Around the Rink – March 3 Edition

Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings returned from the Olympic Break with a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Monday night. The Wings fielded a full, healthy roster for the first time in months in the triumph. Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen both scored to give Detroit a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Avs rallied to even it up at 2-2 by the second period. A power-play goal from captain Nick Lidstrom at the 10:57 mark of the final frame moved Detroit into the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference standings. Netminder Jimmy Howard made 22 saves in the win.

Head coach Mike Babcock gave defenseman Brian Rafalski a chance to go home and rest after playing in Sunday’s gold-medal game. Rafalski said thanks, but no thanks and made it into the lineup on Monday night. The game marked defenseman Andreas Lilja’s return to the NHL after missing a year of play due to persistent headaches, resulting from a fight on Feb. 28, 2009. The Swedish blueliner told MLive.com that head injury he had would not affect the physical style of hockey he plays with.

The DRW bloggers reacted to the win in the team’s first game back: DetroitHockey.net, Eight Legged Freaks, Motown Wings, On the Wings, Red Wings Blog, Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, The Production Line, Unconnected Red Wings Blog, and Winging It In Motown.

In Other News

  • The trade deadline is later this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST. The Detroit Free Press reports that GM Ken Holland sat down with his management staff and scouts. Holland doesn’t anticipate doing much, but will keep his eye out for a depth forward with Kirk Maltby out for the rest of the season due to shoulder surgery. One player who has been rumored to be of interest to the Wings is Slava Kozlov, which Eight Legged Freaks addresses.
  • Maltby had successful surgery yesterday, but his shoulder ended up being in worse condition than expected. The Detroit Free Press reports that Maltby cannot lift weights for 12 weeks so a return this season is unlikely.
  • Chris McCosky of The Detroit News asks if it is time to bench defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who has been struggling in his first full season in the NHL. Nightmare on Helm Street argues that he may be on the Jiri Fischer learning curve.
  • Former Wings’ defenseman Chris Chelios has been playing for the Chicago Wolves this season in the AHL. Chelios was just signed by the Atlanta Thrashers on a two-way contract, but that doesn’t mean he will be playing in the NHL right away. The Wolves are Atlanta’s AHL affiliate team so Chelios is expected to continue playing in Chicago, but he could now be called up to the NHL if an injury warrants it.
  • An article by Dan Rosen at DRW.com points out how relieved Steve Yzerman felt after Canada won gold in overtime on Sunday evening.
  • Goaltender Chris Osgood hosted six kids to play on his backyard rink after they won the opportunity to do so at December’s Toast of Hockeytown. DRW.com describes the special afternoon for those kids.
  • Forward Valtteri Filppula told the Detroit Free Press that he was pleased to leave Vancouver with a bronze medal.
  • In preparation for Monday’s game against Colorado, DRW.com took a look back at some great moments in the rivalry’s history.
  • The Grand Rapids Press reports that enforcer Brad May seemed to have fun and fit right in at his first practice with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
  • Red Wings Central reports that Wings’ goaltender prospect Tomas McCollum has experienced some growing pains this season.
  • Kyle at Babcock’s Death Stare recaps everything you may have missed over the Olympic Break, including how Detroit’s Olympians performed and other Red Wings’ news.
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