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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thoughts on Game 23 (3-2 shootout loss in Columbus)

-- Coach Mike Babcock split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to start the game, moving Valtteri Filppula to Datsyuk's wing and putting Zetterberg between Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson. He said afterwards he did so because Detroit was too much of a one-line team in Nashville and the pounding taken by a top line is too great through a long season.
By the start of the second period, Detroit was down 2-0. Datsyuk was on the ice for both even-strength goals against. He hadn't been on the ice for an even-strength goal against in eight games.
The Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Tomas Holmstrom unit was reunited for the first power play and scored in eight seconds. Babcock left them together for the ensuing faceoff and they scored in five seconds. They stayed together the rest of the game.
-- Aaron Downey's two fights marked the first time a Red Wing had two fighting majors in a game since Darryl Bootland did so, Nov. 20, 2003, in Columbus. The last time that the entire team had two fighting majors in a game was Oct. 18, 2006, in Anaheim when Brad Norton and Franzen had majors. Franzen didn't get his gloves off or throw a punch, but still got five minutes.
The highlight of Downey's fights came midway through the bout with Jared Boll. Downey desperately pleaded with the linesmen not to intervene, waving them off.
"I was just getting warmed up at that point," said Downey. "It was a good, spirited fight. He can't be hitting guys like Nick Lidstrom and our skill guys. Bottom line. The example has to be set."
-- This game had so many highlights. Chris Osgood's reach-back save with his stick on Rich Nash -- and then Ozzie pushing the rebound away with his glove hand as he sprawled on the ice was magnificent. Then Andreas Lilja dove and blocked a Nikolai Zherdev shot that was headed for an open net.
"It was like street hockey back there," said Osgood. "Guys were diving around. Snow was flying."
-- Babcock was not happy with the Red Wings' performance.
"There is such a fine line in this league now, if you're not going to have your whole team show up, you're not going to win," said Babcock. "It was the first time in a long, long time that we didn't have enough people ready to play and ready to compete. That's unacceptable and that's un-Red Wing like."
-- Andreas Lilja had a remarkable game. The save on Zherdev was his best moment. But he was excellent on the penalty-kill as well. Lilja blocked six shots, matching the team total for Columbus. He has 37 blocks this season to lead Detroit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce: Any idea how Ozzie got the shiner he was sporting tonight? Hockey related, or extra-curricular?

November 25, 2007 at 3:07 AM 
Blogger Alex said...

Keys to success: Keep ZDH line at the start of every game. If it is seen early-on that they are getting roughed around or somehow not producing because of it, break them up for the next period. I predict that this would rarely happen anyway. They are so good that I can't remember it being 2-0 after one period against us so far this season when they are together.

November 25, 2007 at 6:03 AM 
Blogger Baroque said...

I'd like to see this version of Andreas Lilja stick around for a while. He was outstanding.

I think that quote says a lot about Babcock. He isn't afraid to say honestly when he didn't get 100% effort, but he didn't name names to the public (which always struck me as silly useless, anyway). It says a lot for the team that over a long season that they are a quarter of the way through that the coach doesn't have many opportunites to point to a lack of effort on their part.

November 25, 2007 at 10:17 AM 
Blogger HockeyTownTodd said...

2 fighting majors?
The first should have been 5 minutes for bad dancing.

November 25, 2007 at 10:55 AM 

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