Game Preview, Predators at Red Wings, 7:30 PM

Tonight the Wings seek to extend their home win streak to 22 when they host the Nashville Predators.

We could possibly expect a letdown tonight after the euphoric madness of Tuesday’s win over Dallas, but the Wings are adamant that their real goal– favorable positioning in the standings for a long playoff run– is their main focus. “It’s cool to be part of history, but at the same time there’s no point we can just sit down and relax,” said Niklas Kronwall. “You lose a few games and all the sudden you’re in trouble. We have to keep it going and take advantage of the opportunity we have with the homestand.”

Justin Abdelkader agrees. “The West is tough, all of the top teams just seem to keep winning. Even though we’ve been winning, there’s no separation. Nashville and St. Louis just keep winning. It’s a battle. Wins in the division are going to be important.”

The Wings may be without Henrik Zetterberg tonight; Z is nursing a lower body injury. At first it was reported that he’d be out for sure tonight, but now the Freep is reporting that after today’s optional morning skate he considers himself a game time decision. Tomas Tatar has been recalled from the Griffins. If Hank can’t go, Tatar will skate on the fourth line with Cory Emmerton and Jan Mursak, and Justin Abdelkader will be promoted to the second line with Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula. (Filppula will play center.) Tomas Holmstrom will take Abdelkader’s spot on the third line with Darren Helm and Drew Miller.

Danny Cleary has been skating but probably won’t return to  the lineup until Tuesday’s game at Chicago.

Jimmy Howard is slated to return Sunday against the Sharks, which leaves us with a bit of a goaltending controversy. Who’s going to be sent to the Griffins, Joey MacDonald or Ty Conklin? Ken Holland stated bluntly, “Right now, Joey is the No. 2 guy.” On one hand, Joey Mac’s stats are inarguably superior to Conk’s. But on the other hand, Conk would have to clear waivers before being assigned to the Griffins. This close to the trade deadline, teams are certainly on the hunt for cheap veteran goalies, and Kenny Holland isn’t the sort of guy who likes to lose assets for nothing. MacDonald, having a two-way contract, would not have to clear waivers. It’s also possible that the Wings could carry all three goalies on the active roster, but Holland said that’s “not an ideal option.” My feeling is that the Wings will send Joey Mac to the Griffins. Not only does this eliminate the possibility of losing a player for nothing, but it also means Joey will be playing frequently rather than sitting on the bench charting faceoffs while Howard gets the majority of the starts, keeping him in game shape in case he’s needed later in the season or in the playoffs. I won’t say Holland has never surprised me with a move before, but this scenario seems pretty likely to me.

Nashville currently sits in third place in the Central, eight points behind Detroit and five behind St. Louis.

The Predators will be without center Blake Geoffrion, as they just traded him to Montreal for defenseman Hal Gill. Nashville will also be without wingers Brian McGratton and Patric Hornqvist (both upper body injuries). Adding Gill to a blue line which already includes Shea Weber and Ryan Suter would indicate that the Preds intend on making some real noise in the playoffs this year. As for the threat Nashville poses to Detroit, tonight, I’ll let Mike Babcock say it for me: “Their goaltending is spectacular. The last two games their goalie’s been unbelievable. You get 30 minutes out of (Ryan) Suter and (Shea) Weber, and that’s the core of their group. They got two responsible centers in (David) Legwand and (Mike) Fisher. I like their team. I always hear every year how they’re overachieving, but every year I look at a team that looks pretty good to me.”

Just to be safe, I did start goalie Pekka Rinne for my fantasy team again tonight. It’s worked two times out of three so far this season, right?

Fox Sports Detroit Plus will have the game for you. My internet connection has been kind of spotty and weird today, so I may or may not have a live blog this time. I’ll do what I can.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*


Game Live Blog, Stars at Red Wings

Pregame: FSD’s John Keating is very adamant that Joey MacDonald will be the goalie going to Grand Rapids when Jimmy Howard returns from injury, in spite of the persistent internet rumors that Kenny Holland will actually send Ty Conklin to the Griffins instead. I’d think he would know, at least as much as anyone would.

Loui Eriksson is on a 9 game point streak against the Wings.

Tomas Holmstrom was honored for his 1000th game before puck drop.

1st period:

The third line gets in a good scoring chance against Kari Lehtonen early. Drew Miller and Lehtonen appear to be chirping a bit.

12:59 MacDonald makes a good save after a goalmouth scramble. The ref helped out a little with a quick whistle– not that I’m objecting.

12:36 Penalty to Jamie Benn for goalie interference.

12: 03 GOAL Henrik Zetterberg! Takes a strong pass from Pavel Datsyuk, shoots from the side of the net, gets his own rebound and puts it past Lehtonen.

10:45 GOAL for Brad Stuart! Helm wins the faceoff in the Stars’ zone, Stuie shoots from the blue line and it goes right in.

5:47 Roughing penalty to Adam Burish.

1:01 Cory Emmerton knocks Tom Wandell right down behind the Dallas net. (Clean hit.)

Shots 20-10 for the Wings in the first.

I think they want this.

2nd period:

13:55 Joey Mac thanks his goal post after it blocks a Stephane Robidas shot.

9:17 Slashing penalty to Steve Ott.

7:02 High sticking penalty to Ott.

3:44 Holding penalty to Nik Kronwall. (He and Ott were shoving each other around in front of the Detroit net.)

1:28 Drew Miller and Vernon Fiddler both off for roughing. (Result of a big scrum.)

0:55 HUGE save by Joey Mac on the notorious Loui Eriksson!

Not as dominant in the second period, but still solid, and Joey Mac was able to cover the lapses. Shots 11-6 Detroit.

3rd period:

A lot of Dallas pressure in the first five minutes of the third.

13:33 Interference penalty to Philip Larsen. Come on, make this one count!

In spite of the Stars’ puck control early in the period, they didn’t manage a shot on goal.

4:49 GOAL for Jiri Hudler! Jumps off the bench on a line change, scurries down the right side with no Stars watching him. Valtteri Filppula gets the pass across to him and he gets a high shot past Lehtonen.

Mike Ribeiro called for a 10 minute misconduct penalty.

2:38 Hooking penalty to Helm.

The crowd at the Joe is SO LOUD with time winding down! They’re chanting “21!”

0:32.8 Goal for Adam Burish. He redirected a centering pass, ruining Joey Mac’s shutout. Oh well. Less than a minute to History Being Made.


Do I have to say more than that?

I’ll pause to tell you that the next game for Detroit will be hosting the Nashville Predators on Friday night. And the three stars of the game were Joey MacDonald, Darren Helm, and Henrik Zetterberg. But now I’m done and going to stop typing because 21 consecutive home wins to break a record which has stood since the 1929-30 season can really speak for itself.

Game Preview, Stars at Red Wings, 7:30 PM

You know, with all the excitement about the possibility of the Wings breaking the NHL consecutive home wins record by extending the streak to 21 tonight, I haven’t actually seen much about the game itself. Let’s see what we can find…

Mike Babcock says they practiced as if it’s just an ordinary game. “We’re going to get ready like we always do and focus on the process, and if we do good things, good things usually happen.” Henrik Zetterberg, meanwhile, says that trying to extend the streak has not gotten the team lost in hype but has instead helped them focus on playing to win. “If we want to be No. 1 in our division, we have to keep winning games. I think that helps, and now definitely, too, the streak is helping. If we made it this far, we want to have a chance to take it by ourselves tonight.”

Detroit plans on going with the same lineup they used against Anaheim and Philadelphia. Joey MacDonald will be starting.

In injury news, Danny Cleary had some more fluid drained from his knee today and hopes to resume skating in practice tomorrow. Jimmy Howard will be back by Sunday’s game against San Jose, according to Babcock, and may even be back by Friday’s game against Nashville. Johan Franzen had to have some adjustments made to one of his skates to accomodate a sore ankle, but he skated in the optional skate this morning and will definitely be in tonight.

The Stars will be without their captain, left winger Brendan Morrow, who is on injured reserve with a back injury. They may also be missing defenseman Sheldon Souray (foot). Kari Lehtonen will most likely be the starting goaltender. Dallas currently sits in 11th place in the Western Conference, trailing 8th place Phoenix by 4 points. They would certainly not be considering themselves out of playoff contention at this point and will be pretty likely to fight and claw for every point they can get.

So… here we go. The stage is set. Fox Sports Detroit Plus has the game for you.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Game Preview, Flyers at Red Wings, 7:30 PM

Nineteen was great, so let’s go for twenty.

Tonight the Red Wings try to tie the NHL record of 20 straight home wins when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.

Mike Babcock swears the record hasn’t been on the team’s minds, but right here on the threshold of the record? “I like the points more than anything,” Babs said. “But when you can have a record, you might as well tie it … [and] see if you can break it. But Philly’s going to be a tough opposition for us.” Coach added that he is NOT happy with the Wings’ effort in the 2-1 shootout win over Anaheim Friday night. “We’ve found ways to grind out games with good goaltending and defense and yet we think we can be better than we’ve been, and we have to be.”

Jakub Kindl, meanwhile, is most excited about his first opportunity to play against his childhood idol, Jaromir Jagr. “If I get the chance to be out there against him, I just gotta be good defensively. He’s usually a very strong guy on the puck, especially one-on-one.” Kindl hopes to get a souvenir stick from Jagr. “It feels kind of awkward for me even asking. I’m going to have to find a way somehow.”

The Red Wings will be going with the same lineup they used on Friday night. Danny Cleary remains sidelined while he recovers from a cortisone injection to his left knee. Jimmy Howard has resumed stopping shots in practice, but remains out while his broken finger heals up a bit more. Both plan on being back in the lineup for Friday night’s game against Nashville. Joey MacDonald will most likely be getting the start this evening.

The Flyers could be without goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who missed Philly’s game yesterday against the New York Rangers (a 5-2 loss) with the flu. Bryzgalov did make the trip to Detroit, but Sergei Bobrovsky is more likely to get the start. They may also be missing Jakub Voracek, who left yesterday’s game with an upper body injury. Center Blair Betts (lower body) and winger James Van Riemsdyk (concussion) will definitely be out, as of course will defenseman Chris Pronger, who has missed most of the season with knee and concussion issues.

The Flyers are likely to be feeling extremely frustrated after yesterday’s loss and should come out playing hard. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen called his teammates out yesterday. “To be honest, I think we had half the guys going, half the guys not. That was my opinion. You might have seen differently, but that’s what I saw. It was a big game for us, and I was expecting more.”

The 20 game home win record Detroit is trying to tie this evening is held jointly by the 1975-76 Flyers and the 1929-30 Bruins, so I’d also expect the Flyers to have that in mind during the game. This is likely to be a big test for Joey Mac and by extension, a test of the Wings’ ability to win games against playoff-caliber teams without Howard in net. On the other hand, the Joe has not been a friendly place to Philadelphia over the past several years; true, they did win there last year, but prior to that they were 0-16-2 in Detroit, going back to November of 1988 (including the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals).

It should be a tight one, at any rate.

I won’t have a game blog for you this evening, since I won’t be online. You can find the game on NBC Sports/Versus.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Game Live Blog, Oilers at Red Wings

Pregame: The longest home win streak ever to happen in the NHL is 20 games, achieved by the 75-76 Flyers and the 29-30 Bruins. The Red Wings currently sit at 17.

Ken and Mick talking about the scoring prowess of the Oilers’ Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle.

The Oilers have the worst road record in the League, having lost 14 of the last 15. Therefore, my Red Wings, DON’T LOOK PAST THEM!

1st period:

14:54 Nikolai Khabibulin looked very clumsy attempting to make that stick save. Hopefully this bodes well for Detroit’s scoring chances.

13:57 FIGHT! Justin Abdelkader takes on Ryan Jones. Jones wound up on top when they fell to the ice, but they got in an approximately equal number of punches.

Abby gets an extra two minute penalty for cross-checking. Wings shorthanded. Todd Bertuzzi serving the minor while Abby serves the fighting major.

10:12 Excellent scoring chance for The Todd from Johan Franzen, but he misses the net.

7:50 Holding the stick penalty to Eric Belanger. Let’s go, power play!

Some delay while a piece of glass is replaced.

6:42 GOAL for Mule! Deflects a shot by Ian White while screening Khabibulin.

4:33 Holding penalty to Cory Emmerton.

3:47 Boarding call to Brad Stuart. 1:14 of 5-on-3. Come on, Joey Mac!

Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Ericsson (!!!), and Niklas Kronwall did an excellent job on the 5-on-3; the Oilers didn’t even get a shot on net!

Okay, shots only 5-4 this period (Detroit’s favor). This is probably why Joey Mac slid out and grabbed a shot that was going wide with about 30 seconds left– he was bored!

2nd period:

17:15 GOAL for Emmerton! Abby tries to stuff the puck short side, all the Oilers go after him, and Cory streaks in and gets the rebound.

14:49 Tripping penalty to Ladislav Smid.

8:52 Goal for Gagner. Danny Cleary gets hit by Ben Eager, Ericsson lets up on the play to bring some wrath to Eager, and it lets Gagner get in alone on MacDonald.

5:43 Boarding penalty to Belanger.

4:31 Goalie interference call to (who else) Tomas Holmstrom. Gee, sure looked like Ryan Whitney shoved him in there…

1:26 Detroit penalty for too many men on the ice, served by The Todd.

Shots 15 to 5 for the Wings in the 2nd. That’s better! Now, can we protect Joey Mac for the rest of the game?

John Keating reporting in intermission report that Cleary will be missing the rest of the game with a “lower body injury.” A pox on you, Ben Eager. You hurt our Newfie.

3rd period:

15:47 Tripping penalty to Ales Hemsky.

12:29 Tripping penalty to Abby.

11:37 Possible second goal for Gagner– it bounced in and out so quickly that it’s being reviewed carefully.

And… it’s a real goal.

9:14 GOAL for Drew Miller! Hard work crash the net goal by Miller, Abby, and Darren Helm. That’s 4 goals in 4 games for Miller against Edmonton this season.

5:16 GOAL for Hank! Khabibulin had dropped low to deal with Jiri Hudler’s shot, then can’t quite scramble over in time to block Z’s rebound.

4:18 Tripping penalty to White.

1:53 Edmonton calls their timeout.

Khabibulin out of the net for an extra skater.

Shots 10-8 for Detroit in the 3rd, for a total of 30-17. There’s one way to outplay your opponent!

Next up: The Wings try to take the home winning streak to 19 games Friday night when the Anaheim Ducks come to town.

Game Preview, Oilers at Red Wings, 7:30 PM, with bonus other stuff!

Okay, you guys, you know how we all know already that the 2013 Winter Classic is going to be Red Wings vs Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium? And you know how we already know that the U of M Board of Regents approved the stadium lease to the NHL (even including beer sales)? Gary Bettman is finally ready to announce the Worst Kept Secret In Hockey (TM) tomorrow! Let’s all act surprised so the funny little troll feels gratified, okay? I know we boo him every time he shows up. Let’s throw him a bone for once. Keeps him on his toes.

Meanwhile, in the Wings’ training room… Jimmy Howard doesn’t have any real updates on his broken finger. “I got nothing for you,” he said, laughing, to reporters. “I’ve seen a doctor. I saw him this morning. It was the same news as before – it’s just going to take a little while to heal.” Tiberius did admit that he is a little concerned about losing some of his timing if he doesn’t get back in quickly. “Ideally, I’d really love a couple of good practices before I get in there,’’ Howard said. “It’s been seven days now, the timing can go away. Every single day my finger is getting better. One thing the doctor said was I’m lucky being young enough where the bone is going to (heal) faster. Hopefully by the end of the week I’m out there taking shots.”

So let’s move on to what we need to know for tonight’s game against Edmonton.

Joey MacDonald will be our starting goalie this evening. Danny Cleary will play in spite of a sore knee, and Brad Stuart has recovered sufficiently from his flu bug to play. (Meaning that Mike Commodore will be a healthy scratch.) Pavel Datsyuk will play, but will be taking only the very barest minimum of faceoffs. “He’s got a – I don’t even know – hand, wrist, forearm,” explained Mike Babcock. “He just doesn’t feel like he should take (faceoffs) right now. He can take them at key times of the game if we need him. We’re just going to back him off for a bit and get him ready to go.”

Furthermore, this will be Tomas Holmstrom’s 999th career game– not bad for the guy Scotty Bowman expected to send back to Sweden in 1998. (For those who don’t know the story, Homer told reporters he picked jersey number 96 for his draft year, and Scotty commented that he should have picked 98 instead because that’s the year he’d be done in the NHL and going back to Sweden. Even genius coaches are wrong on occasion.)

As well, the Wings are looking to extend their home winning streak to 18 games. This is the first of a six game homestand, and to say the Joe has been friendly to the Red Wings this year is an understatement. These next six games are going to be of great value to stash away points to help guarantee home ice advantage through most (or even all!) rounds of the playoffs.

The Oilers will have head coach Tom Renney back behind the bench tonight. Renney had to sit out for Monday’s 6-3 loss against Toronto after taking a puck to the head in practice that morning. Renney actually had to take the same concussion baseline tests the players do when they get knocked in the head.  “Failed it twice. It’s a good thing they had the Coke machine in Toronto or I would not have known who we played last.” The coach estimated that he had to get 12 stitches to close up the cut and thinks he’ll be okay behind the bench tonight. “I’ll be fine … if I don’t yell.”

Nikolai Khabibulin is expected to start in net. Defenseman Tom Gilbert will be back in the lineup after healing his injured ankle, but Calder-candidate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will most likely be out due to a sore shoulder.

Fox Sports Detroit has our coverage for this one, 7:30 start time.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Late update: Make that Fox Sports Detroit PLUS, not regular FSD!

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Coyotes

Pregame: Danny Cleary’s in for sure, as the beat reporters have tweeted that the Cleary-Helm-Miller line is starting the game. Brad Stuart is out, so Mike Commodore steps in. Ericsson has been promoted to the second pairing with Nik Kronwall, so Commie will pair with Jakub Kindl. Joey MacDonald starting, as expected.

1st period:

15:02 Hooking penalty to Ian White.

14:24 Hooking penalty to Martin Hanzal. 4 on 4 for a while.

12:38 Goal for Boyd Gordon. White and Kronwall collide and Gordon comes up with the puck, dekes around MacDonald on the breakaway.

3:52 Shots 6-6 at this point. The Wings have really done a pretty good job at blocking the puck before it gets to Joey Mac, so far.

1:31 Hooking penalty to Nick Lidstrom.

Shots stay 6-6 through the period. Blocked shots 9-1 for Detroit. I think they need to trust Joey Mac a little more, if they’re going to generate any offense.

2nd period:

15:32 Tripping penalty to Ian White. It kind of looked like Oliver Ekman-Larsson just stepped on White’s stick.

13:44 Hooking penalty to Pavel Datsyuk. Pasha and Valtteri Filppula had been forechecking hard shorthanded, and Ekman-Larsson kind of skated through where Pasha was reaching for the puck.

13:05 Goal for Hanzal– Ray Whitney’s shot deflects off Hanzal screening MacDonald.

This game is much like a desert day– dull and causing me a headache. Also I keep thinking of the line from “Treasure Buddies” that they kept showing previews of during the Puppy Bowl yesterday: “Desert? I thought you said dessert!”

Kronwall has some sort of minor injury that he’s icing down on the bench between shifts.

4:56 Tripping penalty to Michal Rozsival. Let’s see if the extra power play practice did any good.

2:46 Delay of game penalty to Rostislav Klesla (puck over glass).

2:36 GOAL for Johan Franzen! Datsyuk passes to Henrik Zetterberg behind the net, Hank flips it out front, and Mule taps it in.

Shots 14-8 Detroit in the second.

3rd period:

10 minutes in and not much to speak of. Joey Mac has looked sharp, particularly on a scoring chance generated by a BAD giveaway by (who else) Ericsson.

Datsyuk had a glorious scoring chance right by the goal line, but tried to get the shot away too quickly and just plain missed the net.

5:57 Tripping penalty to Shane Doan.

0:50 Joey Mac out of the net for an extra skater.

0:28.5 Empty net goal for Hanzal.

Meh. It wasn’t bad enough to bring Statler and Waldorf in for commentary, but it certainly was a beige game. That’s enough of that long road trip business.

Next up: the Wings return home to host the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 on Wednesday.

Game Preview, Red Wings at Coyotes, 8:00 PM

Okay, I go on vacation for a few days and you guys break our goalie while I’m gone? This is why we can’t have nice things!

(As an aside, I got the news about Jimmy Howard’s broken finger while I was using the restroom at a sports-themed restaurant that has televisions in the restroom. I happened to glance up just in time to see the info go across the news crawl at the bottom of the screen. The other women who were in the restroom are probably still wondering why a big Vader-style “NOOOOOOOO!” came out of one stall.)***

As you probably know, Mike Babcock was, shall we say, less than impressed with Ty Conklin’s performance against the Oilers on Saturday. He was, however, impressed by Joey MacDonald giving the Wings a chance to win after Conk was pulled, so Joey Mac will be getting the start tonight against Phoenix. MacDonald sounds like he’s ready to take advantage of the opportunity. “I didn’t sign here to be down in Grand Rapids,” he said. “You got to keep working hard wherever you are and when you get the opportunity, take advantage of it.”

Brad Stuart is listed as “probable” (flu). (How many of us could have flu and still play a hockey game, or, really, do anything beyond traveling from bed to bathroom and back again?!?) Danny Cleary is also listed as probable with a sore left knee. (This will be Cleary’s 800th career game.)

Per MLive, the starting lines are as follows:


Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore are ready to step in for Cleary and/or Stuart if need be.

Power play improvement is going to be key; Detroit was 0 for 4 on Saturday and only 6 for 65 in the past 22 games. “Our power play hadn’t been wearing on the other team, hadn’t been grinding, grinding, grinding, spending two minutes in the zone,” Babcock said. “Motion and not taking the shots,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom added. “Sometimes we’re guilty of making that extra pass. When we get the shot through, we have to get the puck back. That’s been one of our problems, too, puck retrieval.”

The Coyotes are fighting for the 8th playoff spot, and they’re coming off a strong 5-3 win against San Jose on Saturday. Detroit has won all three of their games against Phoenix so far this season, so undoubtedly the Coyotes will have that somewhere in the back of their minds as well. Mike Smith is expected to get the start in net.

Tonight’s game will be on NBCSN, the network formerly known as Versus. 8:00 for broadcast start time.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*


*** The “NOOOOOOO!” part didn’t really happen, but the rest of it did.

What’s To Come This Week- Offline Time

I owe Jimmy Howard an apology.

I didn’t vote for him in WRIF’s Vote For Jimmy campaign to get him into the All-Star Game, thinking it would be better for him to have the weekend off. As it turned out, he absolutely wanted to be there and had a great time.

So, James Tiberius Howard III, I apologize! If I ever meet you I’ll apologize in person. (I also owe you an apology for thinking before the 09-10 season started that you didn’t have what it takes to be an NHL goalie. Shows what I know. On the bright side, I’ve never before been so very glad to have been so very wrong.)

Now that the All-Star break is over, the Red Wings are off for a Western Canada road trip. They’ll be facing the Calgary Flames Tuesday at 9:00, the Vancouver Canucks Thursday at 10:00, and the Edmonton Oilers Saturday at 10:00.

However, I won’t be online to cover any of these games. It’s vacation time! I tried to schedule my vacation to overlap with the All-Star break, partly so I wouldn’t miss any blogging, and partly because, really, how cool would it be to happen to see one of the non-All-Star guys wandering around Disney World or on the beach with his family? (Note: I would probably NOT disturb the guy on vacation, unless it was in line for a ride or something where it’s somewhat natural for people to strike up conversations with strangers.) But for some reason those wacky accountants I work for think I need to be there at the end of the month to do my month-end work.

So, anyway, you’re on your own for a week. Special Guest Blogger Fake Todd Bertuzzi is coming on vacation with me, so I can’t leave the blog in his hands while I’m gone. I’ll have my phone with me, so I can keep up with any possible trade news via Twitter, but posting a blog that way just doesn’t seem possible. I’ll be back with you in time for next Monday’s game against the Coyotes in Glendale. Be good while I’m gone!

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Canadiens, Statler and Waldorf Edition (L 2-7)

Pregame: With Nick Lidstrom out of the lineup tonight (flu), his streak of 213 straight games is coming to an end. It just doesn’t seem right that Captain Nick should be susceptible to flu viruses like a normal human would be. Our starting D-pairing will be Ian White and Jonathan Ericsson. (!!!!) Although I admit I have been curious to see how Mike Commodore and Jakub Kindl will do as a pair.

1st period:

14:52 Goal for Rene Bourque. Crashing to the net, deflects a pass by Scott Gomez with his skate. Play is being reviewed to make sure it wasn’t kicked in, and it wasn’t.

14:15 Montreal penalty to Lars Eller, two minutes for tripping.

9:04 Goal for Alexei Emelin. Andrei Kostitsyn makes a pass from behind the net (while falling), and Emelin gets the wrist shot through for his first career goal.

5:56 Montreal penalty to Hal Gill, two minutes for hooking.

3:48 Detroit penalty to Kindl for hooking– trying to recover from a bad turnover at the Detroit blue line.

3:30 Montreal penalty to P.K. Subban for elbowing.

2:02 Goal for David Desharnais. He gets in on a semi-breakaway and Jimmy Howard just plain misses the save.

0:55 Goal for Tomas Plekanec.

I’m thinking we’ll probably see Ty Conklin starting the second period. This is just not a good night for James Tiberius. Shots 12-6 in favor of the Habs. Obviously not a good night for the Wings’ defense either.

I’m experiencing technical difficulties and neither my netbook nor my husband’s old laptop are working now. So I’m on my desktop trying to piece together a blog from Tweets, box scores, and the Wings’ radio broadcast. Yeesh.

2nd period:

Conk in net.

18:08 Goal for Max Pacioretty.

16:42 Power play goal for Desharnais with Ericsson in the box for tripping.

13:27 Montreal penalty to Emelin for cross checking.

I tell you guys what, I love listening to Ken Kal and Paul Woods, but it is way harder to describe a game when I can’t see what’s happening!

Babs has put the Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom line back together.

Well, the Wings outshot the Canadiens 12-5 in the second, but Ken Kal barely got excited about anything, so presumably there were very few quality scoring chances.

The gang over on Twitter seems to be mostly blaming this fiasco on Lidstrom’s absence. I disagree. It certainly doesn’t HELP to have Captain Nick out of the lineup, but I’m getting more of an impression that they’re all mentally on vacation already, going into the All-Star break after a fairly grueling stretch of schedule.

3rd period, because I may as well finish up:

19:39 GOAL for Jiri Hudler! Pass from Darren Helm and Hudler wrists a high shot right under the crossbar. It’s a start.

13:53 Hey, Hudler scored again! If Jiri Hudler brings the team back… I just cannot comprehend this. Danny Cleary was screening Carey Price.

11:49 Ericsson penalty for tripping. Ah, Ericsson. You know, my friend Michelle has suggested that when E retires from playing, he can work as the penalty timekeeper who sits in the box, because he’ll be so familiar with the setting. Maybe it’s like crate training for a dog, and E needs to go in the box when he feels insecure?

I think Statler and Waldorf must be in a suite somewhere in the Bell Centre making bad jokes about the game.

Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the game.
Waldorf: Who’s a fool? You watched it.

1:23 Goal for Erik Cole. Eller makes a backhand pass and Cole taps it past Conk.

Oh good, it’s over. Final shot count 27-25 Detroit, final score 7-2 Montreal. Blargh. Let’s go have an All-Star break, shall we? Shake it off, rest up, and get ready to start the home stretch by laying some wrath on the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

I’ll let Statler and Waldorf sum this one up.

Waldorf: Seeing a game like that always makes me nostalgic.
Statler: Oh, yeah? Nostalgic for what?
Waldorf: D.D.T.