Pregame: So it seems Jakub Kindl will be sitting out tonight (healthy scratch). Mike Commodore finally makes his way back into the lineup.
Todd Bertuzzi said before the game, “We need to win this game for Ty,” referring to getting Ty Conklin back into net and rebuilding his confidence.
We have the same team of referees as we had last night. If this were a George Lucas movie, someone would be saying that they have a bad feeling about this.
Drew Miller has been promoted to the second line with Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula. Given his play lately? I totally approve. Jiri Hudler has been moved to the third line with Danny Cleary and Darren Helm.
11:53 Conk gets a pretty good save on Olli Jokkinen. Confidence, Conk, come on, I saw what you did in the 2008-09 season! You’re still in there!
7:56 Zetterberg penalty for hooking.
5:56 Hey, that wasn’t a bad PK.
4:56 Great save by Conk on Tim Jackman crashing the net!
Now, so far, only Datsyuk has a shot on net for Detroit. And he only has one. Can we get a few more, please? Oh, there, Kronwall has one now.
4:19 Bertuzzi penalty for hooking.
3:58 Calgary goal, Curtis Glencross. Puck goes off Kronwall and right to Glencross, who is able to lift it over Conk as he’s reaching for it.
Shots in the first were 9-5 for Calgary. Ouch. In spite of the whining on Twitter, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Wings trailing 1-0 is *whispers* actually not Conk’s fault.
Why are the Flames all running at Kronwall? Are they all Kesler fanboys?
18:30 Calgary goal, Blake Comeau. Two on one rush and Brad Stuart isn’t able to take away the pass from Brendan Morrison.
16:02 Calgary penalty for interference to Corey Sarich.
15:28 Tomas Holmstrom to box for goalie interference–pushed Jay Bouwmeester into Kiprusoff. Unfortunately this nullified what would have been a Johan Franzen goal.
14:13 Flames goal, Glencross. Everyone gets kind of tangled up with the puck, leading to another two on one and Glencross puts it in.
9:48 Calgary penalty to Derek Smith for tripping.
3:00 Ken and Murph even sound vaguely disgusted with the lack of offensive effort.
2:32 Kiprusoff has to make a strong kick save on Darren Helm.
So, that was one of the duller periods I’ve seen in terms of offensive effort by Detroit. Come on guys, give your boy Conk some support, please? Shots 13-11 Calgary. It looks better on paper, but it didn’t look better on the ice.
Babcock has switched up some of the line combinations in an effort to get things going.
15:05 GOAL for Jiri Hudler! Bad clearing attempt by Smith, Hudler gets a backhand shot past Kiprusoff with Zetterberg screening.
13:35 Stuie has a “damn composite stick” moment when his shatters on a slapshot attempt.
10:42 Calgary calls a timeout. Really liking the pressure by Detroit so far in the third period!
10:10 Ian White hurt by ANOTHER blocked shot. This time his left hand. But he is staying on the bench for now.
4:12 GOAL for Ian White! Datsyuk wins a deep zone faceoff, White shoots from the point and the puck deflects off a Calgary stick past Kiprusoff.
1:50 Zetterberg shot rings off the post!
0:55.7 Icing call against Calgary, faceoff comes deep into their zone. Babs calls a timeout, and Conk will be pulled for the sixth skater.
0:34.3 Mule comes within millimeters, but Kiprusoff makes the save!
Wonderful effort in the last couple of minutes, but no good in the end. 3-2 Flames final, shot totals 31-27 Detroit.
I know a loss is a loss, but this one doesn’t feel nearly as bitter as last night’s. Granted, it would have been nice to see this sort of effort throughout the game instead of just at the end, but at least it was there.
Next up: All the NHL teams get a few days off to spend Christmas with their families. We’ll pick back up on Monday when the Wings go revisit the Nashville Predators. (8:00 PM, Fox Sports Detroit.)
Okay, so now that we’ve cleared up all the fallout from last night, we have a game tonight! Let’s go visit the Calgary Saddledome.
We have an actual goalie change to report: Ty Conklin will be getting the start tonight. This has nothing to do with last night’s game, by the way; Mike Babcock had planned to give Jimmy Howard this second game of a back to back pair off anyway. Howard says Conk has been working hard and deserves a start. “We need Ty to play. He deserves to play,” Howard said. “He’s been working his rear end off. He’s one of the first guys on (the ice), last guys off every single day.”
No other lineup changes are planned, although look for the potential for line shuffling should the Wings get off to a slow start or seem fatigued after their late night flight from Vancouver.
Calgary will be without forward Alex Tanguay, to the surprise of coach Brent Sutter. “I can’t even pinpoint anything on it,” said Sutter, who ruled out illness as the cause of Tanguay’s absence. “I will say I was somewhat surprised after the game (against Minnesota). He’s played some of his best hockey here in the last four games that he’s played all year for us. I was quite surprised to see that he was out on a day-to-day basis.” The Flames will also be without forwards David Moss (foot), Matt Stajan (ankle), and Rene Bourque (suspension). Miikka Kiprusoff will be the starting goalie.
Keep an eye on the ever-dangerous Jarome Iginla. He’s eyeing the milestone of 500 career goals. He’s sitting right now at 497, so he’d need a hat trick tonight to make it, but Iginla is, of course, more than capable of scoring hatties. Let’s hope last night’s abysmal defense rights itself and keeps Iggy off the score sheet– or if he must score, only let him get two (as long as the Wings’ offense scores some greater number than two, of course). The best scorers are supposed to be frustrated for several games before scoring a big milestone, right? Let’s make sure Iginla doesn’t feel left out in that respect!
Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*
Update: Helene St. James of the Freep reported on Twitter that Jakub Kindl will be sitting tonight and Mike Commodore will be in.
Homer opened the scoring on a power play 6:14 into the game, but Jarome Iginla tied it up just 44 seconds into the second period. The Flames took a brief lead with Brendan Morrison‘s goal at 2:56, but White spoiled things for the Flames and tied the game back up less than five minutes later.
Holmstrom regained the lead for Detroit at 2:42 of the third with a power play set up by Pavel Datsyuk. Olli Jokinen brought the Flames back into it with a power play goal of their own at 5:06, but Jay Bouwmeester promptly proceeded to score two goals. Against his own team. Datsyuk’s attempted pass to Henrik Zetterberg was kicked into the net by Bouwmeester, and Valtteri Filppula took a shot a short time later which would have probably gone wide of the net had Bouwmeester not accidentally tipped it past Miikka Kiprusoff.
Next game: Friday 11/25 at Boston, 1 PM start. This one is on NBC, not Fox Sports Detroit, so be prepared for an afternoon of listening to Doc Emrick say “DRRRRIIIIIVE!” every time someone takes a slapshot and watching Pierre Maguire be a creeper to the players and coaches on the benches.
Still better than Black Friday shopping, though. WAY better.
Notes: Mark Howe and Mickey Redmond were honored before tonight’s game for their inductions into the Hall of Fame… With White back in the lineup and Brad Stuart able to play, Brendan Smith was returned to the Griffins… This was Nicklas Lidstrom‘s 1514th career game, tying him with Steve Yzerman for 3rd all time for number of games played as a Red Wing.
Well, evidently I was wrong about Jakub Kindl being the guy to possibly sit or not sit for Brendan Smith to possibly play or not play. Nightmare on Helm Street has solved the Mystery of the Injured Defenseman for us. Spoiler alert: it’s Brad Stuart. The team did not disclose details about the injury. Coach Mike Babcock called Stuart a game time decision. If Stuart can’t go, Smith will play tonight. If Stuie is ready, Smith will be assigned to Grand Rapids.
Babs also said Johan Franzen is a game time decision, although the Mule himself says he will definitely play. “I’m playing,” he said. “I’m positive.” If Mule sits, Patrick Eaves will be inserted into the lineup.
Jimmy Howard is slated to start in net tonight.
The Wings’ last match against Calgary was a disheartening 4-1 loss at home on 11/3, so doubtless the team will be looking to rebound from that garbage. On the other hand, Calgary just lost to the lowly Blue Jackets on Monday, so I would expect they’d also be looking to come out with some jump.
Brendan Morrison and Anton Babchuk have been placed on Calgary’s injured reserve since last time they came to the Joe. Jarome Iginla, however, who hung two goals on Howard in the teams’ last meeting, is, however, uninjured. (Oh, Iginla! Don’t you want to be traded to Detroit? It’s a premier destination for guys who realize they’re not going to win a Cup with their current team!) Miikka Kiprusoff will be in net for Calgary.
Key to the game: SHUT DOWN IGINLA.
Oh, and get a lot of shots on Kiprusoff. We’ve seen him get rattled before.
Edited to correct: Brendan Morrison has been activated from injured reserve and is in tonight’s lineup.