Wild @ Red Wings - 3/26
Posted March 26, 2010 - 12:49 PM
Tonight's game is the much-awaited "Herm 2 Hockeytown" game, with over 100 people from that group alone planning on being in attendance tonight. Herm himself is in Detroit and anyone who's not there yet will be soon. I'm heading out in about 60 minutes so, like many other Wings bloggers, posts throughout the day and the game will be spotty.
Today is also the 13th anniversary of the Brawl in Hockeytown, as well as Jimmy Howard's birthday. Kris Draper reprised his "birthday bandit" role to mark the occasion.
As for the game itself, the Red Wings are getting healthy while the Wild are losing players.
Patrick Eaves will return to the Detroit lineup after missing three games, relegating Derek Meech back to the bench. No other lineup changes are expected for the Wings.
Meanwhile, Mikko Koivu and Cam Barker are out for the Wild, who will go with Josh Harding in net.
The Red Wings still sit in eighth place in the Western Conference. They're four points up on the Calgary Flames with a game in hand, two back of the Colorado Avalanche, three back of the Los Angeles Kings, and four back the Nashville Predators with two games in hand.
Detroit is the only one of those teams in action tonight so they technically can't move anywhere in the standings (tying Colorado does nothing as the Avs would have fewer games played) but a six-point lead on Calgary would virtually knock the Flames out of the playoffs, as the Wings would have to go .500 the rest of the way with Calgary winning out in order for the Flames to pass them.
Unfortunately, this is another game where the Red Wings are in danger of playing down to their opponent. Like the St. Louis game, I'm more than a little worried about that.
Game time is 7:30 on FSD+, so no high-def tonight.
Posted March 26, 2010 - 11:57 PM
As for the game itself... The first period worried me quite a bit. The Wings were getting chances but no goals and I thought for sure the 3-1 power play advantage would get evened out.
Four quick goals in the second pretty much knocked the Wild out of it. Franzen's first was a hell of a shot and the one eventually credited to Ericsson was a great (though also lucky) play.
Ericsson might have had his best game of the year. A goal, an assist, and +4.
That Detroit let Minnesota back in it late in the second and at the start of the third is a definite negative. The PPG to make it 4-1 might not have been able to be helped but the second Wild goal was absolutely awful. Jimmy Howard simply cannot give that goal up.
Drew Miller continues to show why he's still in Detroit and Ville Leino was moved to Philadelphia (something Malik and I talked about before the game). A strong defensive game, as always, and his goal was nice, too. Good speed coming up the wing and a quick shot. It was past Backstrom before he could do anything about it.
The player of the game was, of course, Franzen. He was all over the place and played like he was hungry, with four points to show for it.
The Wings are now tied with the Colorado Avalanche for seventh in the Western Conference but Colorado has a game in hand. A win in Nashville tomorrow will tie the Wings and Predators with Detroit having a game in hand.
Posted March 28, 2010 - 12:52 PM
Limited to pre-game 'cause we were so far up in the corner during the game. I'm at center ice for my next game so maybe I'll get some in-game photos then.
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