The Chicago Blackhawks continued their winning streak last night by way of a 2-1 overtime victory against their Central Division rival Detroit Red Wings to move to 6-0-0 on the season, their best start in franchise history. Not too bad. The winning tally came just over halfway through the extra period, when a Detroit turnover in the Chicago defensive zone led to a deep outlet pass to Hawks winger Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg carried the puck into the offensive zone and hit Nick Leddy with a cross-ice pass that the Chicago defenseman promptly buried over Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's left pad to send the United Center crowd of over 21,600 to their homes in a most...
Detroit Red Wings have somewhat of a comeback from their last game against the Blues on Saturday night. Safe to call it a victory? We think so. The Wings started strong. The first period gave a surge of energy to Red Wings fans everywhere. "We have our Wings back" was a common theme across social networking sites tonight. However, the Wings seemed to have a battle ahead. The game ended in a tie, sending the Wings to overtime and a shootout.
Well now, that was...something. That was definitely something.
What -it- was, sadly, was the Red Wings' first game of the season against the highly touted St. Louis Blues, and boy was it a stinker. Detroit came into this opening game with all the same question marks that loomed before and during the lockout. By the time the game was over, those question marks just hovered a little more menacingly over the head of Hockeytown. With five special teams goals--four on the power-play and one short-handed--the Blues absolutely handed it to Detroit this evening, cruising along to a 6-0 victory.
I'm going to begin this little piece by saying that Jiri Hudler honestly did surprise me this past season. Let it be known that I thought his stint in the KHL had wrecked his form beyond repair and that any strides forward he had made previously with Detroit had all been lost.
Then last year rolled around and we got a mostly decent 50-point producer who looked like he had begun to find himself again. A perfect split between goals and assists with 25 each, had Happy Hudler finally gotten his groove back? Perhaps he has, but we now find ourselves at a crossroads: Hudler's contract is up, and he is now an unrestricted free agent. Now it is up to Kenny Holland and the Red wings brain trust to decide if it's worth pursuing an extension for Jiri or if it's time to move on and let Hudler test the waters of free agency.
Needless to say, the early playoff exit to the hands of Nashville Predators was disappointing to Red Wings fans. Don't fret, there is some glimmer of redemption happening as we speak in the form of international play.
With the Red Wings booted out of the playoff early for the first time since 2006, questions swirl around the players, coaching, and management. During the Wings’ 21 year playoff streak, they won Western Conference Championships, Presidents Trophies, six Cup Final appearances, and four Stanley Cups. Much of the credit goes to the general manager: Ken Holland.
This applies to so many things in regards to last night's game.
Detroit seemed to dominate the flow of play tonight, but Nashville's been eating their Lucky Charms and have somehow squeezed out another cheeky victory in which we were forced to witness brief--albeit gaping--defensive lapses by Detroit and stupid terrible luck at the worst possible times leading to chances and, in some cases, goals. As if that weren't bad enough, the Hockey gods deemed it fitting to pull a fast one on the Wings, calling back what seemed like the 1st goal of the game, which would have given Nashville a 1-0 lead! The kicker: It was an 'Intent to blow' call!!
Hell hath frozen over!!
...for about a minute and a half, until Nashville came right back in and scored again, truly making it 1-0.
The Red Wings are toast. Well, at least according to some hockey fans on Twitter (most of which are Predators fans). With social media playing a prominent role in both analysis and over-exaggerations, every Facebook wall post, tweet, or blog should be taken with a grain of salt. What matters the most is the on ice play.
I'll be the first to admit the Red Wings aren't in the best scenario right now and that they have dug themselves into a hole. It's really frustrating when the opposing goalie stops everything you throw at him and the home team gives up a couple of softies. However, I do not believe the Red Wings are dead in the water. I still have faith they can make this at least a seven game series. After the jump, you can see the fans who think less of Detroit's resolve.
The Detroit Red Wings have one chance to make a statement to fellow playoff-runners, the New Jersey Devils. Tonight will be the lone time that the Wings and Devils will meet. After last season’s run and comparing their teams this season, it will be an interesting match-up.
Last season, Detroit won two of the only games played against the Devils. The Devils were able to score one goal each game, while the Wings soared at three and four goals a game. However, the season for the Wings has been a roller coaster. With recent injuries, the Wings have not been playing their best. The Wings have had a 4-4-2 record in their last ten games, while the Devils are looking a lot better with...