Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Wings 2, Oilers 1

The Wings played a much better game last night than they played Saturday. After a fairly weak first period where they gave up 17 shots, they dominated the Oilers for the rest of the game, especially in the second period where they allowed no shots, something they haven't done since '96. In the first period, the younger Oilers team came out with a little more jump than the Wings did and they proceeded to out-shoot and out-chance their opponents. They scored a goal that was disallowed because of an apparently inconclusive replay. According to the rule, the puck has to be seen crossing the line. In this case, it entered Manny Legace's glove just as it was crossing the line so you couldn't actually see it cross even though it was obvious it did. So they could not allow the goal. Personally, I think that's a rule that needs to be clarified. Mickey Redmond made a good point last night during the broadcast when he said changing that rule would "open a new can of worms." He's right, it would, because teams would then be justified in crashing the net even harder which would lead to more goalie injuries. However, I do believe the rule should be changed so that if a goalie crosses the line as a result of his own actions and not because someone knocked him down, the goal should be allowed. I'd hate to be a Wings fan and have such a clear and obvious goal be disallowed because of a lame technicality like that. I'm glad it was last night, though! Soon afterwards, the Wings scored a shorthanded goal as a result of a hustle play by Kirk Maltby. He was on the forecheck and pressuring the Oilers' defense behind the net and got a lucky bounce (or an un-forced error as Mr. Redmond kept saying). He skated out of the corner and sent the puck to a wide open Draper who one-timed it past Tommy Salo. You know, a lot of people say Nick Lidstrom is the most indispensable player the Wings have. I guess that's true but I cannot imagine where the Wings would be without Maltby and Draper. They have got to be the most underrated players in the league and the two most important players on the team. The things they do every night are invaluable. Everyone knows what they can do to a team and yet they are still able to keep on doing it. It's amazing to me. The second period was the Wings' period because they completely dominated the Oilers. A good example of this there were at least two full consecutive shifts near the start of the period which were spent completely in the Oilers' zone. The Wings kept some solid pressure on the Oilers for a full 20 minutes and though they only got one goal for it, it was still fun to watch. Mathieu Schneider scored that goal after making a move to get around an Oilers player from close in. Salo was trying to draw a goalie interference penalty but he wasn't touched and should have been more concerned with allowing a goal like that. The third period was more of the Oilers coming on. They outshot the Wings again but only got one goal, from Jarret Stoll. They waited too long to pull Salo and didn't come very close to tying the game up near the end. The refs really swallowed their whistles last night, at least in terms of calling things on the Oilers. The Wings only had two power plays and the 2nd started with 13 seconds left in the game. It wasn't the most mugging-happy game but there were a lot more penalties committed than were called, that's for sure. Manny Legace was very sharp and I was sure he'd get a shutout. ESPN made him the #1 star of the game and I would agree with that. He made some very good saves and kept the Wings in it when they were being outshot. Tommy Salo was very solid too and looked more like he did before the Olympics and that awful goal he allowed. He gave the Oilers a chance to win the game or at least get a point but they couldn't pull it out. I thought Dandenault looked pretty good at center. His line (Thomas and McCarty) played well and generated some good chances throughout the night. Georges Laraque played a lot last night (16:59). He is the subject of a lot of trade rumors and I wonder if the Oilers were trying to sell him to the Wings, in a way. The Wings need size badly and he would give them that for sure. It will be interesting to see what happens at the trade deadline. The Chicago Blackhawks traded center Steve Sullivan to the Nashville Predators. An intra-division trade like that is unusual, especially considering how the Hawks and Preds will likely be competing for a playoff spot in the coming years. The Predators got him for some 2004 and 2005 second round draft picks. Pretty small price to pay in a trade which will effect the balance of power in the Central Division at least enough to concern the Wings a little. Nashville is a rising team and now they have some more skill, which will only help them. Combined with the rumors surrounding Alexei Zhamnov, it looks like the Hawks may be giving up. The Wings are now 2-1 in their five-game homestand which continues Wednesday against the Coyotes and ends Friday against the Blues. They are trailing the Avs by two points for first place in the Division with 72. Freep | New | ESPN | Box Score Lines- (courtesy GWB) Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Whitney-Datysuk-Hull Shanahan-Zetterberg-Holmstrom Thomas-Dandenault-McCarty Shanahan-Zetterberg-McCarty Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios Rivers-Woolley 4 on 4- Zetterberg-Datsyuk Maltby-Draper Lidstrom-Schneider PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Whitney-Lidstrom Lidstrom-Schneider PK- Draper-Maltby Zetterberg-Datsyuk Shanahan-Yzerman Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Net- Manny Legace


Post a Comment

Bookmark this post

del.icio.us On the Wings

Search this site

<< Home

[Powered by Blogger]