The Detroit Red Wings Show Much Work Lies Ahead in Loss to the Flames

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2009

Yesterday was going to be a good day for me. For the first time in over a month, I could just come from school, relax with nothing to do, then turn on Sportsnet West for the Detroit Red Wings game against the Calgary Flames.

Unfortunately, the good life stopped once the third period arrived.

The game started off very exciting, as Olli Jokinen scored just five minutes into the first period on the visiting Flames' first power play, but after that, it was all Red Wings.

Calgary proceeded to rack up 27 minutes in penalties (a 10-minute misconduct went to Jim Vandermeer), as they gave Detroit chance after chance to score on a couple of two-man advantages.

Henrik Zetterberg started off the scoring for Detroit with Tomas Holmstrom causing problems for Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in front of the net. Mikael Samuelsson also scored during the extra long sequence of power plays, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead after the first period and a 28-4 edge on the shot chart.

It was more of the same in the second period, as the Wings managed to extend their lead to three goals. Nicklas Lidstrom blasted a power-play goal from the point (with you-know-who in front), and Valterri Filppula also managed to slap one by Kiprusoff, probably the one shot he should have stopped.

Unfortunately for the Wings, Daymond Langkow scored a goal late in the second period, making it 4-2 for Detroit heading into the intermission.

The third period is where it all began to go completely down hill. Detroit managed zero shots through the first 15 minutes of play, as Calgary proceeded to pepper Ty Conklin with shots.

Jamie Lundmark started off the comeback and ended it with his fourth and fifth goals of the season, giving the Flames a 5-4 lead.

The situation looked dire for Detroit, but Cleary pulled off a miracle with just under a minute left. Pavel Datsyuk's assist on the goal was his third point of the night.

The overtime period was rather uneventful, leading us to a shootout to decide who would earn the extra point for their team. Mike Cammalleri made Ty Conklin look foolish on his attempt and the new Calgary Flame, Olli Jokinen, put the Wings away with his goal on the last shot of the shootout.

With the point, Detroit managed to pull one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Western Conference, and they are now tied with the Boston Bruins for the league lead.


Adam's thoughts and rants

This game proved once again that this team is not likely to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Sloppy goaltending was once again evident as Conklin looked brutal on the first goal, and he was battling the puck all night.

Also, the Wings showed that they still cannot play a full 60 minutes. That third period was a travesty of hockey, and it really came back to bite them in the ass.

Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Cleary, and Tomas Holmstrom all had good games. Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall, Kris Draper, and Kirk Matlby continued to suck, and all four of them were on the ice during many of the Flames' goals.

Some good news is the Jonathon Ericsson has looked very good during his short stay in Detroit. Ericsson has been filling in for the injured Andreas Lilja and has not looked out of place, pairing up with the speedy Brett Lebda. Hopefully, Ericsson continues to develop into an elite defenseman.