.3 GAA and .920 SV% and leads the Wings to the Cup Final…
What kind of contract do you give him?
The State of Michigan and Ohio are at war this weekend!
This weekend features a home and home battle for the Central Division lead in the Western Conference between the Red Wings and Blue Jackets and a classic Big Ten football match-up between the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University. Round one goes to the State of Michigan and Hockeytown, as the Red Wings prevailed Friday night 2-1.
The Blue Jackets introduced their new classy looking third jersey before a capacity crowd at Nationwide Area. The game featured great goal tending from Steve Mason and Jimmy Howard. The game was very up tempo and entertaining. Both teams had great scoring opportunities, but both net minders were up to the task. The Blue Jackets were awarded a penalty shot by Boll after being hooked from behind on a breakaway. Jimmy Howard stood tall and blocked Boll penalty shot.
The game ultimately was decided on special teams. The Wings penalty kill fought off five Columbus power plays, while the Red Wings scored on a power play goal by Fiippula, that became the game winner. The first Red Wings first goal was scored by Franzen and Vermette scored the lone Columbus goal.
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