Thursday, November 13, 2003

Wings 6, Stars 2

Two captains meet: Mike Modano falls to the ice as Steve Yzerman skates by Steve Yzerman and Pavel Datsyuk both scored two goals in last night's thumping of the Stars by the Wings. The Wings looked good overrall, though two major defensive lapses led directly to Dallas goals. Hasek was there to make the save the majority of the time and looked good, again. Because the Stars hit the post three times, the game was a little closer than the score indicates. Even so, the Wings pretty much dominated offensively and played competant defense. Steve Thomas looked great in his debut. He had only skated once with the team, in the pre-game skate, yet he played with good pace and demonstrated hockey smarts which have kept him in the game for 20 years. He drove to the net agressively and scored a goal as a result, tipping in Bootland's centering pass from the corner. Both players got their first points as Red Wings on the play. The goal was Thomas' 76th career GWG and his 412th goal overral. Bootland, by the way, has been impressive in the three games he's played with the big team. He is agressive and decent with the puck. He brings an element we haven't had since Sean Avery was traded, though maybe not to the same level Avery brought. He's a good fighter and made up 1/3 of what was probably the best line last night (Bootland-Williams-Thomas). The best news of the season: Pavel Datsyuk is shooting the puck instead of always passing it off in an admittably brilliant (usually) though seriously maddening way. It seems like all Pavel does is undress a defenseman with some impossible puck-on-a-string move and then make the last pass you'd expect when he has a clear shot on goal. That could be changing now. Pavel's first goal was an example of a situation where the "old" Pavel would have passed the puck. Instead, he shot it and put it right past a helpless Turco. His second goal was completely different because it was a breakaway but wow, was it a beautiful goal. Click here for a video clip of it (MPG). Pavel did what has to be one of the best moves I've ever seen. Turco got juked out of his pants, utterly and completely, and Pavel just shot it into the open net. Beautiful stuff. Steve Yzerman is the best captain ever. He is leading the team in goals, even though this is supposed to be his last year. I think his first goal was more Fischer than The Captain but that doesn't matter. His second goal was definitely all him and was another beautiful shot that Turco probably would have stopped last year. Yzerman has looked great all year and it hardly seems like his knee is even a factor anymore. I cannot say how relieved I am that the Wings won last night. They really needed that win and I think, so did their fans. It was important to show that they aren't at the end of things and that they are just coming out of a slump. They needed the win and they got it, through hard work and some luck. It didn't hurt that the Stars look to be on the way down in the standings (they have lost 4 in a row now), rather than on the way up but I still consider them a threat. Are those Dallas 3rd jerseys ugly or what? Wow. Somebody tell their marketing team or whoever designed those things that they are the Stars, not the Texas Longhorns. And what's up with that constellation? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, Dallas. The Wings have followed that philosophy for years and they have one of the most popular and recognizeable jerseys and logos in the world. That certainly is one of the uglier alternate jerseys I've ever seen and there are some really ugly ones out there. The Wings need to continue this trend on Friday and Saturday in Chicago and Minnesota. String together some victories and begin climbing up in the standings. They still have a lot of work to do, however, before they get back to what we're used to. Last night was just another step in the right direction. Detroit now leads the all time series with the Stars franchise 89-88-33 and have an overral record of 8-7-1. Next up: @ Chicago, Friday, 8:00 Freep | News | ESPN | Box Score Lines- Maltby-Draper-Holmstrom Shanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Thomas-Williams-Bootland Lidstrom-chelios Fischer-Schneider Dandenault-Woolley Fischer-Chelios Lidstrom-Schneider 4 on 4- Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman Whitney-Bootland Fischer-Schneider Lidstrom-Chelios PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Woolley Fischer-Woolley PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Lidstrom-Dandenault Fischer-Schneider Lidstrom-Chelios Net- Dominik Hasek

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