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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, December 20, 2008

Thoughts on Game 32 (6-4 win over LA)

-- Great game for the Filppula line. He, Dan Cleary and Jiri Hudler made the difference for Detroit highlighted by the tying and winning goals.

-- Pavel Datsyuk netted his 150th career goal.

-- Detroit scored six goals in back-to-back games for the first time since doing so Dec. 28 and 31, 2006. The offense is compensating for the defense right now. It looks like it might be firewagon hockey all season long.

-- Nicklas Lidstrom had three assists, passing Larry Robinson on the NHL's all-time scoring list for defensemen. Lidstrom now ranks eighth all-time.

-- The Wings have gone down 1-0 in eight of their last 11 games and have trailed in 12 of their last 13 games. See above note about good offense compensating for bad defense.

-- Former Wing Kyle Quincey was a minus-4, dropping him from plus-3 to minus-1 this season. That's a rough night.

-- I know that Chris Osgood is sick with the flu and has a groin strain and maybe I'm missing something here, but why don't I see him in the usual spot where the backup goalie sits beside the bench. I saw Osgood sitting a bit down the hallway in Thursday's game. Saturday night though, I couldn't spot him at all. Maybe I'm off base, but couple that with Ozzie being unavailable to the media of late and it gets me wondering whether he's not happy. It could just be that Osgood is sick and doesn't need to be right at the bench though.

-- This has been one of my favorite stats to track this season because it shows how much defensemen's points are dependent on power-play time. For most of this season, Andreas Lilja has had as many or more even-strength points than/as Nicklas Lidstrom. When Lilja scored in the first period, it brought him back into a tie in that category with Lidstrom. Of course, Lidstrom went on to finish with three assists and Lilja might not catch him again this season. Here are the Red Wings' defensemen even-strength scoring through this game ...

Rafalski 2-12-14
Lidstrom 2-9-11
Lilja 1-8-9
Lebda 2-5-7
Kronwall 1-6-7
Stuart 1-4-5
Meech 1-1-2
Chelios 0-0-0

Interesting to note that Lebda is tied for the lead in even-strength goals. You would assume that Lidstrom and Rafalski would be ahead of the pack in goal scoring, but not without the power play counting.

10 Comments:

Blogger Heaton said...

Any chance you could expand on your speculation that Osgood isn't happy. Do you mean with his play? The way the team is handling his situation? The way the entire team is playing?

Thanks Bruce.

December 21, 2008 at 12:41 AM 
Anonymous Justin said...

Good offense compensating for bad defense works in the regular season, but I'm worried - as I'm sure most fans are - about how well that will work in the playoffs.

Hmm...did you check if Meech got those two even strength points as a defenseman or as a forward?

December 21, 2008 at 4:19 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conklin for 1st star? Seriously? Did someone decline the honor again?

-nn from rwc

December 21, 2008 at 5:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the heck led you to pick Conklin as the first star of the game? Seriously??

December 21, 2008 at 6:50 AM 
Blogger Nathan said...

Bruce, I think you're reaching implying that there's anything more to Ozzie being in and out of the hallway last night. Given the way flus and other viruses spread through NHL locker rooms, with all the close quarters and airplane travel, I think they're probably doing everything they can to keep other players from getting sick, and since they need Ozzie to be backup because of the cap, doesn't leave them much choice.

December 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM 
Anonymous Voline said...

If I recall correctly, in the '80s the Oilers played pretty lax defense during the regular season. Fuhr and Moog saw a lot of shots. But come the playoffs they tightened things up and played a much better defensive game.

Maybe the San Jose game is evidense that the Wings are capable of turning a solid defense on at will. I hope so.

December 21, 2008 at 11:36 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh....so now it's the "offense compensating for the defense. But...but....I thought it was shoddy goaltending which was the problem, Bruce? Or is that only when Osgood is in net? As an aside, if Osgood is sick with the flu, it's probably best he's NOT on the bench, breathing on the whole team all game. And if he's got a strained groin, perhaps he's jaunting down the hall for light stretching, (just in case), rather than sitting there with his clipboard letting the muscle get even tighter in the cold rinkside conditions. AND, (no offense), but if you had to deal with people overanalizing and criticizing everything you did, even when you weren't doing anything at ALL, (Hes not even playing....can the guy get a BIT of a break?), you'd probably do your damnedest to avoid people like you, too. Here's the truth, as many have seen it.....the Wings have SUCKED all year defensively. Period. They sucked again last night. It's NOT the goaltending. And it's certainly NOT the goaltending which is the problem.

December 21, 2008 at 1:05 PM 
Blogger adampsyche said...

So, this is what I want to know. I have been hard on Osgood over the years, and yes, he really did a fine, fine job in the playoffs last year. No doubt. But if he was playing like this then, we'd be watching Pittsburgh or Dallas parade around with The Cup. And then I see articles about how it sucks that we lost Quincey, but we're so deep on D that it just happens like that, so why aren't we cashing in on that a little and trading away for a really good goaltender? I guess the lack of cap space has something to do with it (I doubt that Osgood and Conklin together break $2.5 mil). Le sigh.

December 21, 2008 at 6:52 PM 
Anonymous Justin said...

BOTH our defense and goaltending have been bad for the most part all year.

December 21, 2008 at 9:39 PM 
Blogger Nathan said...

Wow, another Anon poster making silly claims.

You act as if "bad goaltending" and "bad defense" are mutually exclusive.

It's pretty clear that the goaltending has been bad the large majority of the games this year. It's also been pretty clear that in about half the games this season, the defense has been a little too lax.

There's no law saying it can't be both. In fact, it HAS been both. The offense is putting up a ton of goals and saving the bacon for the entire team.

The talent's still there on defense. As a result, it's hard to see that not coming around. The goaltending talent can be questioned, so I still think that's the greatest concern.

December 22, 2008 at 8:55 AM 

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