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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.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thoughts on Game 29 (5-4 shot win at Phoenix)

-- I don't think I've seen Niklas Kronwall play a worse game. The obvious mistake was Kronwall giving the puck to Lindstrom which turned into Phoenix's third goal and a 3-3 tie. But Kronwall's screen of Chris Osgood on the first Phoenix goal was bad. Why was he so low on that play. And 1:40 into the third period, he let Mikkel Boedker walk around him for a quality scoring opportunity. I'm not sure what's going on with Kronwall.

-- Johan Franzen's short-handed goal in the second period was beautiful. Having the smarts and ability to poke check Boedker, take the puck from the air, outrace everyone down ice and beat the netminder is a big-time play. Franzen, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is becoming a must-have player for next season.

-- I'd like to see a replay that shows the entire ice surface, but it looked like Nicklas Lidstrom was part of the problem with the bad line change that led to Phoenix's first goal. While short-handed, Lidstrom put the puck on net instead of dumping it in the Phoenix zone. Not a bad play, especially with him skipping the puck. But Lidstrom followed the play, watching how Bryzgalov handled the long shot. That's fine too, but because the puck went right to the goalie, it was quickly controlled by the Coyotes and headed back up ice. Lidstrom decided to leave the ice. Shane Doan was at the Detroti blue line alone and with Chris Chelios being the first defenseman over the boards, there was no way of catching him. I'd like to have seen Lidstrom either exit immediately or stay on the ice to check the deep man.

-- Chelios didn't look good, but it was just Game 1. It wasn't his conditioning so much as his decision making. Chelios was caught a couple of times, leading to Phoenix opportunities. It'll be interesting to see how many games Chelios gets in. Brett Lebda and Derek Meech were healthy scratches.

-- Chris Osgood just wins. He hasn't lost in regulation since opening night, meaning that he's gone 17 straight starts with the Wings getting at least one point. It's been a very odd season for Osgood. He gives up a soft goal for the Coyotes' go-ahead fourth goal, letting the puck slip past him. But the Wings win anyways. If Osgood gets his game back, he'll have some dynamite won-lost numbers at season's end because he's been winning some he should have lost.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Osgood gets him game back. Not "if", but when. Of course, you can always hope, can't you? Did Ozzie run over your dog or something, Bruce?

December 14, 2008 at 2:11 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Yes, he did. That bastard.

December 14, 2008 at 9:15 AM 
Anonymous wings fan from vancouver said...

Where the lines changed up last night?

December 14, 2008 at 5:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wings really stole another one where they played poorly. It's just impossible to believe that this is the same team as last year. The Hudler-Filppula-Hossa line didn't seem to work out too well as they ended up with only 4 shots and all of those were Hossa's.

December 15, 2008 at 8:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No mention of Osgood's performance in the shootout...I find that peculiar.

The goal-stick on the goal-line save was one of the best all year, from any goalie.

His kick save on Doan was good, not great, but good, especially ona shooter with a good percentage in the SO.

It hasn't been pretty for Ozzie, but I put a lot of blame on our defensive blunders. We've just been utterly poor in our own end this year, and I cannot explain it.

Perhaps there is a hangover in effect, but this team is so talented that its being masked by our offense.

December 15, 2008 at 10:04 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Well I can't mention everything. And yes, Ozzie played well in the shootout. And yes, Ozzie made a great save putting the paddle down.
But more than making a great save, NHL goalies need to not let in a soft goal like the fourth goal. Overall, Osgood's game wasn't great despite the paddle save and shootout performance.
I agree that team defense has been poor. Niklas Kronwall's performance Saturday was much worse than Osgood's ... just to name one non-goalie.

December 15, 2008 at 10:38 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce: Just seems odd that you call Osgood out for every perceived soft goal, while calling Conklin the "better" goalie. Conklin has allowed a softie per game, as well. Sometimes more than one per game. Somehow, he gets a pass, whereas Osgood doesn't. I guess standards, understandably, much higher for a two time Cup Champ.

December 15, 2008 at 4:52 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Three-time Stanley Cup champion. Ozzie has won three championships, but I'm not taking those into account when talking about Game 29 of this season.
I think Conklin has played better, but still not great. Better than Osgood is all, but not better than Osgood was last season by any stretch.
I don't think I've given Conklin a free pass. In fact, I was taken to task on this blog in October for being too hard on Conklin.

December 15, 2008 at 6:59 PM 

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