Saturday, March 06, 2004

Postgame notes and lines

Check out Vancouver Canucks OpEd's reaction to the game last night. I found it hilarious. My advice to the 'Nucks is: learn how to change on the fly better because refs don't always miss that sixth man like they did last night at least a couple times. Manny Legace has played so well lately that it's really too bad he'll be on the back burner when Joseph comes back next week. On any other team, Manny would have earned the right to start many times over but in Detroit, where experience comes first the vast majority of the time, it's different. Personally, I'd like to see Manny get the #1 job permanently but his lack of playoff experience scares me. If he can hold on until Joseph's contract is up after the next season, I think the Wings should forget getting an "established #1 goalie" and stick with Manny. The only thing he's missing is playoff experience and the only way to get that is to play in the postseason. I'd just rather have him do that after this one last lunge for the Cup from a team which will be ripped apart next year. The Wings gave up way too many odd-man rushes in the first period, though none of them resulted in goals. The almost-breakaway by that behemoth Todd Bertuzzi must have terrified Manny Legace but he overcame his fear enough to come out of his net and play the puck away from the monster forward. The Wings definitely need to crack down on those types of plays in the future and not allow up-the-gut, through-center passes. Speaking of odd-man rushes, Robert Lang was the initial puck handler on at least three (if I remember correctly) 2-on-1's. I think he shot on one of them. Come on, Robert, you're resorting to the pass a little too much. Don't catch the Wings' pass-at-all-costs disease so quickly! You don't have to cover for Pavel Datsyuk (while he's out of the lineup) in the passes-attempted category, just his shots-attempted. Considering how Brendan Shanahan couldn't score to save his life until this week, I'm sure that gift of a goal from Dan Cloutier must have felt really good for the Wings' most notoriously streaky scorer. Hopefully he's entering a stage now where he just has to shoot the puck in the general direction of the net to have it go in. That's how it usually goes for him when he's scoring. I love how everyone watching the game knew exactly who the Wings were going to on that 5-on-3 power play and yet they still scored. They only passed to him five times or so. Brett Hull scored his 264th career power play goal on the play, which put him two behind Dave Andreychuk, the active (and all-time leader) in that category. Fedor Fedorov may have had a better attitude this time around had FSN given him the chance to do the first intermission interview last night. He moved to Detroit from Russia when he was 13 and went to many of his brother's games there. Last night's game was the first he'd ever played there and his family was there to watch. The Wings still lead the League, with 89 points, but have Tampa Bay and Philadelphia biting at their heels. They both have 88. Colorado has 85 and the Leafs have 86. The Senators dropped a little further back (84) last night when they lost a thug-fest to Philly 5-3. The two teams set a new record for penalty minutes in a single game with 419. The previous record was held by the Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins with 406 in 1981. The officials had to spend an hour and a half after the game sorting the penalties out. They ended up giving the Flyers 213 minutes and the Senators 206. For an Ottawa team without toughness, that's a ridiculously high number. To cap off an already crazy night, the Flyers' GM, Bob Clarke, tried to get in to the Sens' lockerrom but was stopped by Flyers officials. See Blogging in Red, Black and Gold's reaction to the whole thing. The Wings face Tampa Bay next, on Monday at 7:30 in Detroit. That game is slated to be the much-anticipated return of Derian Hatcher. Lines- (courtesy GWB) Whitney-Yzerman-Hull Thomas-Lang-Shanahan Maltby-Zetterberg-McCarty Devereaux-Mowers-Thomas Devereaux-Mowers-Holmstrom Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios Rivers-Mryvold Lidstrom-Chelios 4 on 4- Lang-Hull Zetterberg-Holmstrom Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios PP- Shanahan-Lang-Holmstrom Thomas-Zetterberg-Hull Lidstrom-Yzerman Whitney-Schneider 5 on 3PP- Shanahan-Lang-Zetterberg Hull-Lidstrom PK- Shanahan-Yzerman Maltby-Zetterberg Whitney-Yzerman Lang-Hull Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Net- Manny Legace


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