As I was in South Carolina, I did not have access to watch the game between these two historic rivals on Saturday afternoon. From what I here, it may be a good thing that I missed the game as it ended in an OT loss for Detroit, their second straight loss. It was just the fourth time this season Detroit has lost two straight games.
After finishing the LA game at a minus 3, Nicklas Lidstrom scored a goal and notched an assist in the loss against Toronto. Mikael Samuelsson scored the other Detroit goal to give the Wings a 2-1 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the third period.
Goaltender Dominik Hasek made 22 saves.
The worst part about the game is that Detroit lost gritty forward Dan Cleary, who suffered a broken jaw in two spots after a puck hit him in the face. His surgery to repair the broken jaw required 12-15 screws and three metal plates. On top of that, his jaw has to be wired shut for two weeks. He will likely be out for most, if not all, of the regular season. Cleary had scored 20 goals this season so this loss to injury hurts. I expect GM Ken Holland will be doing a bit more at the trade deadline than he had originally planned before Cleary's injury.
Head coach Mike Babcock reminds us that just because Detroit is leading the NHL by so much, it doesn't mean they can and will win everything whether it's a battle in the corner or a game on the road.
"Because we have so many points, we're supposed to be unbelievable," Babcock said. "But the other team has NHL players, too, and they were playing hard. It was acceptable early in the year when we hadn't won so much, to be in these battles, but now when we get in one of these battles, we're supposed to win by a touchdown or something."
Fellow SBN blogger @ Pension Puppet Plans had this to say after the game:
The Leafs went into yesterday's game with a clear game plan. While they felt able to skate and attack Montreal and Ottawa they knew that they couldn't get into a track meet with the Red Wings. So the team played a conservative game which sought to keep the Wings to the...wings (dammit) and it worked. While Toskala made 32 saves many were made to look easy because of his solid positioning and the location of the shots. The Red Wings didn't create much, and to be fair neither did the Leafs, and their two goals were flukes to say the least. While it made for a really boring game it did show that with a healthy defence the Leafs might have some grasp of the fundamentals of preventing goals. Or they were just lucky.