Friday, December 19, 2003

Wings beat Pesky Blackhawks

The Wings put forth a good effort tonight, beating the Blackhawks 3-2 on goals by Whitney, Shanahan, and Lidstrom. Manny Legace got the start for the Wings, with CuJo having the flu. But then again, if his flu was so bad that he couldn't play, I wonder why Lewis would have him on the bench, breathing his sickness onto the team. I'd have put him in the locker room, and if desperately needed, call him out. We just don't need the flu being passed around the team... Nick's goal came shorthanded on a neat shot from the point on a pass from Zetterberg; a classic goal of his that we need to see more of, as it was his first in 14 games. Shanny's goal came on a neat pass from Zetterberg and Yzerman, and he knifed it in from right in front of the net. The Whitney goal was very encouraging with his coming off an extended groin injury. Jiri Fischer got the assist on the play. It was a scary moment when Draper left the game after taking a stick to the face and bleeding profusely, but it was luckily away from his eyes and he got stitched up and returned to the game later on. It was a scary first period for Wings fans, though, as the Hawks outshot the Wings 17-3; at mid-period the Wings only had one shot. But the Wings stormed back with two solid periods of play, producing 11 to 5 and 12 to 8 shot deficits. Bootland and Larry Henry got into a brawl mid second period. It was a draw, but if I had to choose a winner, it'd probably be Henry. Bootland got some early shots in on Henry, but hung on tired after that. It really seems as though Bootland is a subdued form of his latter self, almost as if the coaching staff has talked to him and asked him to be more careful about taking penalties. The past couple games he has drawn a few penalties as guys have tried to pull him into fighting. It's good that he is trying to draw more penalties than he is taking, but it's also good for the atmosphere of the arena to have a fight or two ensue. Midway through the game, Manny jumped to try to catch a high puck going overhead, and tweaked his knee. After the play, he immediately started flexing his knee, in some sort of discomfort. Hopefully, it won't be anything serious, but he continued flexing it as the game progressed... Overall, I was pretty impressed with how the Wings played, especially since the Hawks are an Original Six rival that always plays well against us. It was a refreshing game after the San Jose Sleeper that pretty much dozed me off ...zzz... until we got the break off the San Jose penalty and Datsyuk put the biscuit in the basket (I'll try to hold myself back from too many Mickeyisms for those of you who listen to Fox Sports' Mickey Redmond). Next stop, Nashville, where the Wings need to continue there hot streak and Datsyuk and Hullie need to get back in the points race. Pavel got a few chances tonight, while Hullie had an off night, making a couple lazy passes and missing some coverage.


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