Detroit Red Wings End Year on High Note, Face Uphill Battle in 2010

December 31st, 2009 by Matt Hutter Leave a reply »
On December 31, 2009 a couple of things happened that haven't in quite a while.

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche and Ville Leino scored a goal.

In fact, Leino's goal turned out to be the game winner.

After being benched for the third time this season on Monday against the Blue Jackets, Leino returned to the lineup solely due to forward Patrick Eaves being out with the flu.

Leino made the most of his opportunity, playing a more desperate, determined game, going to the tough areas and battling for the puck.

When Leino scored the game's third goal (a deflection from the bottom of the right circle), and his first in 21 games, he was helmet-less, having lost his cap while battling for the puck.

What a perfect example of what head coach Mike Babcock has been trying to hammer home to the young Finn—work hard, get your nose dirty, and you'll get rewarded.

The Wings' 4-2 win against the Avalanche brought their record for December to 7-5-2.

While the totals aren't bad, when you consider four of those seven losses came by way of shutout, and all against divisional foes, it isn' ...

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