Thoughts on Game 35 (3-2 loss in St. Louis)
-- David Backes was clearly interfering with Chris Osgood on the winning goal. Referees miss calls and will miss more. But in a season in which Tomas Holmstrom has been haunted by calls on such plays, it's worth noting that Backes got away with one. At the game, you could see it coming. Backes didn't zip into the crease. He slowly backed down. Surprising no-call.
-- Holmstrom (knee) looked hurt as in he might be out for a while. Just a guess, but it didn't look good. The team had no official word after the game.
-- What a bad game for Andreas Lilja. The tying goal was scored with Niklas Kronwall in the box for hauling down Paul Kariya ... a play Kronwall had to make to cover for Lilja's big-time defensive-zone giveaway. Then Lilja is in the box ... for an offensive-zone interference to boot ... on the winning goal.
-- Kris Draper had two early offensive-zone penalties. Not good.
-- On the flip side (no pun), Valtteri Filppula drew two St. Louis penalties.
-- Did you know that Detroit has been shut out only once since the lockout? That's 199 regular-season games. The only one came last season (Feb. 8) in St. Louis. Manny Legace and Curtis Sanford shared time in net.
-- The Blues tried to get their top line (centered by Andy McDonald) on the ice against Filppula's line whenever possible. That's going to happen a lot on the road.
-- Despite the loss, I kind of liked this game. First, it was more entertaining than most games. Second, the Red Wings were challenged, which is what they need for playoff prep. Third, I liked how Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and the others got chippy and pretty physical. Datsyuk sent Keith Tkachuk flying towards the boards at one point. And Dallas Drake answered the call despite having broken his cheekbone earlier in the season.
And in the end, a seventh regulation loss in Game 35 isn't worth worrying about.