Sunday, April 04, 2004

Wings 1, Jackets 4

The Wings lost their last game of the season, a 4-1 decision to Columbus and a game which fortunately had absolutely no importance whatsoever since the Wings played like it was a meaningless game. The game wasn't very fun to watch because of this and it seemed to be more of a mere formality than anything else. Manny Legace made the start for the Wings and was very strong at times though he did let in a couple softies. Marc Denis started for the Jackets. First Period The game started out at a good pace with the Wings having some solid chances on their first shift. The officials were letting delayed offsides go longer than usual instead of calling them as soon as the puck was carried by the defense between the circles and this kept things flowing pretty well. After the initial shift, there was mostly up and down play without any real chances. At 11:40, Tomas Holmstrom got called for hooking and the Jackets went on a power play. The Wings did a good job in the first minute and a half of killing it off but Columbus scored anyway at 13:33 off a point shot from former-Wing Anders Eriksson. Manny didn't see the puck and it may have hit someone on the way in. 1-0 Jackets. The Wings responded 50 seconds later when Derian Hatcher's shot missed on the left side of the net, bounced off the backboards to out front on the right side where Steve Thomas took it and stuffed it into the net. Good to see Stumpy scoring again. Hopefully he's just warming up for the playoffs. He had another great chance to score in the final minute of the period but couldn't finish on the play. Not a great period by any stretch, it was marked by some sloppy play and relatively weak effort by the Wings. Shots were 8-7 Jackets. Second Period The Wings got a power play less than two minutes into the period and had three good chances to score but, again, couldn't finish. Kris Draper got a chance in the first minute while Brendan Shanahan and Brett Hull had a couple big one-timers in the second. Marc Denis was solid though and didn't allow anything past him. Immediately after this power play (4:07), Rick Nash scored coming off the bench after the Wings coughed up the puck in their own zone to one of the last players in the league you want to turn the puck over to, Nikolai Zherdev. All Brett Hull could do was back up and pray Nash missed on his shot on the ensuing two-on-one. The big 19-year old didn't miss and it was 2-1 Jackets. Trevor Letowski made it 3-1 when he scored at 7:52. He was standing all by himself at the side of the net and was able to stuff it in past a helpless Manny Legace. Jiri Fischer was standing right there and, as the puck bounced out of the net, started taking it up ice as though no goal had been scored. Way to go, Jiri, the 6'7" pylon standing in the middle of the Red Wings zone. Ugh. The Wings picked up their play after the goal and had numerous good chances during some strong pressure. Denis stopped them all, of course. Henrik Zetterberg had a great chance on net with less than five minutes left but decided it was best to hang on to the puck and try for a wraparound. By the time he got back to the front of the net, a Columbus defenseman was there to poke the puck away so he didn't get a goal. You really need to shoot the puck more, Hank. Come on! Shots were 13-7 Wings. Third Period The Wings started out this period out playing the Blue Jackets but they couldn't score even though they had three power plays in a row. Those power plays were mostly uneventful and the Wings didn't seem to put a whole lot of effort into them. The highlight of the period was the huge stop Manny Legace made on Rick Nash with 6:25 left. Nash broke in all alone and Manny stoned him at the post. It was a great save and had the JLA crowd chanting "Manny! Manny! Manny!" after that. The Blue Jackets ended the scoring at 19:52 when they scored off a deflection of a shot from the point. Shots in the third were 13-2 Wings for a total of 33-17 Wings. Notes Pavel Datsyuk did not play in the game. He needed two more points to reach 70 and a $500,000 bonus ... Nick Lidstrom also did not play It was just his 18th game missed in his 13 year career ... Steve Yzerman and Chris Chelios did play, though many thought Lewis would rest the two veterans ... Brendan Shanahan was the only Red Wing to play in all 82 games this season ... Mathieu Dandenault played after missing 15 games with a broken foot. He apparently has not had a full practice yet though he played 18:41 to make up for the absence of Mathieu Schneider, who had to leave the game because he became sick after the first period ... Jason Woolley skated in the morning skate though he wasn't expected back until the later rounds of the playoffs. He has not played since February 16 and said of his progress "I'm overjoyed." ... The Wings lost the last game of the season in '97, '98 and '02, their most recent Cup years ... Here is the boxscore. Western Playoff Picture Because Vancouver beat Edmonton last night, the Wings will face Nashville in the first round of the playoffs (no 10:30 starts for the first round, YEAH!). I'm not all that pumped about playing the Preds, who seem to be able to find ways to beat the Wings but no one said the playoffs were easy. The playoffs will start for the Wings on Wednesday or Thursday, though Wednesday is more likely, according to Ken Holland. The eight teams are now set (Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver, Colorado, Dallas, Calgary, St. Louis and Nashville) but the #4 and #5 seeds have to be determined today. The Stars are just one point ahead of Calgary for the #4 spot and the right to play Colorado. If Dallas wins today, they will face the Avs but if they lose and the Flames win/tie, Calgary will face Colorado. Either way the Avs are going to have to face a hot goalie and that makes me feel good. Lines (courtesy GWB) Devereaux-Draper-McCarty Shanahan-Lang-Holmstrom Thomas-Zetterberg-Williams Whitney-Zetterberg-Yzerman Thomas-Williams-Hull Thomas-Lang-Hull Devereaux-Williams-McCarty Hatcher-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Rivers-Dandenault Fischer-Rivers Fischer-Chelios PP- Lang-Yzerman-Holmstrom Shanahan-Zetterberg-Whitney Draper-Hatcher Hull-Chelios PK- Draper-Zetterberg Shanahan-Yzerman McCarty-Whitney Hatcher-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Net- Manny Legace


Post a Comment

Bookmark this post On the Wings

Search this site

<< Home

[Powered by Blogger]