BY CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Staff Columnist
It’s almost Thanksgiving here in The D, which means a Lions’ Thanksgiving game, but this one means a lot more with playoff implications. The Lions are going into the upcoming game with a win against the Carolina Panthers. Don’t forget we also have the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers news as well!
Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander, Major League Baseball’s top pitcher won the American League MVP (Most Valuable Player) yesterday by a close vote. Verlander also won the American League Cy Young Award (Top Pitcher) last week in a landslide.
Verlander came in first for MVP with 13 first place votes, followed by Boston Red Sox second baseman Jacoby Ellsbury with four first place votes and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista with five first place votes. There were 28 first place votes to go around. Verlander finished with 280 points, Ellsbury with 242 points, and Bautista with 231 points.
Verlander is the first pitcher to win the AL MVP since Oakland A’s pitcher Dennis Eckersley won in 1992. He is also the first starting pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens in 1986 and the first to win both awards since Willie Hernandez of the Tigers did it in 1984.
Detroit Red Wings: The Detroit Red wings split their recent four game road trip to California and St. Louis going 2-2. They lost the first game of their trip to the St. Louis Blues last week 2-1.
Drew Miller scored the only goal of the game for the Red Wings who took the early lead but gave it up late and couldn’t come back. They then traveled to the depths of the Shark Tank to take on rival San Jose. In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semi-Final, the Red Wings dropped an important game against the Sharks 5-2.
Niklas Kronwall got the scoring going yet again for the Wings with his fifth of the season on the power play, but the Red Wings soon found themselves behind. Five straight Sharks goals would follow and Dan Cleary would score in the third to make the sting hurt a bit less. Jimmy Howard was replaced with backup Ty Conklin after the fourth goal was scored. The Red Wings were hurting heading into Hollywood.
Up next was the Los Angeles Kings, and a win was needed to at least hope for a road split. The Red Wings top players finally woke up with Pavel Datsyuk leading the way. He scored twice while Johan Franzen added a couple of assists in the 4-1 win.
Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader also netted goals after falling behind 1-0 early in the first period. Jimmy Howard got the win to break the six game road losing streak. To end the road trip they took a short ride to Anaheim to battle the Ducks. They won 4-2 with defensemen Brad Stuart scoring twice and Henrik Zetterberg putting his fourth of the season in the net.
The Red Wings split the road trip and come home tomorrow to face the Calgary Flames at 7:00pm on Fox Sports Detroit. They also have a date with the Boston Bruins at TD Boston Garden the day after Thanksgiving and against the Nashville Predators at home on Saturday. Go Red Wings!!!
Detroit Lions: It was a slow start for the Lions this past Sunday, but they once again proved they are serious after a comeback win against the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field, 49-35. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions early, but regrouped and threw five touchdowns after that. He was 28 for 36, throwing for 335 yards and a quarterback rating of 121.9. Panthers start quarterback Cam Newton was shut down with the Lions intercepting him four times during the game.
Running back Kevin Smith stole the show and was awarded the game ball by coach Jim Schwartz. Just a couple weeks ago he was sitting on his couch watching the games and when no teams wanted him, the Lions tried him out after the injury to Best and he has turned his career around.
He ran in for two touchdowns and scored another with a reception. He had 16 carries for 140 yards and also four receptions for 61 yards.
Wide receivers Nate Burleson and Titus Young and tight end Tony Scheffler also scored touchdowns for the Lions. The next opponent for the Lions is the Green Bay Packers this Thanksgiving Day at 12:30pm. It is an important game for once in the Lions history, probably since 2000 when they had a 7-4 record going into the game against the New England Patriots. They ended up winning the game but finished the season 9-7. The Lions are hoping for a better outcome this year for the rest of the season as well as the game. While you’re enjoying family and food on Thursday, be sure to tune into the Lions game because this game may show who the Lions really are and how they may finish their season out. Go Lions!!!