Hockeytown Blog’s Around the Feature is back to kick off 2010. The Wings were able to string together a pair of wins over Colorado and Phoenix to end 2009 and start 2010 on high notes. Unfortunately, we were unable to recap last night’s game against Anaheim for this post due to a scheduling conflict.
The Wings topped Colorado 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena in the team’s annual New Year’s Eve game. Detroit then notched a 4-1 win over the Coyotes on Saturday thanks to a pair of redirections by veteran forward Tomas Holmstrom. The DRW bloggers noted the significance of this win over a hot team: Babcock’s Death Stare, Gorilla Crouch, Motown Wings, Nightmare on Helm Street, Red Wings Blog, Red, White & Black-n-Blue, Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, The Production Line, and Winging It In Motown.
Forwards Henrik Zetterberg (shoulder) and Dan Cleary (shoulder) are hoping to return to the lineup this week with both players aiming for Thursday’s game against Los Angeles. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall is eying a return for either the Jan. 9 game at San Jose or the Jan. 12 contest against the New York Islanders.
Chris McCosky of The Detroit News notes that defenseman Andreas Lilja and forward Johan Franzen should be the only two players on the injured list by the end of this month. With the return of each injured player, the Wings expect to slowly rise in the standings. He also recaps the first half of the season, including first-half disappointments and surprises.
In Other News
- The national hockey federations announced their teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics over Hockeytown Blog’s holiday break. Seven Red Wings will represent their countries in the Games: Pavel Datsyuk (Russia), Brian Rafalski (USA), Valtteri Filppula (Finland), Nick Lidstrom (Sweden), Henrik Zetterberg (Sweden), Tomas Holmstrom (Sweden), and Niklas Kronwall (Sweden). It will be Filppula’s first appearance in the Olympics.
- A few bloggers offered up their midseason reviews: Fight Night at the Joe, Gorilla Crouch, Motown Wings, The Production Line, Unconnected Red Wings Blog, and Winging It In Motown.
- The Detroit News writes that captain Nick Lidstrom’s scoring slump (one goal in 41 games) hasn’t really been an issue for the team.
- The Herm to Hockeytown project is going well blogs Abel to Yzerman and the rest of the money raised will be donated to Children’s Hospital.
- After struggling early on in the season, rookie netminder Jimmy Howard has excelled and his confidence is blossoming notes the Detroit Free Press. His success has Chris Osgood impatient as the backup goaltender.
- Howard isn’t the only player seeing a boost in confidence. The Detroit Free Press mentions the improvement with Derek Meech, who has been able to consistently log ice time with the injuries.
- The Wings are optimistic heading into the second half of the season just three points out of a playoff spot with most of their injured players returning this month.
- Ansar Khan of MLive.com notes that the Wings are stingier on defense, having “allowed more than two goals in a game only three times in the past 13 games.”
- Former Michigan State forward Justin Abdelkader leads the Red Wings with 118 hits, which is 18 more than defenseman Brad Stuart according to the Detroit Free Press.
- Red Wings Central discusses the great offensive season that Wings’ prospect (and University of Wisconsin defenseman) Brendan Smith is having this season: “The junior defenseman with the Wisconsin Badgers is on a scoring rampage in the NCAA this season, tied for sixth in the country with eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points in 19 games. He is easily the Badgers’ leading scorer, while no blueliner in the NCAA is within seven points of him.”
- There is a new podcast episode from The Obstructed View program talking Red Wings hockey that you will want to check out.