Well, the division is certainly getting a little more interesting.
The Wings dropped a second divisional game straight last night, despite coming out strong and taking a two goal lead in the first period, neither of which made St. Louis' Manny Legace look spectacular. The Blues, unfortunately, stormed back in the second with a string of four goals, three of which came in a three minute timespan, and two of which can be attributed to rookie David Perron, who looked exceptional when I saw him on Friday, and only continued to impress yesterday night.
The Wings put up a good fight, pulled Dominik Hasek in favor of the still hot Chris Osgood, who has so far looked to be the better goalie this season, and mounted a strong comeback bid, but despite the efforts of players like Valtteri Filppula, who notched a timely goal to keep the Wings in the game, and Jiri Hudler, who was playing extremely confidently and who was absolutely stoned by Legace at least twice. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, and the last of the Wings' remaining streaks was put to an end - Henrik Zetterberg's, at seventeen straight games with a point.
For a good player-specific recap and some interesting (and not so exciting) statistics, head over to On the Wings. While the game didn't end great, it was a good effort, and no one's got any cause to be worried yet. At the very least save that for Saturday, in the case that the Blackhawks manage to stomp all over us yet again.
Outside of the two losses, the Wings have had plenty going on lately. First, on Monday the team canceled practice...and went bowling. The original intent was to go skeet-shooting, but the weather was disagreeable, so bowling it was. The team broke into teams based mostly on line pairings, and the group of Brett Lebda, Chris Chelios, Valtteri Filppula, Mikael Samuelsson, and Johan Franzen came away with the victory. It was Jiri Hudler, however, who nabbed the high score for the day with 183. Huds claimed it was "natural luck," but Cleary insisted it was a fluke, and Maltby (who had the day's high score average-wise, with just under 180) had plenty to say himself:
Then on Tuesday, the team plane, the Red Bird 2, got stuck in the mud leaving the St. Louis airport yesterday when it slid off the runway and its right tires sank into the mud, leaving the plane unable to dislodge. Fox has a video of the plane's status - the latest update of which is that crews are still trying to determine how to safely get the plane back onto the pavement.
"I choked in my last game," Maltby said. "I missed a spare on the ninth frame and then the 10th frame I left three pins up.
"I guess the first game where he bowled 183," Maltby said, "he had four strikes in a row, so sometimes when you don't know what you're doing, that's when you succeed."