Thursday, February 26, 2004

Wings 2, Flames 1

The Wings salvaged their Western Canada trip by beating the Flames 2-1 in Pengrowth Saddledome Arena. The Wings went 1-1-1 on the trip, gaining 3 of 6 possible points. Manny Legace got the start, facing up against arguably the best goaltender in the Western Conference, Miikka Kiprusoff. In a game that lacked much offensive muscle, it came down to Calgary committing turnovers inside their zone. The Wings called up Grand Rapids Griffin Anders Myrvold this morning to fly in for the game. The Wings signed him in October after a good showing at training camp. He did not get into town in time to practice with the guys before the game today. The 28-year-old Norwegian wore #22, was -1 on the night, and logged 16 shifts and 11:20 minutes of ice time. He had previous NHL experience with Colorado, Boston, and the New York Islanders. The Wings had Dandenault, Fischer, Lidstrom, Myrvold, Rivers, and Schneider in on defense. After pregame worries that the Wings would only have four defensemen dressed, Dandenault decided to play and Myrvold was called up. On the last game of the trip, and the third game in four nights, it's certainly no time to be shortchanging bodies on defense, so I'm glad the Wings did what they had to do by flying Myrvold in for the game. In the first period, the Wings and Flames traded chances. Near the 12-minute mark, the Flames had Legace on his back as they passed the puck side-to-side near the crease, but failed to get off a shot with traffic clogging things up. Ray Whitney scored his 11th of the season at 16:36, assisted by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. The play came off a Flames turnover in their zone, which Pavel quickly turned into a scoring chance. He passed it to Henrik, who fed it across the crease to Whitney for the slam dunk. 1-0 Wings. With a minute left in the period, Holmstrom had a great scoring chance at the side of the net, but Miikka Kiprusoff made a kick save and robbed Homer. Shots in the period were 12-9 Wings. In the second period, Shanahan almost got into the scoring, but his shot hit Whitney in the crease with Kiprusoff out of position. The kind of luck Hull was having during his long goal-less streak. Steve Thomas notched his 8th of the season at 15:47, assisted by Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk. On the play, another Flames turnover inside the zone created a Wings' scoring chance as Datsyuk again created a scoring chance with the loose puck. 2-0 Wings. At 17:11, Jamie Rivers got into a bit of trouble after turning the puck over in the Wings zone, as he was later called for slashing Shean Donovan. The Wings didn't play very well this period, as they were outshot 15-5 by Calgary. In the third period, Chuck Kobasew scored for the Flames at 12:09, assisted by Jordan Leopold and Josh Green. On the play, a point shot beat Legace as he was arguably interfered with by a Flame, but the play went uncalled despite Manny's argument to Mick McGeough. 2-1 Wings. With 5 minutes left in the game, a Flames' offensive surge left Manny on his back in the crease, two or three Flames players in the crease, and Pavel Datsyuk gloving the puck into Manny's pads to get a whistle. They were tense remaining minutes, as the Wings were outplayed for the second straight period. It was basically 20 minutes of Flames offense this period, as shots were 17-5 Flames in the third. At 19:34, Steve Yzerman was called for high-sticking, with Kiprusoff pulled. It was a phantom call in my opinion, as both teams were playing with reckless abandon at this point. At the time Yzerman was called, three or four players were on the ice or whacking away at each other. So I don't know how veteran ref Mick McGeough picked out the Captain out of that huge scrum. Final shots 41-22 Calgary, but, more importantly, final score 2-1 Wings. The Calgary Flames wore their ugly home jerseys tonight, with the black flaming "C" logo on the front. I have no problem with their away jersey, which is white and has a flaming-orange colored "C" (a modernization of their old sweater, with the "C" a little more rounded and curvy). But to have a logo that is supposed to signify fire be black is beyond me. Have the Flames burned out or something? I guess I'm just getting tired of all the new, "hip" jerseys teams are producing for the fans' excitement, especially the alternates and modernizations of old sweaters. Hands down, the best jerseys in the league are still the winged-wheel, Boston "B", and Chicago Blackhawk, all Original Six clubs. For a team like the Flames, making the playoffs means breaking even. But coach Darryl Suter always demands hard work from his teams, and this year is especially true. The Flames have a limited payroll, and trade deadline acquisitions are out of the question for them. The Flames haven't made the playoffs since 1996, and last won a Cup in 1989 with ex-Wing Mike Vernon. This season, the Flames have a good shot at ending their playoff drought, and advancing a round or two, even. This is because they depend on hard work rather than having the biggest names, something the New York Rangers need to read up on as they fizzle away. Notables:Whitney has two goals, six assists in his last four games....Thomas' goal was his first in 10 games....Marc Lamothe backed up Manny tonight....Pavel Datsyuk had two assists tonight, making for his 19th multi-point effort of the season....Datsyuk and Hull are 36-34 in assists....Chelios was a scratch with a bruised left shoulder, and Woolley continues to have an aching back....Shanahan has one goal in 22 games, comparable to Brett Hull's highly publicized goal drought that ended against the Kings January 22, in a 5-4 win. It was Brett's first goal in 21 games (since Dec. 8 versus the Kings). Yet Shanahan has been pretty much ignored by media scrutiny during his drought, something that bothers me. Lewis needs to hound Brendan. Bowman put Shanny in his dog house in times like this, and bad-mouthed Brendan to the media. I don't even know if coach Lewis has a dog house....the Blues tied the Avs 2-2 in the Pepsi Center tonight. FSN Goofs:It was a rough first period for the crew. As they were trying to introduce Anders Myrvold, the frame froze and left a jumble of images. Then they forgot to cue color-commentator Larry Murphy's mic for the first 30 seconds of play, and all I heard from the ex-Wing was a muffled attempt at a monologue. The FSN crew forgot to put up the game clock for the first 7:34 of play. And, finally, gasp, Ken Daniels called Henrik Zetterberg "Whitney" on an offside call at 14:14. The difference in numbers is one (#40 and #41). And I'm done spouting on the boys from FSN.... (Editor: Here are the lines from the game, courtesy GWB) Thomas-Datsyuk-Hull Whitney-Zetterberg-Shanahan Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Holmstrom-Mowers-McCarty Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Whitney Rivers-Dandenault Lidstrom-Schneider Rivers-Myrvold(#22) Fischer-Dandenault Lidstrom-Dandenault Schneider-Myrvold 4 on 4- Shanahan-Zetterberg Datsyuk-Hull Whitney-Yzerman Lidstrom-Dandenault Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Dandenault PP- Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Whitney-Lidstrom Schneider-Draper PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Whitney-Datysuk Whitney-Zetterberg Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Dandenault 6 on 4PK- Maltby-Draper Lidstrom-Schneider Net- Manny Legace


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