Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Wings 4, Panthers 1

The Wings continued their dominance of the Florida Panthers last night when they won 4-1 at the Joe. They stretched their unbeaten streak over Florida to 12 games (7-0-5), a streak that goes back to a 4-2 loss on December 1, 1996. Curtis Joseph made the start and looked the best he has since last season. He was very sharp and made some key saves, especially during a 5-on-3 stretch during the second period. The goal he gave up was deflected off Jiri Fischer's skate and Joseph really had no chance of stopping it. To me, he's really making a case for the #1 spot but the Wings obviously just see his play as a chance to get a win and an opportunity to get a trade going. I don't think anyone will go for CuJo, no matter how well he plays, until much nearer the Trade Deadline. Even then, I'm not very confident that the Wings will find a spot for him. I'm still waiting for Dominik Hasek to prove himself and haven't gone completely over to Joseph's side but I'm wavering. Apparently, Dominik Hasek is "worried" about his groin injury. Whatever that means. Maybe he's thinking about calling it quits again. That's the quickest solution to this mess. Pavel Datsyuk had another highlight reel goal to open the scoring last night. Brett Hull passed him the puck and he spun off the Panthers' Juraj Kolnik. Then, with his back to the net, he backhanded the puck from the left hash marks into the upper right corner. He never once looked at the net until the puck was already in. It was an amazing goal and the result of being on fire more than anything else, though Pavel obviously has an amazing sense of where he is on the ice. He also had a much less exciting assist on Mathieu Schneider's empty net goal at the end of the game. He now leads Markus Naslund for league scoring leader by two points with 39. Kirk Maltby scored a cool shorthanded goal when Florida's Lukas Krajicek cut in front of his own net with the puck, allowing Maltby to simply poke it off his stick and into the net. Luongo had absolutely no chance on the goal. It was completely the defenseman's fault. Thanks, Krajicek! Mark Mowers scored the Wings' other goal and continued his fine play. Mathieu Dandenault sat out because of the flu, which, by the way, Nicklas Lidstrom had been playing with recently. That may explain his less-than-stellar play. Anyway, Ryan Barnes was called up from the Griffins at around 1:30 yesterday afternoon to replace Dandenault at forward. He wore #52 (the only other Wing ever to wear that number was Dave Lewis, who was kind of upset that Barnes got to wear it, saying "... that's the only record I ever had.") and was pretty much invisible to me all night. The Wings played well overall and, with the help of some timely saves by Curtis Joseph, did not really give the Panthers a chance to win the game. They are now 8-1-1-1 in their past 11 games and lead the Blues by three points for the Central Division and Western Conference lead. They are now 19-10-3-1 overall. Next up: vs. San Jose, tomorrow, 7:30 EST Freep | News | ESPN | Box Score Lines- Shanahan-Mowers-Maltby Draper-Datsyuk-Hull Miller-Williams-Devereaux Ryan Barnes(#52)-Hudler-Bootland Shanahan-Datsyuk-Maltby Devereaux-Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Woolley Fischer-Schenider Kronwall-Rivers 4 on 4- Devereaux-Williams Lidstrom-Woolley PP- Shanahan-Datsyuk-Hull Miller-Mowers-Devereaux Hudler-Mowers-Draper Shanahan-Mowers-Draper Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Woolley Kronwall-Woolley PK- Shanahan-Draper Datsyuk-Mowers Draper-Maltby Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Woolley 5 on 3PK- Draper-Maltby Lidstrom Net- Curtis Joseph


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