Around the Rink – April 22nd Edition

DarrenHelmCBJPhoto by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Today’s Around the Rink looks at postgame coverage from around the web after a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday evening. The Wings now have a 3-0 lead in the series.

Game 3 Thoughts

The crowd was rocking at Nationwide Arena before the game, but the Red Wings brought the volume down a notch with a quick goal from Tomas Holmstrom just 67 seconds into the contest. Dave Dye of The Detroit News wrote about how the quick goal to open the first period as well as another marker with less than a minute remaining in the first frame helped deflate the Blue Jackets and their crowd.

Michael Caples of DRW.com looked at what it took for the Wings to win the game and the effectiveness of Detroit’s “D” in his postgame Three Questions feature. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press blogged about a comment made by CBJ head coach Ken Hitchcock that said, “They don’t dial up the offense in the playoffs, they dial up the defense. They dial it up better than anybody.”

Heading into Game 3, the Wings were focused on stopping Columbus captain Rick Nash who had been held without a point in the first two games. While he did register an assist in Game 3, the CBJ forward finished the night with three hits and a -2 in 22:45 of play.

Goaltending

Heading into this series, most media pundits and bloggers predicted that the goaltending by each team would play a deciding role in the outcome of this series. Well, that thought has proven true but I don’t think the media members thought that it would be Detroit netminder Chris Osgood outshining his CBJ counterpart Steve Mason.

Osgood played another strong game, making 31 saves in the win. CBJ’s only tally of the game snapped Ozzie’s shutout streak at an impressive 144:27. Through three games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Osgood has posted an amazing 0.67 GAA and .974 save percentage. Ozzie talked to Ansar Khan of MLive.com about how this is the fun time of year for him and his teammates:

“It was a little debacle during the regular season,” Osgood said. “The last 15 games of the regular season I felt real good. I was doing the things in practice I need to do. Everything I was doing was to get to the point where I was feeling sharp for the playoffs. Plus, it’s fun for me this time of year.”

While the 12-2 goal differential in this series cannot be solely blamed on Mason since it’s kind of hard to win when your team is struggling to score, the 20-year-old goaltender has not stood on his head this series. Plus, Mason has had the fortune of dealing with Tomas Holmstrom in front of his crease each game and it has made his job difficult. Osgood, on the other hand, has made the key saves needed to keep Detroit in the game early or prevent Columbus from storming back in the third. In Game 3, Ozzie faced 14 shots in the third period alone and stopped all but one.

Physical Play

As mentioned in Monday’s edition of Around the Rink, the Blue Jackets’ may have initially underestimated the Wings’ level of physicality but they quickly realized that Detroit is not afraid to throw its body around when appropriate. The Wings demonstrated their physical play last night when Brad Stuart laid out CBJ’s R.J. Umberger, which you can view in the YouTube clip below.

The fact that Umberger was able to return to the game and play as well as he did (he scored a little over three minutes later) impressed not only his teammates and coach, but the Red Wings’ coach as well.

“I couldn’t even believe he was out there,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “My God, he got hit. I haven’t seen a hit like that in a long, long time. It looked to me like he was out. For him to come back and play says something about him.”

Andrea Lilja LIVE Chat

Yesterday at 1 p.m., the Wings hosted a LIVE chat with defenseman Andreas Lilja. You can check out the transcript of what type of fans’ questions he answered. Tomorrow, he’ll field your questions again at 1 p.m. EDT so be sure to visit DRW.com and participate!

Charitable Cause

The Detroit Red Wings will host a live auction during the FSDetroit broadcast of Thursday’s game to raise money for Derek Zike and Kyle Cannon, who both suffered spinal cord injuries while playing hockey over the past year. Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby originally presented the sticks they used during their 1000th career games to head coach Mike Babcock. With the players’ support, Babcock, in turn, is donating them to benefit Kyle and Derek.

Fans will have a chance to bid on the sticks, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday by calling 313-396-7438. Bid increments and auction updates will be announced on-air throughout the game. Payment via credit card and check will be accepted. The first 50 people to donate $50 will receive an autographed Draper and Maltby photo. Fans will also be able to follow the bidding online via the WingsLive in-game blog.

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This entry was posted in 2009 NHL Playoffs, Around the Rink, Detroit Red Wings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Around the Rink – April 22nd Edition

  1. Dan says:

    I got Drapes stick and I couldn’t be happier. Plus the money went to a great cause.

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