Sunday, November 16, 2003

Wings 1, Wild 1

Nick Lidstrom and Pascal Dupuis chase the puck along the boards during last night's game The Wings almost completed a comeback of their own last night but fell short of the win in the end and had to settle for the 1-1 tie with the Wild. The game was mainly a defensive and goaltending match between the two clubs, with not very much offensive excitement, at least until overtime, when things finally heated up and both teams came very close to winning the game. Dominik once again kept the Wings in the game when they were lacking defensively. I've been fairly impressed with his play so far this season. Even though it has not been to the same level as it was two years ago, he has played well enough to keep the Wings in games that maybe they should not have been in. I don't necessarily think he has done a better job than CuJo did up to this point of last year's season but I don't think he's done worse. The difference between the two goalies will be more apparent during the playoffs, when it matters most. Once again Steve Yzerman showed why he is the best leader in hockey and one of the sport's best players. His team-leading 9th goal got the Wings their point and kept them from being shut out. It isn't to the rest of the Wings players' credit that a man practically playing on one leg is leading the team in scoring but it certainly is to Yzerman's. He has set a great example thus far and hopefully, the rest of the team will soon follow and play like we know they can. One more thing about Yzerman, check out this PDF file of the giant mural of The Captain in downtown Detroit. It's pretty cool. Steve Thomas looked good in his 3rd game with the Wings, logging 13 minutes of ice time, making a few big hits on some Wild players and finishing a plus-1 on the night with 2 PIMs. He moved up a line or two and played with Steve Yzerman and Shanahan in the third, creating chances and having at least a small role in The Captain's goal. Jacque Lemaire is the best coach in the NHL. Even though I absolutely hate the system he preaches (the trap), I have to admit that what Lemaire has done with the Wild is pretty amazing. Brian Burke's comment about the Wild made during last year's playoffs is completely true: "This is not a hockey team, it's a cult. They've got a total buy-in on their system........." The Wild should be a team of nobodies going nowhere but instead, they're a team of nobodies going wherever they want to go. It's impressive though it's too bad they have to use the trap to do it. The Wings got five of six possible points on that three-game road trip so I'd say it was pretty successful. The Wings return home for a game on Wednesday with the Blue Jackets and will look to extend their four game unbeaten (instead of winning) streak to five games. They are now 9-7-2-0 and have won four of their last six games. They are improving slowly but surely. Next up: vs. Columbus, Wednesday, 7:30 News | ESPN | Box Score Lines- Maltby-Draper-Holmstrom Thomas-Williams-Bootland Whitney-Draper-Holmstrom Shanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman-Thomas Devereaux-Williams-Bootland Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Woolley-Dandenault Fischer-Schneider Schneider-Chelios 4 on 4- Datsyuk-Holmstrom Shanahan-Yzerman Datsyuk-Hull Draper-Whitney Lidstrom-Woolley Fischer-Schneider Lidstrom-Chelios Woolley-Dandenault PP- Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Lidstrom-Woolley Schneider-Chelios Lidstrom-Schneider PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider OT- Datsyuk-Hull Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Yzerman-Thomas Lidstrom-chelios Fischer-Schneider Woolley-Dandenault Net- Dominik Hasek


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