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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.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thoughts on Game 3 (3-2 win over Chicago)

-- That was Chris Osgood's best regular-season game in a while. Mike Babcock told Ozzie after the game that he thought the goalie didn't have a game this good in the first half of last season.

-- Did you see the defensive play by Todd Bertuzzi? Leading 2-1 with 3:18 left in the second period, the puck goes over to Radek Smolenak at the side of the net for a slam dunk. But as soon as the puck reaches the fourth-line winger, Bertuzzi's stick is there, sweeping it out of harm's way. Great defensive play.

-- I loved how Ville Leino created a power play in the second period by picking Brian Campbell's pocket. The Wings went up 3-1 on the ensuing power play. I'm not sure why Leino isn't getting power-play time right now. I like him on the second unit better than Bertuzzi. Dan Cleary is there to take the net-front. Zetterberg is the do-all center. Leino would be a nice sniper on that unit. When Bertuzzi was taken off that unit for one shift on the third power play, Babcock put Valtteri Filppula on the ice. I like Leino better than Fil there too.

-- Speaking of power-play units, the first unit finally scored when Franzen tipped in that puck. First PP goal this season they've been on the ice for.

-- On the flip side, did you know that Brad Stuart has been on the ice for all five power play goals that Detroit has allowed? Draper and Filppula and Ericsson have been on the ice for three. Lidstrom has yet to see a power-play goal against.

-- Way to go Brad May. Just like Brendan Shanahan did in 1996, May dropped the gloves in his first game. I like how May fights. He doesn't measure and hold and pick a spot. He throws bombs. Then May stands at the Chicago bench at the end of the first period and tells someone to keep his head up. Priceless. When Kirk Maltby was creamed by Cam Barker on a great check, May came across and challenged him.

Don't think those actions don't help keep the flies off (as Babcock calls it). I get the feeling that every year there's an in-house debate on filling this role. I'm guessing here, but I see Babcock as someone who wants May or Downey or Norton on the roster and Ken Holland as someone who can do without that role being filled.

-- Jonathan Ericsson didn't look good when he was felled by Duncan Keith's power-play shot. I hope he's not out of the lineup with a leg or foot injury.

-- Despite the win, I'm not seeing a change from the first two games as far as controlling play. Too many good scoring opportunities for Chicago. Too many shots allowed by Detroit. It was a good win, but I'm still not seeing Red Wings hockey. I know that no one liked to see a 40-20 advantage in shots on goal and a close game or Detroit loss. But I'd rather see that than trading blows like this. It doesn't bode well for the long term.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Ryan said...

All great comments, Bruce.

I did notice Bertuzzi's defensive play. Of course, that was the only time I noticed him, but it can't be a bad sign.

I'd put Leino on the PP too, if it were up to me. I'd also rather see Filppula there instead of Cleary, but then you have to swap Zetterberg and Franzen between units, and I don't think Babcock wants to do that unless 40 and 13 are playing on the same line at even strength.

The three superstars really haven't hit their stride yet, and that's why we haven't seen classic Red Wings hockey, by my guess. Datsyuk's the closest; Lidstrom's the furthest. If any two of them are dominant in a single game, the whole team will look dominant.

October 9, 2009 at 1:46 AM 
Blogger Terry said...

The Zetterberg line looks weak. Is that becuase they didn't play much in the pre-season?

Holmstrom looks darned near useless. How is he still on the top line? He never was a very good skater but now he's worse. And not scoring. Why is he there?

I know Stuart was on the ice for the PP goals, but I thought he had a great game. He was a major reason for the 5-3 kill and had a good open-ice hit on Kopecky.

October 9, 2009 at 8:13 AM 
Blogger Yzermandaman said...

Ozzie did play incrediable last night. Way to many shots on him though.

October 9, 2009 at 8:25 AM 
Anonymous Hannibal. said...

I thought this was the first game where the opponent really controlled the action. I can't think of more than one or two shifts where we had good pressure.

Dastsyuk in his last 22 games (going back to end of last season): 2 goals, 8 assists. Does he have some kind of lingering, long term injury?

October 9, 2009 at 8:54 AM 
Anonymous Hannibal. said...

I agree with the comment about Holmstrom. He is still good on the top power play unit, but he should't be on the top line at even strength. I think that someone like Leino will eventually be moved up there.

October 9, 2009 at 10:03 AM 
Anonymous Jdunc said...

[Dastsyuk in his last 22 games (going back to end of last season): 2 goals, 8 assists. Does he have some kind of lingering, long term injury?]

Yes he does, its called the Selke, and he gets it when nobody else on the ice plays defense.

October 9, 2009 at 3:17 PM 
Blogger John said...

That's a good point Jdunc. When Datsyuk makes the responsible defensive plays and thinks defense first, he doesn't get nearly as many quality opportunities when he is forced to cover up for teammates lack of effort on defense, and if you watch the end of last season, I think that you will see that trend, especially if you were to watch datsyuks shifts and focus on everyone BUT him.

October 12, 2009 at 2:12 PM 

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