(I apologize for the lack of preview article today; it was a late day at work!)
Pregame: The Wings’ defensive corps is going to look considerably different tonight. With Mike Commodore shipped off to Tampa Bay, Jonathan Ericsson out for a month with a broken wrist, and Nick Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey day to day with a sore ankle and groin respectively, well, Mike Babcock had to make some adjustments. Jakub Kindl will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch several game in a row, and Brendan Smith and Doug Janik were called up from Grand Rapids. Babs also shuffled the forward lines with Pavel Datsyuk still out, most notably moving Johan Franzen to the third line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. Joey MacDonald gets the start in net.
Columbus shook up its roster considerably at yesterday’s trade deadline, although noted pain in the goalie’s arse Rick Nash was not traded. Let’s just say I’ll desperately need to follow along with the live box score on Yahoo! to keep track of who the newbs are! Curtis Sanford will be starting in net.
17:58 Penalty to Derek MacKenzie for slashing.
15:52 GOAL for Johan Franzen! Kindl snaps a hard shot from the blue line and Mule stuffs the rebound past Sanford.
13:39 High sticking penalty to Todd Bertuzzi.
13:05 Goal for Nash. Maybe? He was kind of climbing over Joey Mac at the time. Goalie interference? Nope, it’s a goal.
As a point of interest, with Lidstrom and Datsyuk both out, the team needed a 3rd assistant captain. They chose Tomas Holmstrom– very deserving and I totally approve!
9:41 Penalty to Cam Atkinson for hooking.
9:12 Interference penalty to The Todd (because a guy ran into the back of him). Babs is livid and screaming at the refs.
6:16 Tripping penalty to Brett Lebda. Fortunately he’s with them, not with us.
0:10.4 Hooking penalty to Jiri Hudler.
Shots 10-5 for Detroit in the first.
Helm gets a nice shorthanded chance.
15:39 Slashing penalty to Ian White.
10:25 Joey Mac makes a very good pad save on a tricky slow shot by R.J. Umberger.
7:27 Tripping penalty to Hudler.
6:51 Slashing call to Atkinson.
Shots 12-6 Columbus in the second. Do not want. Hits apparently 27 to 2 for the Jackets after two periods. I’m… having trouble believing this.
18:04 Interference penalty to Lebda.
17:47 Shorthanded goal for MacKenzie. Breakaway past Hudler, flips the puck over Joey Mac’s blocker.
17:17 GOAL for Nik Kronwall! Backhand shot squeezes past Sanford.
14:56 Roughing penalty to James Wisniewski.
11:34 GOAL for Henrik Zetterberg! Looking like a power forward there! Gets a nice pass from Valtteri Filppula, banks it off Sanford from a tight angle.
10:45 GOAL for Jan Mursak! Homer works hard behind the net to keep the puck, Mursak gets it and does a neat little spin to put it past Sanford. (Mursak’s first goal of the season.)
6:08 GOAL for Filppula! Franzen leaves the puck for him, and Val has plenty of time in front of the net to set up a high shot.
And that puts the game away nicely. We had to “sing” “Don’t Stop Believin'” with other fans via Twitter since it’s a road game, but hey, you do what you gotta do. Final shot count 30 to 25 Columbus. I’m told the final hit count was 33-2 Columbus. I still don’t believe it.
Next up: The Wings return home to host Minnesota on Friday night.
I won’t be covering the Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets game for you this evening (although I can report in advance that former Wing Brett Lebda will actually NOT be playing for the Jackets tonight). I’m going on a very important scouting mission– heading up to Grand Rapids to see my very first Griffins game. I’m hoping to do a little scouting of the Wings’ defensive prospects and see what sort of guys Niklas Kronwall will be whipping in to shape next season (if the unthinkable should happen and Nicklas Lidstrom actually retires). I’ll check in with my findings tomorrow!