Three Questions: Wings-Avs
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 30th game
Marian Hossa tallied his 16th goal of the season so quickly I had to re-watch the play and still call somebody to verify what happened. At the seven-minute mark of the third, Henrik Zetterberg moved in for an offensive zone face-off against Paul Stastny. The puck dropped, and Hossa darted in behind the defense to snatch up the loose puck. The newest Red Wing used his lightning-quick release to catch everybody, including goaltender Andrew Raycroft, off-guard, beating him low only a few seconds after the face-off started.
What was the turning point of the game?
The Red Wings were clawing their way back into the game after Tomas Holmstrom’s ninth goal of the season, when disaster struck in the first two minutes of the third period. Defenseman Brett Lebda made a great play to keep a shot from getting past goaltender Chris Osgood, swatting the puck out of harm’s way just before it crossed the goal line. However, the struck puck changed directions and started heading back to the goal. Lebda dove into the net, and kept the puck from going into the Detroit goal with his hand. It was a great play to prevent a goal by Lebda, but he was whistled for closing his hand on the puck, which resulted in an automatic penalty shot for the Avalanche. Defenseman Jordan Leopold was chosen to take the shot, and he beat Osgood with a backhand deke on his first career penalty shot. The goal gave the Avalanche a two-goal lead, which the Red Wings weren’t able to overcome with the limited time.
What happens on Thursday?
The Red Wings welcome the San Jose Sharks to Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, former Detroit assistant coach Todd McClellan’s first game against his former club. McClellan has led the Sharks to the league’s best record (24-3-2) after instituting the Wings’ puck-possession style of play into the Sharks’ playbook. The game will be a true test for the Wings, as they square off against a possible playoff foe. Don’t miss the action!