Friday, February 20, 2004

Wings 5, Blues 1

The Red Wings manhandled the Central Division rival St Louis Blues before a sold-out crowd at Joe Louis Arena, stacking up 5 goals on Blues goaltender Reinhard Divis for a 5-1 win. Manny Legace got the start. While it has become fairly commonplace for the Wings to beat the Blues, this game was different. The Blues are usually a stellar defensive team, but they looked ragged and sloppy tonight. This is primarily due to injuries. Barret Jackman is out for the season, Alexander Khavanov and Jeff Finley are both on the IR, and Captain Al MacInnis has been out indefinitely since suffering an eye injury in October. I would hate to see Al go out this way, but it's likely that MacInnis will never play NHL hockey again. The Blues have been unable to adjust to their rash of injuries. Ex-Wing goaltender Chris Osgood has become the whipping boy of the organization, but it is partially deserved with his 5-12-4-0 record in his last 21 starts. After the Blues' 4-3 win over the Lightning Thursday, coach Joel Quenneville had this to say on Ozzie's play: "Ozzy wasn't very good tonight. He's got to be better." But the Blues' offense isn't taking the pressure off of Ozzie, with only 137 goals after 58 games. The Blues looked more like the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, showing a few offensive bursts, but never really taking it to the Wings. It was an easy win tonight. In the first period, Kirk Maltby opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 11:38, assisted by Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom. The play featured Maltby passing the puck to the net, and following in to pick up his own pass. He faked to his backhand, causing Divis to sprawl onto the ice, and backhanded the puck into a wide open net. It was Maltby's 10th goal of the season. The Wings lead the league in shorthanded goals, this being the team's 15th. 1-0 Wings. Reed Low roughed up Mark Mowers along the boards with a crushing check. A scrum resulted, and Darren McCarty confronted Low and dropped the gloves expecting hard-nose Low to follow in turn. Low turned down Mac's offer to the fans' chagrin. The first period was penalty-filled, with the Blues and Wings each taking three penalties. Shots in the period were 13-9 Wings. In the second period, Henrik Zetterberg scored a power play goal at 0:38, assisted by Brett Hull and Ray Whitney. The goal resulted off a shot on net by Hull, followed up by a Zetterberg rebound shot as he waited on the back door. It was Zetterberg's 10th goal of the season. 2-0 Wings. After pretty ordinary back-and-forth action, the Blues snuck in on the scoring on a quick bang-bang play from Chris Pronger to Keith Tkachuk to Doug Weight at 5:22, who buried the biscuit to make it 2-1 Wings. The Wings came back in on the scoring on a power play goal from Henrik Zetterberg, assisted by Ray Whitney and Mathieu Schneider. Like his first goal of the game, Henrik was deep in on the Blues net, and stuffed it in at 16:31. 3-1 Wings. Shots in the period were 14-7 Wings. In the third period, Darren McCarty scored at 6:26, assisted by Steve Thomas and Henrik Zetterberg. In the play, Henrik Zetterberg basically cycled the puck by himself along the boards in the Blues' zone. It was a great individual effort by Henrik, as he grinded along the boards to retain possession of the puck. He gave a quick no-look pass to Thomas, and Mac took a pass from Thomas and got off a wicked wrist shot. 4-1 Wings. While Zetterberg didn't score this goal, and only got the second assist, he was the catalyst of the offensive pressure and this effort was by far his best of the game. A quiet Ray Whitney got his second goal in 15 games at 16:08, assisted by Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk. 5-1 Wings. It was nice to see that Ray remembers how to shoot the puck, because he's been more of a replacement for Igor Larionov Assist-King than the Wings had likely expected. His ten goals this season certainly are a disappointment when compared to last season, when he had 24 goals, 52 assists, and 76 points through 81 games with the Blue Jackets. Shots were 11-10 Wings, 38-26 Wings for the game. The Blues really looked emotionless in the third, not mounting a very stellar rally to come back from a two goal deficit. They looked lifeless and confused out there, as the Wings controlled the flow of the third. Manny Legace had a strong game for the Wings, making a few impressive glove saves and stoning the Blues on their few great scoring chances. Notables: Steve Yzerman continues to reach milestones, playing in his 1,432nd game tonight. This ties him with Mike Gartner for 14th All Time. Detroit leads the league with 15 short-handed goals. Penalty-killing specialists Maltby and Draper have four and five, respectively. Multi-point efforts tonight: Hull (2 assists), Whitney (1 goal, 2 assists), Zetterberg (2 goal, 1 assist). The player of the game was definitely Henrik Zetterberg. Chris Osgood, who was listed as "Expected to start Fri. vs Det. 2/20" on the ESPN IR, was shaken up in the Lightning game Thursday night, so Divis started for the Blues. Fox Sports Net continued its reputation of terrible Red Wings' broadcasts with a pixelation problem during the end of the third. They were roughly ten minutes from a perfect broadcast, which they have yet to achieve this season. (Editor: Here are the lines from the game, courtesy of GWB) Thomas-Mowers-McCarty Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Zetterberg-Holmstrom Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Thomas-Zetterberg-McCarty Fischer-Chelios Lidstrom-Schneider Rivers-Dandenault 4 on 4- Maltby-Draper Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Zetterberg Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Shanahan-Datsyuk-Zetterberg Holmstrom-Yzerman-Hull Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull Shanahan-Zetterberg-Holmstrom Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Schneider-Draper Whitney-Lidstrom Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Draper Fischer-chelios Schneider-Chelios Fischer-Dandenault 5 on 3PP- Holmstrom-Yzerman-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Whitney-Zetterberg Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Net- Manny Legace


Post a Comment

Bookmark this post On the Wings

Search this site

<< Home

[Powered by Blogger]