Game 36: Red Wings-Anaheim Enotes

For 25 seconds, the Red Wings had their fans feeling like this could be the night when the home ice disadvantage was no more.

They were some glorious 25 seconds.

Unfortunately, the other 59:35 didn’t go so well.

Tomas Jurco scored his first NHL goal in his second NHL game at the 3:15 mark of the first period, and the Red Wings had a 1-0 lead over the Anaheim (they really are Mighty this year) Ducks.

That lead held for all of 25 seconds.

With Joe Louis Arena still buzzing over Jurco’s goal, in which he took a neatly lilted pass from Drew Miller behind the Anaheim defense, deked, and then slipped the puck beneath Jonas Hiller’s pads, the Ducks tied the game.

A shot from the blue line was partially blocked by Dan Cleary, but the puck caromed hard off the back boards and onto the stick of Jakob Silfverberg, who swatted the puck past Jonas Gustavsson. Just like that, the game was tied, 1-1.

Less than two minutes later, the Ducks went ahead when Nick Bonino took a smart pass from Daniel Winnik and beat Gustavsson from the low slot for a 2-1 Anaheim lead.

At 18:17, Corey Perry scored his 22nd goal of the season when he skated to the face-off circle and beat Gustavsson cleanly to the stick side. That goal ended Gustavsson’s night.

Petr Mrazek came in and with one second to go in the period, Sami Vatanen blasted a shot from the top of the circle off a drop pass and beat Mrazek cleanly, if also embarrassingly.

4-1 Ducks after 20 minutes.

The rest of the game was another shell shocked performance by the injury-depleted Red Wings (15-12-9), who lost to Anaheim, 5-2.

BOX SCORE

BOTTOM LINE: The Ducks seemed peeved about Jurco’s goal and never looked back after tying the game so quickly.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: The lack of confidence grows each night as the Red Wings fell to 0-4-2 in their past six games and 5-9-6 at home for the season. The first period left everyone from the Red Wings to the souvenir vendors stunned. This is a team whose only playoff hope is to tread water until their many injured regulars return. And right now the Red Wings are sinking instead.

Spotlight on the Opponent: Teemu Selanne

What: Anaheim at Detroit
When: Tuesday, December 17, 7:30pm (TV: FSD)

NHL

When Teemu Selanne entered the NHL, George Bush was president—the first George Bush.

The Winnipeg Jets were in the league—the first Winnipeg Jets.

The Red Wings’ last Stanley Cup championship was still in 1955.

And, most ironically, the Anaheim Ducks didn’t even exist.

The NHL consisted of 24 teams in the fall of 1992, when Selanne made his big splash.

Selanne was a rookie for the Jets, a 22-year-old puck magician and sniper from Finland.

And what a splash Selanne made!

The RW Selanne scored an amazing 76 goals in his rookie year, adding 56 assists for an astounding 132 points.

These days, it might take even the most heralded rookies two full seasons, and then some, to amass 132 points.

By comparison, the great Sidney Crosby scored 39 goals in his rookie year of 2005-06—about half of Selanne’s rookie total in 1993.

Selanne was Winnipeg’s first round draft choice (10th overall) in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. The Helsinki native spent the next four years playing in his homeland before finally coming to North America in 1992.

There were plenty of goalies who wished Selanne would have stayed in Finland, as Teemu hit the ice skating, and he hasn’t really stopped since.

Today, at 43 years of age, Selanne may finally be showing signs of slowing down.

Selanne is nine years into his second stint with the Ducks franchise, and after scoring 12 goals in 46 games last season, the Finn has just four goals and four assists in 27 games.

Clearly, Selanne is wrapping up a Hall of Fame career, with his 679 goals and 1,438 points.

Finally, at age 36, Selanne won a Stanley Cup, with the Ducks in 2007. In that playoff year, Selanne scored a killer goal in overtime to beat the Red Wings in Detroit in the Conference Finals.

After his mind-boggling rookie year, Selanne scored over 50 goals just twice more, but his consistency as a 25-to-30-goal scorer puts him among the elite goal scorers in league history. In his 20 seasons previous to this one, Selanne has scored 20+ goals 17 times.

The “Finnish Flash” scored a goal in the Ducks’ last game, snapping a personal 19-game drought in that category which was the longest of his illustrious career.

Selanne, famously, wears no.8 for the Ducks.