Friday, March 05, 2004

Wings 3, Canucks 1

After a great defensive effort in their 2-1 win over the Flames Wednesday night, the Wings followed up that effort with another solid defensive outing, stifling Vancouver 3-1 before a home crowd at the Joe. Legace got the start, opposite Dan Cloutier, who donned his throwback Vladislav Tretiak mask. In the first period, the ice gained ruts and the Wings outshot the Canucks 12-8 in a high-flying offensive period. Both goaltenders made nice saves, and it was a pretty good-paced 20 minutes for a scoreless one. Games between the Canucks and Wings are always entertaining matchups, with both clubs going after each other with reckless abandon. In the second period, Shanahan opened the scoring at 3:15, his 20th of the season, assisted by Lidstrom and Thomas. The goal came off a point shot 50 feet away that beat Cloutier cleanly. It was a weak goal for him to give up, with the Canucks battling in a tight divisional race with the Avs. 1-0 Wings. Hull followed up the goal, scoring his 22nd of the season on a 5-on-3 advantage at 6:19, assisted by Lidstrom and Lang. The goal came on a blasting one-timer from Hull, who definitely is going to miss Datsyuk in the next two weeks. 2-0 Wings. With 2:47 left in the second, Legace made the save of the night as he sprawled on the ice, making a glove save on a shot from Sean Pronger near the crease. Shots in the period were 8-7 Wings. In the third period, Lidstrom scored at 6:07, his eighth of the season, assisted by Whitney and Hull. It came off a 2-on-1 with Whitney. It was a give and go, as Lidstrom passed to Whitney, who returned the favor and Lidstrom stuffed it in on an out-of-position Cloutier. 3-0 Wings. Legace's shutout try was ruined at 15:01, when Mike Keane scored for the Canucks, assisted by Sean Pronger. It was a point shot that beat Legace up top cleanly. He didn't have much of a chance on the laser-guided shot. 3-1 Wings. Shots in the period were 9-7 Canucks, making for a final 27-24 Wings shot advantage. If you recall, Mike Keane is an ex-Av, and called the Wings "gutless" and "heartless" before the Wings-Avs series in the 1997 playoffs. The Wings obviously went on to win the Cup that year. Keane after the Avs lost the series: "Everyone on this team hates that club. It isn't a secret. But hate doesn't win games. And it hurts to be beaten by a team you hate." Gotta love that stuff, when the Wings-Avs rivalry was in full heat. Another good quote. After the 1996 series between the Avs-Wings, after Claude Lemieux made "the Hit" on Kris Draper at McNichols Sports Arena, Dino Ciccarelli had this to say on Lemieux about the postgame handshakes, the Avs sickly victorious: "I can't believe I shook his freakin' hand." It was nice to see Chelios take the ice against the Canucks and Todd Bertuzzi, the 245 pound beast who fell on Cheli's left shoulder in the Wings' 4-2 loss February 24 and left him out until tonight. Bertuzzi and Chelios have had a rivalry since the 2002 playoffs in which the two faced up against each other in a physical battle. In that same series, Chelios mocked the Vancouver crowd when he was named one of the three stars of a game by taking a victory lap and raising his stick. And that's why those fans boo him to this day. We also got to see the "Other Brother Line" of Fedor Fedorov (Sergei Fedorov, Anaheim), Jarkko Ruutu (Tuomo Ruutu, Chicago), and Sean Pronger (Chris Pronger, St Louis). I can safely say that the line's brothers are all better. Whenever I see Cloutier in net, I think of Chris Osgood, not only because they wear the same style mask, but because they are both streaky players who have had confidence issues in their careers. Cloutier probably still sees Lidstrom's 2002 playoffs center-ice goal beating him in his sleep. In my opinion, Dan Cloutier is the weakness of the Vancouver Canucks. Notables: Shanahan's goal was the 20th this season, and the 16th consecutive season in which Brendan has notched that many. Hull's goal was his 22nd this season, and he has gotten 20 or more in 17 consecutive seasons. Marcel Dionne (17) and Gordie Howe (22) are other notable leaders in this statistic....Lang's point tonight comes after his zero points Wednesday night, which ended a 14 game point streak....Multi-point getters were Lidstrom (3) and Hull (2)....The Red Wings are 11-2-2 in their last 15 games....It was Lidstrom's 1001st game played, with 170 goals, 549 assists, and 719 points....the Wings lead the NHL in points with 89....Legace is 8-2 since Cujo went down, 18-7-4 this season, and 70-23-15 in his Red Wing career....The season series ended tied at 2, with the home team winning in all decisions....Fox Sports Net made the good decision not to interview Fedor Fedorov during the intermissions, after he gave John Keating a cold conversation in the last matchup between the teams.


Post a Comment

Bookmark this post On the Wings

Search this site

<< Home

[Powered by Blogger]