Game 37: Red Wings-Calgary Enotes

Well, what do you know. It isn’t only the visiting team who can win a game at Joe Louis Arena.

Daniel Alfredsson, who narrowly missed a goal in the second period that was overruled by video review, scored his second goal of the game 1:03 into overtime on the power play, and the Red Wings got a much-needed win, 3-2 over the Calgary Flames.

Alfredsson and the JLA crowd thought he had given Detroit a 3-1 lead when he poked a puck at Flames goalie Karri Ramo about 12 minutes into the second period. The puck fluttered off Ramo and referee Dean Morton (a former Red Wings player) ruled on the ice that the puck crossed the goal line. But video review confirmed that the puck didn’t, and the goal was taken off the board.

A few minutes later, three Red Wings were sent to the penalty box in succession in under two minutes, and the Flames took advantage of all the power play time when Mark Giordano wristed a shot over the shoulder of Jonas Gustavsson to tie the game, 2-2.

The Red Wings struck first early in a game they absolutely had to win. Alfredsson got the tally at 26 seconds.

Mikael Backlund scored at 5:11 to tie the game.

Joakim Andersson got credit for the Red Wings’ second goal as his skate deflected Alfredsson’s point shot over Ramo’s shoulder at 11:38 of the second period.

The Red Wings started the overtime on the power play, thanks to a hooking penalty to T. J. Brodie at 19:18 of the third period.

The Red Wings (16-12-9) outshot the Flames, 38-22.

Detroit snapped a six-game winless streak and improved to 6-9-6 at home.


BOTTOM LINE: A win is a win. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s two points.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. FSD’s Mickey Redmond was right. As the teams skated off the ice after the second period, Redmond astutely pointed out that the Red Wings were about to play the most important third period of the season. “They have to win this game,” Redmond said. They did, and now let’s see what this does for the Red Wings’ confidence, because it was looking like a game of bad puck luck for long stretches, especially with Detroit dominating the SOG clock.


Spotlight on the Opponent: Sean Monahan

What: Calgary at Detroit
When: Thursday, December 19, 7:30pm (TV: FSD)


Just two days ago, the Winged Wheeler put the opponent spotlight on 43 year-old Teemu Selanne.

Today, it’s someone who could easily be Selanne’s son—in terms of age, that is.

Sean Monahan is 19 years old but he isn’t playing like it. There’s a veteran’s goal-scoring touch emerging already.

Monahan has 10 goals in 27 games this season for the Calgary Flames, who made the center their first round draft pick (6th overall) in the 2013 entry draft.

The 10 goals is good enough to tie Monahan for the Flames’ team lead, along with fellow center Mike Cammalleri. Monahan has six assists, and his 16 points are tied with D Kris Russell for second place on the team, behind points leader Jiri Hudler (remember him?), who has 9 goals and 21 assists.

So how is this Brampton, ON native getting it done so far?

Well, first, Monahan is probably thankful for remaining in the Flames lineup, given what happened to him the other night in Boston.

Monahan was checked from behind and boarded by the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, a hit that did not result in a suspension, which irritates the Flames.

“(Marchand)’s a dirty player,” Flames LW Curtis Glencross told after the game.

Monahan has already suffered a hairline fracture to his foot, an injury in late-November that caused him to miss a few games.

Monahan was listed as the #5 prospect in North America, according to many scouting think tanks. He was drafted from the OHL, where he played for the Ottawa 67s.

Ever confident, Monahan declared that he was ready to play in the NHL right away, which he proved after making the team in training camp.

Monahan didn’t waste any time getting started on his NHL career, tallying an assist on opening night against Washington, then scoring his first NHL goal one night later against Columbus.

With the exception of the foot injury, Monahan hasn’t really stopped scoring, though his six assists are a little low for a top three center at this point in the season.

Monahan wears no. 23 for the Flames.

Game 14: Red Wings-Calgary Enotes

Two up, two down.

Maybe going on the road is what the doctor ordered, after all.

The Red Wings played another gritty, less-is-more game in Calgary and beat the Flames, 4-3, to go 2-0 on their 4-game road trip.

It was a bad second period sandwiched by two good ones that got the job done tonight. That, and the old adage of “throw the puck at the net because you never know what can happen.”

That’s exactly what Joakim Andersson did early in the third period. Andersson was deep in the corner to the left of Flames goalie Joey MacDonald (yes, that Joey MacDonald) and fired the puck along the ice toward the crease. The puck went off Joey Mac’s skate and trickled between his legs and just like that, the Red Wings led, 3-2. It’s never a bad angle if it goes in!

With under 4:00 to play, Justin Abdelkader netted his second goal of the season when he beat MacDonald high on the short side. It proved to be the game winner, as the Flames scored a flukey goal of their own with :10 to play.

I liked the effort once again on the road. I was interested to see if the Red Wings would follow up their win in Vancouver with the same nose-to-the-grindstone play in Calgary, and they did—in the first period. The EuroTwins—Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg—scored in the first period to forge a 2-0 lead. The second goal, by Z, was set up brilliantly by a nifty pass across the slot from Todd Bertuzzi.

I’m liking Bertuzzi on the line with Pavs and Z. Bertuzzi still has soft as silk hands for a big man, and he also possesses the hockey IQ needed to play with such skilled players. Bert may not have the legs of his predecessor on that line, Abdelkader, but he makes up for it with guile and instinct.

The second period was one to forget, but the Wings have played five good periods out of six on the trip so far.

After the Flames scored twice in the second to tie the game, the Red Wings got back to basics, won lots of the little battles for the puck, and kept the Flames without the puck for long stretches in the third period.

The Red Wings’ PK went 5-for-5, which didn’t hurt.

BOTTOM LINE: The Red Wings are quickly learning that they will have to outwork opponents more than they have had to in the past. When they put their minds to it, and work hard, their skill and experience will reap the rewards.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: Getting two goals from the fourth line and two from the big boys makes for a good night. The Oilers await the Red Wings in Edmonton, and the first 10 minutes of Saturday night’s game will be yet another test. Already, Detroit is assured of at least a .500 trip. That’s fine, but now is not the time to let up.

spotlight on the opponent: jiri hudler

Jiri hudler

Our old friend, Jiri Hudler, is off to a good start with the Flames. Hudler has 5/8/13 in 12 games so far, and has registered a point in all but two games so far this season.

Some have called Hudler the Flames’ MVP this season, and Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg has taken notice of his former teammate and friend’s hot start.

“He’s a good player, and there’s a reason why Calgary went after him (in free agency in July 2012),” Zetterberg told the Detroit News. “He’s not a big guy but he plays big and he has real good balance. He’s strong, and can play the net front. He’s a great kid and obviously we miss him.”

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock sounds, now, like a man who never wanted to see Hudler leave, despite Jiri’s falling out of favor with Detroit fans near the end of his stay with the Red Wings—and despite Babcock’s own frustrations with Hudler at times.

“He’s brilliant with the puck, he knows how to play,” Babcock also told The News. “He was in a good organization for a long time and he learned how to play without the puck. I think he’s a real good player, I really do.”

Hudler’s time in Detroit ended on a sour note, but he’s kicked it up a notch or two in Calgary. Hudler wears no. 24 with the Flames.