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Three Questions: Wings-Wild

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 60th game

Saturday, 02.21.2009 / 10:44 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Wild
What was the big line-up change Saturday night?

The Red Wings had a fresh face defending their goal Saturday night – Jimmy Howard.  The top goaltender for the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Howard was called up to the NHL roster when it was announced that Chris Osgood would be unavailable for the next ten days.  Ty Conklin played last night, so to give him a rest, coach Mike Babcock tapped Howard to get between the posts in Minnesota.  The Detroit management wanted to get a look at their second round draft pick from 2003, but should give him another look before he gets sent back down.  The final score didn’t do Howard justice; he fell victim to bad breaks.  First, he had to try to stop former all-star Owen Nolan in prime scoring positions, then a few turnovers left him facing difficult shots throughout the contest.  Combine that with a Wild squad playing in front of their energetic home crowd while the Wings were operating on no rest, and it was a bad situation for the young netminder.  Howard did make 24 shots in his ninth career game, however, and he showed good rebound control and stickwork on dump-ins throughout the contest.  He should see more time before he gets sent back to Grand Rapids.

How did Tomas Kopecky celebrate?


It’s not often that a hockey player gets to celebrate something big by scoring a goal the next day.  Forward Tomas Kopecky and his wife Maria were celebrating the birth of his second child today, and to top it off, he scored his third goal of the season for new son Tobias.  Three minutes into the second period, Kopecky charged to the net as Ville Leino flew down the boards.  Leino tried to make a pass out in front, and Kopecky fought through a crowd to get his stick on the puck and fire it past goaltender Niklas Backstrom.  Kopecky’s stick might have had a little magic in it; his new labeling on the top of his stick read ‘JT’ along with his number, in honor of his sons Jakub, and newly-born Tobias.

What went wrong?


You’re not going to win a lot of hockey games if you can’t convert on the power play, and even the game’s best team on the man advantage are going to have games where the puck doesn’t go in.  The Red Wings went scoreless on five man-advantage opportunities Saturday as they battled against the NHL’s best penalty-killing team.  Credit goes to goaltender Backstrom, who turned away 35 Detroit shots throughout the contest.  The Wings may have been battling travel fatigue after playing a home game last night, but they will have time to rest before they square off against San Jose on Wednesday at home.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80