Saturday, November 15, 2003

Wings 4, Hawks 3 (OT)

The Wings celebrate Shanny's game winning power play goal in overtime last night The Wings put together another good effort last night in their win over the Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago. I wouldn't say it was a complete effort, however, because their third period play was definitely weaker than it was in the other two periods but at least this time it didn't cost them the game. I thought Dominik looked strong once again, though he looked bad on the Hawks' second goal, when he let the initial shot trickle out in front of the open net where a Chicago player was waiting uncovered by anyone (come on, Woolley!). Dom probably kept the Wings in the game later on in the 3rd period, though, when the Wings had fallen asleep a little. He improved to 7-3. The Wings were lucky to get that power play to start overtime. That was the sort of call that could have gone either way, I think, because of the inconsistency in officiating from game to game. On another night, they easily could have called Yzerman for diving (though I personally don't think he did) or they may not have called anything at all on the play. Blackhawks head coach Brian Sutter called it a "borderline dive" but Yzerman said this about it:
"He took my legs right out from under me. I don't know what they have a young kid on the ice in the last minute of a game like that for anyway. It's a questionable decision."
Good point, Steve, though it's kind of difficult for the Hawks not to have a young kid on the ice considering how many rookies they have this year. Shanny had this to say in defense of his captain:
"All I know is one of my teammates was joining me on the rush and had his legs taken out. I think it was Steve Yzerman, and I know he doesn't dive. . . . I don't think we won tonight's game because of an unfairness by referees. If you've got a young guy out on the ice late in the game, that's just part of it. I think he took Steve Yzerman down. We have a scoring chance. That's a lesson. I made those mistakes, too, when I was a rookie."
So, the Wings went on the man advantage, They did their usual 50-pass-and-just-1-shot-style power play and came away with a goal and the win. The Wings had a great night on the penalty kill last night, scoring one shorthanded goal and coming close to scoring some more a couple of other times. They made it look like a Red Wings power play most of the time and did a great job overrall shorthanded, killing off 6 of 7 Chicago power plays. As soon as I say anything about Pavel shooting more, he goes back to his "pass first" like-a-robot mentality. He could have scored a goal or two last night if he wasn't so stuck on making the amazing pass. His problem is hardly anyone on the ice is cerebral enough to keep up with him so when he makes a pass, no one is usually ready for it. I think Henrik Zetterberg is one of the only guys who is always on the same page as Pavel because sometimes they look like they are using the same brain. Too bad Hank's out with a broken leg now..... Once again, I have to wonder what Dave Lewis is thinking when he puts certain players out there in the final minutes of a close game. Why was Boyd Devereaux on the ice so late in the 3rd period, Dave? He is a defensive liability and really shouldn't be playing in a situation where the opposing team is making a comeback. Keep him on the bench and have some of the other guys get some more minutes. Honestly, I think Boyd should be traded somewhere because he really has gone on the decline since the 2001-2002 season. It's sad but true. Darryl Bootland has impressed me a lot but he keeps taking that bad penalty each game. I know he's just hustling in order to keep a spot but he has to learn when to hold back just enough to not get a penalty. He did it again last night but his high sticking penalty in the second period thankfully did not hurt the Wings. That won't always be the case, however. The only penalties "Booter" (ask the GR Griffins coach) should be taking are 5 minute majors for fighting because he takes someone to the box with him. Besides, his fights are fun to watch because he usually wins them. I thought Steve Thomas looked good in his second game with the Wings. He only played 7 minutes and 50 seconds (the only player with less ice time was Bootland with 6:35) but showed good effort when he was out there. He ended up minus-1 but I don't fault him for that because he doesn't know the system very well yet. There was a crowd of 21,856 at the game last night, the Blackhawks' largest of the season, which included a very large and very loud contingent of Wings fans. I love it when we do that, take over the oppositions arena and make it seem like Hockeytown Away. That happens in Phoenix alot as well. It's got to be discouraging for the whole opposing players as well as their whole organization to have such a large group of enemy fans pack an arena that the home fans hardly even fill halfway. Now the Wings just have to extend this 3 game win streak to 4 games tonight in Minnesota. The Wings are now 9-7-1-0 and have four wins in their last five games. Next up: @ Minnesota, tonight, 8:00 Freep | ESPN | Box Score Lines- Maltby-Draper-Holmstrom Shanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Thomas-Williams-Bootland Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Woolley-Dandenault Woolley-Schneider Fischer-Schneider 4 on 4- Shanahan-Yzerman Schneider-Dandenault PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Woolley PK- Maltby-Draper Whitney-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman Lidstrom-Chelios Schneider-Dandenault Woolley-Dandenault O.T. PP 4 on 3- Shanahan-Yzerman-Datsyuk Lidstrom Net- Dominik Hasek


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