Avalanche at Red Wings tonight on Vs. It's the first game of the 2nd half for the Avs, as well as being the start of a critical east coast road trip. Joe Beninati and Neil Smith with the call. I'm not a huge fan of Beninati, but Smith has some good insight from time to time.
Tomas Holmstrom returns to the lineup for the Wings. I have to be honest, I've always had a bit of a man crush on Holmstrom – I love the way this guy plays hockey.
Hasek against Theodore tonight. If that doesn't cause heartburn, I don't know what would.
20:00 The Guite line starts. Guite, Lappy and McLeod, with Liles and Finger in the back section.
19:16 The Guite line gives way to Stastny, Hejduk and Wolski. Skrastins and Clark are the 2nd pairing on the ice.
18:40 Detroit is off to a fast start.
18:26 Hlinka, Brunette and Svatos are up next, with Hannan and Leopold on defense.
17:58 Chris Chelios becomes the 2nd oldest man to play in the NHL. 2nd most annoying as well.
17:45 And Cody McCormick is in the game. He's on the 4th line with Hensick and Johnny Boychuk. That calms my stomach down a little bit.
17:31 Boychuk gets the first decent hit of the game.
16:52 Big one-timer from the point from Hannan.
14:45 Theodore looks sharp so far. And by sharp, I mean he seems to actually react to shots…something that's not always a given.
10:53 Really good shift from Marek Svatos. That good be a good sign.
10:27 Theodore apparently has told his defensemen he wants them to give him better sight lines on the puck as, quote, he can handle the shot from 50 feet. Unquote. I can't stop laughing.
9:41 No, really, he said that.
8:05 Nice hit by Skrastins on Filppula.
3:20 Scrum in front of the net, with McCormick giving Lidstrom a little cross check after the whistle. Chelios jumps out of his rocking chair and goes after McCormick. Hensick kind of rushes in, and then seems to realize what he's about to do and holds back a bit. Minors for both McCormick and Chelios.
2:23 Wolski steals the puck and gets a good shot on the ensuing play. He's handling the puck like he did against New York.
1:09 McCormick is quite aggressive tonight. I wonder if he's feeling any pressure from the strong play of McLeod?
The first period ends 0-0. Good, fast-paced period. Both teams played well.
19:22 Apparently, it's just the 2nd time all year that the Wings haven’t scored a 1st period goal at home. Theodore has been very strong tonight, no question about that.
14:52 They find Holmstrom all alone on the back door and Theodore was stuck, but Holmstrom couldn't handle the puck and had to dish it back to the point. Lucky break there.
13:50 McLeod and Maltby scuffle while jockeying for position on a faceoff. McLeod give Maltby a pretty good shove, but Maltby ignores it.
13:13 McLeod tries to goad Maltby again after the next whistle. Maltby was having none of it.
11:50 Svatos gets dumped to the ice by Lilja
8:36 Boychuk and Datsyuk get together at center ice. Both go to the ice, although it wasn't quite as big a hit as it looked like. Did that even make sense?
7:10 Avalanche forwards are doing a really nice job of getting back into the play. Hejduk does it here to break up a play, but these guys have been doing it all night long.
6:16 Svatos wheels and deals around all 5 Detroit players on the ice. He can be a lot of fun to watch when he's on his game (which he is).
5:10 Did I really just see Liles calmly reverse direction to get away from pressure in his own end?
3:42 The Wings PP is finally going to make an appearance. Guite called for interference.
3:22 The geniuses at Vs put up a stat to show the Avs futility on the PP and the Wings excellence on the PK. Too bad it's the Wings on the PP.
2:24 The puck bounces off of Clark and into the glove of Theodore. I exhale a very deep breath.
1:39 The Wings score just as the penalty expires. Kronwall fires from the point. It hits Holmstrom in front, drops straight down, and Holmstrom shuffles it over to Datsyuk for an easy score. Great play by Holmstrom. Really, not much that Theodore (or the Avs) could do on that one – just a well executed play. 1-0 Detroit.
17:22 So far, Q hasn’t fucked with any of the lines.
16:52 Oh, wait, McLeod is out with Hensick and Boychuk instead of McCormick.
15:00 The Avs are not keeping possession of the puck like they had been in the first half of the game.
13:42 Another Detroit PP, Likes with an errant high stick.
11:38 Big clear for Colorado. Still in it.
10:52 Hensick is getting a shift with Svatos and Brunette. A really good shift for all 3.
9:50 Wrister from Hejduk in the slot gets turned away.
9:10 Lappy gets robbed. He was set up by Hensick, who is suddenly playing very well.
7:46 Penalty on Franzen for a trip on McCormick in the slot. Colorado get their first PP of the night. Hey, guys in the booth, NOW you can show that special teams graphic.
7:33 Liles, Clark, Wolski, Stastny and Hejduk are the first unit.
6:45 It's looking pretty ugly so far. Not that anyone is surprised by that.
6:17 Boychuk's on the point.
5:24 The PP is mercifully over.
2:19 Time is running out.
1:08 It's going to be tough to tie the game when Detroit is playing keep away with the puck.
:40 Theo is off.
:23 Liles gets called offside, although it looked like he might have kept the puck in at the point. Liles is livid after the play. Vs wont replay it, so I had to go back with Tivo. It looks like he did keep it in.
0:00 And that's it, Colorado wastes a great effort by Theodore, putting up just 19 shots on Hasek and losing 1-0. Fun trivia fact – Hasek has more shutouts tonight (1) than Theodore does since the lockout (0).
Yeah, that wasn’t fair. I know.