Sunday, November 23, 2003

Wings 5, Wild 2

Curtis Joseph makes the save with Andrew Brunette (left) and Antti Laasksonen (right) hovering nearby The Wings avoided losing their second straight last night with a well-played win over the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. The Wings went down 2-1 before coming back and pulling out the 5-2 win. Curtis Joseph made the start for the Wings. After allowing a weak goal on Richard Park, he settled down and played a good game. He didn't have a very high opinion of his game, especially of the Park goal, but I think he's just being hard on himself. The Wild's first goal was soft but he rebounded nicely. I think it's good to see a guy as unwanted as CuJo playing so well. He's had a great level of professionalism in all this, at least to us outsiders, and his play is a reflection of that. I really hate to see this happen to the guy and every game that Dominik misses because of that groin injury makes me feel worse about it. So far, the Return of the Dominator has been pretty much a failure and has laid all this stress on the team for nothing. I just hope that Hasek will heal 100% very soon or realize that it really is over. I'm getting tired of waiting for him and I'm about ready to just stick with Joseph. Pavel Datsyuk finally scored on Roloson. After failing on last week's penalty shot and at least a couple more great chances in the two games played in Minnesota, he pulled a different move from his bag of tricks and scored a beautiful half-breakaway goal with two seconds left. It seemed like it was Pavel's revenge for a robbing of a goal by Roloson earlier in the game where all Datsyuk could do was shake his head and smile. Instead of going from backhand to forehand, Pavel did a double take on the backhand, sending Rolosson to the deck and the puck into the net. Another amazing goal by an amazing player. The line of Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull was the best on the ice by far, which is no surpise considering everyone who plays with Datsyuk seems to play better, especially Brett. Steve Thomas got his first assist as a Red Wing when he dished off the puck to Mark Mowers , who in turn fed Brett Hull, who went down on one knee and scored a slam-dunk goal from the side of the net. Mowers, who also got his first assist of the season, has been impressive in his few games with the Wings. He is playing in place of Ray Whitney, who may practice today and could be ready for tomorrow's game against Washington. Bootland continues to impress with his energy and physical play. Though Darren McCarty was scheduled to skate today, he is not quite ready to go yet so "Booter" will continue to be in the lineup for the injured forward. Devereaux finally justified his being on the ice and scored a goal, which just happened to come 23 seconds after the Wild scored their go-ahead goal. It was an important goal, for sure, but Boyd has been a real disappointment so far this season. He's whiffed on a lot better chances than one he scored on last night and it was probably more dumb luck than anything else. He also needs to watch out where he's going. That collision with The Captain early on in the first period was scary and I'm sure made many hearts in Detroit skip a couple beats. Not something I want to see. Thankfully, Yzerman came back soon after and finished the game. I flipped back and forth a lot between the Wings game and the Heritage Classic and I probably would have been better off choosing just one to watch because a lot of the games were lost in the changing of the channels. Still, I enjoyed both games and I'm very impressed with the Oilers and Habs players, playing in those temperatures and in such an energetic game. It was good to see something like that happen and I'm glad the NHL went through with it. Even Gary Bettman can't make mistakes all the time and last night was one example of that. I think the scheduling of the game may have been a little unfortunate, considering how important this weekend was in college football and how many people were watching that instead but you can't have everything. It's also too bad no American networks broadcast the game but that's just a result once again of college football. CBC does a great job anyway and there's no way I would have watched Gary Thorne and Co. announce a game as important to hockey as that. Hat tip to the Oilers organization for thinking that idea up and I hope we'll see more of those games in the future. Perhaps one in Comerica Park......Hmmmmm..... The Wings are now 11-8-2-0 and have just one loss in their last 6 games. They are most definitely on the mend but also equally definitely not all there yet. Next up: vs. Washington, tomorrow, 7:30 EST News | ESPN | Box Score Lines- Maltby-Draper-Holmstrom Shanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux Shanahan-Datsyuk-Devereaux Thomas-Mowers-Hull Thomas-Dastyuk-Hull Rivers-Mowers-Bootland Shanahan-Yzerman-Thomas Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Woolley-Dandenault Woolley-Schneider 4 on 4- Datsyuk-Hull Draper-Maltby Thomas-Yzerman Woolley-Dandenault Lidstrom-Chelios PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Woolley PK- Draper-Maltby Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman Lidstrom-Chelios Schneider-Dandenault Net- Curtis Joseph


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