The Detroit Red Wings (43-15-8) allowed eight goals for a consecutive Saturday, resulting in an 8-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-27-6) at Joe Louis Arena. The eight markers scored by the Blue Jackets was a franchise best. If the playoffs were to have begun before Saturday's game, Detroit and Columbus would have played one another in the first round. After tonight's fiasco, it's pretty clear to see that we do not want to face the Blue Jackets in the postseason.
20-year-old goaltender Steve Mason stopped 44 shots (yes, the Wings did outshoot Columbus 46-28 and still lost by a six-goal margin) and he has given us trouble in the past. We all know a hot goaltender can really screw our team over in the playoffs so let's hope we don't see the Blue Jackets in round one. Forward captain Rick Nash posted his second hat trick against Detroit this season. It was the first time that Nash has registered three unassisted goals in a single game, one of which was a shorthanded marker. Nash really does seem to have our number as of late.
I just hate giving a potential first round opponent the confidence that they can beat us -- and that they have beaten us so easily in front of our home crowd. Columbus has never made it to the playoffs in their franchise history so they -- and their fans -- will already be hungry for a postseason run. We don't need to give them any other psychological advantages.
Yes, Chris Osgood allowed seven goals on just 23 shots but the team playing in front of him certainly did not help. Detroit gave away the puck 14 times in the loss. In fact, it wasn't until the fifth or sixth goal that Ozzie was really to blame. I must admit that I was surprised that head coach Mike Babcock did not pull Ozzie after the fourth goal. I know it wasn't really the goalie's fault, but you could tell something needed to change and maybe the change in net would have sparked something else on the ice. However, Babs did not insert Ty Conklin into goal until after Osgood allowed the seventh goal 3:25 into the third period.
Since we did allow so many goals, I'm not going to describe each Columbus goal since I know none of you Wings fans want to actually read that. But let's remember the rare positive moments of the night.
The Wings first goal came at 17:12 in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk made a perfect pass from the bottom of the right faceoff circle to linemate Henrik Zetterberg, who was skating parallel to Datsyuk up the slot. He put it in for his 26th goal of the season in an effort to redeem himself for the bad turnover that had led to a Columbus goal less than two minutes earlier.
Fan favorite Aaron Downey scored his first goal in 59 games with the Detroit Red Wings spanning back to the start of the 2007-08 season. He tipped in a shot by Derek Meech at 5:32 in the third period to make it a 7-2 game at the time. In his three-game stint with the Wings, Downey has a goal and an assist on top of a fight that lasted over a minute and a half. Not too shabby for the enforcer.
Last Saturday the 8-0 loss to Nashville was certainly disconcerting, but you could try to write it off as a fluke game. But with another drubbing to a Central Division foe, and this game was at home, makes it hard to deem this one a fluke, especially since the defense just seemed so bad in the 8-2 loss. Bad turnovers, inaccurate passing, sloppy stickhandling, and unlucky bounces. It certainly was not a pretty game.
Christy's Red Wing of the Game: Aaron Downey
On a night where our top defensive pair (captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski) each end the night with a minus-three and goal scorer Zetterberg finishes with a minus-four, I'm going to give the honor to Downey who finished with an even plus/minus, two hits and a goal in just 4:53 of ice time. The only player Saturday night to finish with a positive plus/minus was Kris Draper, who got a plus-one in the loss.
|2008 - Aaron Downey||4||1||1||2||0||7||0||0||0||0||2||50.0|
The Wings will have a couple days to mull over this loss before they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday evening.