Blues Beat Wings in Shootout
The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-1 deficit last night to force overtime in St. Louis, but the Blues beat Detroit 4-3 in the shootout. Kris Draper, Pavel Datsyuk, and Valtteri Filppula scored the goals for Detroit. Rookie netminder Jimmy Howard turned away 42 shots in his 17th start in 19 games.
In his first game back from ACL reconstruction since his injury on Oct. 8, forward Johan Franzen recorded an assist, finished with three hits and an even plus-minus rating, and logged 17:28 minutes of ice time. The Wings are excited to see Franzen back in the lineup, but the team is also trying to temper expectations for his return as it will likely take some time for the Swede to adjust to NHL game action.
- MLive.com reports that Patrick Eaves will not play until after the Olympic break due to a sprained left ankle. The article also notes that Tomas Holmstrom missed last night’s game thanks to a bruised left knee.
- Defenseman Niklas Kronwall did not play against the Blues as he is “waiting for a better-fitting brace to arrive.”
- Last week, defenseman Andreas Lilja began his three-game conditioning stint wearing No. 26 for the Grand Rapids Griffins and was just elated to be back out on the ice for a game. Lilja has not experienced any complications after two games so far. The Wings asked the league for an extension of his conditioning loan, which would allow him to play in five Griffins games with his last one this weekend.
- Speaking of injuries, Winging It In Motown takes a look at some relevant injury stats.
Leino Traded to Philly
- The Red Wings traded 26-year-old Ville Leino to Philadelphia in exchange for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. By trading away Leino, the Wings were able to take his $800,000 salary off the payroll and allowed the team to be under the salary cap when the Wings activated Franzen.
- According to the Detroit Free Press, Tollefsen was assigned to Grand Rapids and cleared waivers so he will likely practice with the Griffins on Thursday and play in his first game with the team on Friday.
- Hockey bloggers offered up their opinions on the trade: Babcock’s Death Stare, Hockeytown Static, Motown Wings, On the Wings, Puck Daddy, Snapshots (here and here), The Production Line, Unconnected Red Wings Blog, and Winging It In Motown.
In Other News
- Larry Lage of the Associated Press wrote a feature on captain Nick Lidstrom, his past Olympic experiences, and his hopes for this year’s Team Sweden.
- MLive.com notes that, once again, Lidstrom has seen a boost in productivity in the second half of the NHL season.
- The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky comments on how Andreas Lilja could be the Wings’ ace in the hole.
- CTVOlympics.ca reports that Team Sweden’s head coach asked Franzen to call him after last night’s game to give him a status update of how he is feeling, which likely means he is being considered to join the team as an injury replacement player.
- The latest episode of The Obstructed View, which is a podcast for Wings’ fans by DRW bloggers, is now up.
- Love donuts? If so, be sure to check out your local metro Detroit Tim Hortons for its special “I Love the Red Wings” donut, which will be on sale from Feb. 12-14. The proceeds raised from the 79-cent donuts will go toward the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.
- Red Wings Central points out that two Red Wings’ prospects, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith, are candidates for the Hobey Baker award.
- Winging It In Motown has another interview with a Red Wings prospect. WIM interviewed Tomas Tatar, who is the youngest player in the AHL, on an assortment of topics.