Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wings woes continue in West

Detroit is 0 for Canada so far this trip, with one more stop in their westward journey scheduled for Edmontonn on Tuesday night.

Detroit showed some jump and feistiness on Saturday night; however most of it was in the pre game warm up which featured a fencing match and some pushing and shoving along the centre ice line.

During game time however, the Canucks took charge of the play and backed up with another stellar game from Roberto Luongo they collected their fourth straight win a 4 to 1 victory that helps the Canucks move forward in the Northwest division and western conference.

The Wings once again struggled to regain their overpowering form of only a month ago, though they have been hobbled by a string of injuries that has depleted their roster and taxed the remaining players quite a bit.

However, putting aside the injury troubles, there are some signs from their play that surely must be a growing concern for GM Ken Holland, who with the trade deadline looming, may wish to make a few moves if for no other reason than to shake up his lethargic squad.

Goaltending has suddenly become a worry, with Domenic Hasek still out due to injury and Chris Osgood carrying the bulk of the load and having struggled since the all star break, the task of stopping the Canucks fell to rookie Jimmy Howard.

While the loss certainly couldn’t be pegged on his play, he was certainly not the equal of Luongo on this night, as the Vancouver goaltender once again was pivotal to the Canucks success.

The injury refrain is one that the Canucks have learned well this season, having had a number of slumps due to dwindling strength on the bench; they are still without key players on their roster but have of late been able to count on the maturing skills of their rookies to get back in the race.

And that is really where the two teams have gone on different paths at the moment; the Canucks with a few wins are playing with much more confidence and have come to rely on the youngsters to help them move forward. The Wings suddenly look very tentative and appearing to show that the loss of some of their veteran leaders is an insurmountable challenge.
Dave Nonis is still said to be pondering his options for Tuesday’s trade deadline, though the urgency that was running rampant in Vancouver two weeks ago probably isn’t quite as obvious now.
Holland for his part may need to make some phone calls on Tuesday, looking to bring in some confidence boosters for what seemed like a runaway winner as recently as Christmas and now by Easter may be a lost looking crew seeking a direction for success that is eluding them at the moment.

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