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Sack Lloyd Carr / Other Detroit Area Sports / Gut check pulls Wings within a point of Nashville
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The Michigan Man 
# Posted: 7 Mar 2007 05:28

Does anyone else find it amazing that the Wings lost so many great players (Yzerman, Shannahan, etc.), and are playing so well this year?

(By the way, the article below was written by a WOMAN! That sort of rocks....! Go Women!)

Gut check pulls Wings within a point of Nashville



Ravaged by injuries, the Red Wings and Predators fought hard and long Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena to push one another apart in the Central Division.

It ended with a stalemate of sorts; a 4-3 shoot-out victory for the Red Wings that gave them two points but only moved them within a point of Nashville in the standings because the Predators also notched a point.

"It was a hard game to win," Mike Babcock said after getting his 100th victory with the Wings.

Unlikely hero Johan Franzen won it in sudden death, after Pavel Datsyuk and Paul Kariya traded goals during the first six attempts.

Franzen strode up the middle and deked before popping a forehand glove-side on Tomas Vokoun.

"I tried to act like I'm going to shoot," Franzen said. "And that's what got him to freeze; then I go in sideways and put it in."

Chris Osgood then stopped Martin Erat to improve the Wings to 2-4 in shoot-outs this season. The Wings have at least one point in nine straight games.

Mathieu Schneider scored his 200th career NHL goal, earning a standing ovation from fans and a pat on the shoulder from Nicklas Lidstrom, who reached the same milestone Friday.

"I got back to the bench and he said, 'Welcome to the club,' kid," Schneider said, smiling. "He and I had a friendly bet with Langer at the beginning of the year; one of us wanted to beat Langer to 200, but he killed us, he got there way before both of us."

Robert Lang, who scored his 200th goal in November, had a goal and an assist against the Predators; Datsyuk got his 20th goal of the year. Lang didn't go in the shoot-out because he'd just been slashed on his hand.

The Wings took a 3-2 lead into the third period, but a relentless Predators attack yielded a goal from Greg Zanon at 11:42.

"This is the first time in a long time I thought we looked like a team that wasn't sure we were just going to win," Babcock said. "Normally when we're ahead, it's over with. Tonight when we were ahead, I thought we got on our heels a little bit and I thought they were better than us."

Erat and Jason Arnott scored Nashville's first two goals.

Both teams missed a cast of key players, headlined by Henrik Zetterberg and Peter Forsberg -- and who wouldn't have enjoyed seeing those two go in the shoot-out, given their respective talents for mirroring the famous Kent Nilsson reach-back backhand move?

Even without those two, the game seethed with competition. Datsyuk looked indomitable on the first goal, stealing the puck from David Legwand along the right boards and then wheeling around Marek Zidlicky (who later left the game with an upper-body injury) to score at 4:23.

The Wings wasted 1:38 of a two-man advantage, which drew a groan from fans, but when Jordin Tootoo tumbled headfirst into Detroit's bench after missing a check, spirits were restored; even more after Jiri Hudler drilled the much-bigger Dan Hamhuis.

The teams meet again three more times this month, and getting some of the injured players back should lead to even better competition. "The tempo will be a lot higher and the execution will be a lot better," Babcock said. "But I thought both teams battled."

# Posted: 7 Mar 2007 08:01

Not a bad year for a supposed rebuilding year. I saw many pubs where the Wings were picked to be around 6-7 in the conference. I think how they do in the playoffs all hinges on Hasek's health. I do not think this team is good enough to over come Osgood in net.

# Posted: 7 Mar 2007 08:56

I can't wait for Bertuzzi to join the lineups, that guy can play!

# Posted: 7 Mar 2007 11:26 Edited by: tiredoflosing

Does anyone else find it amazing that the Wings lost so many great players (Yzerman, Shannahan, etc.), and are playing so well this year?

Its the front office and Ken Holland. He seems to have a knack of getting the right players to make a winning team. Hes been doing it since the 80s when he got Yzerman (who was his second choice). The guy has the Midas touch and as long as hes in the RW front office, we'll see a playoff quality team.

The Michigan Man 
# Posted: 7 Mar 2007 20:46

I can't wait for Bertuzzi to join the lineups, that guy can play!

I hope he works out better than Hatcher did - they are sort of similar players.

# Posted: 8 Mar 2007 00:07

Hey tired, it was not Ken Holland who picked Stevie Y, it was Jimmy Delevalono (sp?). He rebuilt the Wings in the mid 80s with all the draft picks. He stepped aside and Holland took over. Holland has done a great job but Jimmy D is the man who got everything rolling in the 80s.

Mike Furley 
# Posted: 8 Mar 2007 09:12

I am jealous of you all on the NHL front. I was initially excited when Columbus was awarded an NHL franchise, even though I knew an expansion franchise meant we would have some growing pains initially.

Then, they announced our name would be the Blue Jackets. At first I thought that was cool, because I thought it was a reference to the Indian leader, and maybe we'd get a cool logo like Chicago. It was a swift kick to the groin to learn it was a combination of meaning both some lousy insect and/or civil war uniform.

Then they gave us the uniforms which are ugly.

Then they drafted Rusty Klesla with the first pick and he was supposed to be the next Chris Pronger....more disappointment.

Then the grabbed Marc Denis who was supposed to be the next Patrick Roy....more disappointment.

Then they drafted a bunch of humps who never panned out.

Then they drafted Rick Nash and he actually panned out for the first season. Then Nikolai Zherdev, and that was kind of exciting at first because it looked like we had two new young studs. Then we get Adam Foote and Segei Federov, and Ken Hitchcock to coach and I actually get cock-teased into thinking we may have a shot at the playoffs....more disappointment.

I am to the point now that I think Columbus may never field a good club on the ice. It's like they suck on purpose so the guys can get traded to a cup contender every March.

Nobody in this town expects us to look like the Oilers in the eighties, but could we get just an ounce of competitiveness out of these chumps on a regular basis?

# Posted: 8 Mar 2007 09:16

Go Wings!

Use the Sauce!

# Posted: 8 Mar 2007 09:40

Hey Check, youre right. I forgot about JD, doh'

Still, the Wings Front Office and Ownership are doing things right and that trickles all the way down to the ice.

# Posted: 9 Mar 2007 00:10


I am a huge Wing's fan, I grew up playing hockey and going to many games at Olympia. I remember when the Wing's pried Jimmy D from the Islanders in '84. That is when they finally decided enough was enough. That was Illitch's best move.

I love watching hockey, especially the playoffs. In my view, there is no championship harder to win in pro sports then the Cup. Playoff hockey has no peer in terms of intensity and desire to win.


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