Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Wings Dominate the Sabres

In what was largely the roster of the Grand Rapids Griffins, playing with the few Red Wings not on the 4-line injury list, the Wings (or Griffins) absolutely took apart Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres. The Wings left uninjured by the plague that has beset the Wings really took charge. Pavel Datsyuk continued his point rage with 3 points, two goals and an assist. Draper chipped in with a goal and two assists, Dandenault had two assists, Devereaux had a goal and an assist, and Schneider had a goal and an assist. And Jiri Hudler scored his first NHL goal on a great shot. I was almost glad Jason Williams missed the net on a two-on-one with just over a minute left, because that would've made the score 8-2, and Miller was already devasted as it was. He let in some weak shots, but the Sabres certainly didn't offer him much defensive support. CuJo looked sharp at times, but also made a couple awkward saves and got a few lucky breaks. But for a guy who probably thought he'd never wear the Winged-wheel again and had to drive from Cleveland to Buffalo with Hudler to make the game, showing up in street clothes rather than the customary suit, he played pretty well. It was neat to see the octupi on the ice midway through the game, and Draper helped out referees Marc Joannette and Don VanMassenhoven by taking it off with his stick, as they refused to touch it and called for a shovel. The injury situation has got so bad that Joe Kocur had to fill in as goaltender during Tuesday's practice. Lewis said he "looked a little rusty." I just can't believe how nagging these injuries have been, especially for goaltenders Dominik Hasek, Manny Legace, and Curtis Joseph. Hopefully it's not because they are returning to the ice too early, but I don't see the pressure of them doing so when the Wings have three competent goalies.


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