- Hey look, the Wings looked like an NHL hockey team tonight. How about that?
- They didn’t exactly soar out of the gate, but you could tell right from the first shift that they had some jump in their step. They even controlled play for a few stretches there at the end of the first/beginning of the second. They definitely let off the gas after their second goal though.
- Mickey Redmond developed a newfound mancrush on Cam Ward after he saved a shot with his mask off. I have to admit that it did look pretty sweet. (UPDATE 9:23 AM 1/15/10) See?
- On one penalty kill, Patrick Eaves blocked two shots from Staal up high. Then on his way off the ice, he got clipped on the chin by his stick. I’m reasonably certain that Staal was trying to kill him.
- The Wings scored not one, but two powerplay goals tonight. If they can get that unit going, and keep Lidstrom scoring, things might be looking up.
- Speaking of Lidstrom’s goal, it ended a 43-game goalless streak. That’s more than half of a season. Incredible. The good news is that afterward, he seemed to be looking to take more shots.
- Kirk Maltby made a fantastic play near the end of a key penalty kill in the third period. At the time, the Wings were leading 2-1 and Carolina was really pushing.
- I don’t seem to remember Filppula taking this many penalties pre-injury.
- Hank’s goal came on a fantastic tip-in after Bertuzzi stole the puck and threaded a pass to the crease.
- Bert had another takeaway in the offensive zone and broke in on Ward. He managed to draw two penalties on that play, as he was hooked right after the turnover, and took a nasty slash right as he was about to pull his move. It was kind of a weird game.
- With the Wings getting two powerplay goals and another one from the top line, I felt like I was watching a replay of a game from a previous season. But for the presence of Helm and Eaves and Miller and the like, I would’ve been checking my cable feed.
- Lidstrom and Rafalski both logged 27+ minutes tonight. Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Bertuzzi were all over 20 minutes. I’m not sure why I’ve suddenly started looking at ice times on the box scores.
1. So Tuesday night was pretty much a demonstration of how not to win a hockey game. Having to ask this question over and over again is getting frustrating, but which Wings team are we going to get to watch tonight? The one that looks like it’s hungry for a playoff spot, or the one that looks like it already has golf reservations for April? Like the game against the Isles, this is one the Wings should win. Unfortunately that’s been a problem for…oh I don’t know…the last several years or so.
I wouldn’t say that it was the best effort I’ve seen, but it was good enough to get the win. There were a few points during the second and third periods when it looked like they might be letting Carolina back into the game, but they were able to finish strong.
2. I haven’t heard yet whether Ericsson is officially slated to return tonight or not, but assuming he does how rusty is he going to be? He had really been starting to turn things around before he got hurt, so will the long layoff have caused him to regress to early season Ericsson or he can regain his relatively decent level of play? On a side note, it’s frustrating that he ended up missing a month when the original word was that he’d only be out for a couple of weeks, but when you consider how bad the play looked when it happened, a month seems like a blessing.
He didn’t look half bad. I honestly didn’t notice him a whole lot, which is a good thing for a defenseman in my book.
3. At the request of Andy from Fight Night at the Joe, I’m not going to include my question about Nick Lidstrom scoring a goal today just to see if it gets him to score. Not that he’s not doing other things well, but the offense could sure use his help. I’m also concerned that if he turns in a season with only a couple of goals, it’s going to make him less likely to re-sign during the summer. Instead, I’ll pick on Datsyuk again. Where is his head going to be tonight? Seriously.
Well, whaddya know? It worked. I’m pretty sure in ancient times, this would be the point at which we’d put Andy on trial for witchcraft or something. Not only did Lidstrom score, but Datsyuk actually appeared to be playing hockey tonight. It certainly wasn’t his best game, but he did some good things out there.
4. Is there any chance that the Wings’ leaders are going to step up and lead by example tonight instead of letting the young guys do all the work? Or is that too much to ask?
They got goals from Lidstrom and Zetterberg. I’d say that that counts.
5. I figure Jimmy’s going to be starting again tonight. Will he be able to keep up his torrid pace after stumbling a little on Tuesday night? There’s no way that the loss was his fault, but I worry about his confidence issues. (Seriously, between him, Bertuzzi and Leino and their confidence issues, the Wings’ dressing room needs a support group for feelings of inadequacy or something.)
He looked pretty good. The Carolina goal came off of a bad rebound, but I’m willing to cut him some slack on it.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Drew Miller
I really was going to give this to Lidstrom for finally scoring, but had a fantastic game. There’s no way he’s not the best waiver pickup of the season.
An Extra Stick Tap for Nick Lidstrom
There. He gets the consolation prize.
Todd Bertuzzi gets the Golden Facepalm
Shortly after Zetterberg’s goal, he broke in on the net, kind of got tripped up, and did a funny little fall flat out on the ice. It made me laugh out loud. (Remember, this isn’t necessarily for the worst player of the game…just the one who makes me want to smack myself on the forehead.) (UPDATE: 9:23 AM 1/15/10) This is what I'm talking about. I should also note that I stole that first picture from Petrella's post at TPL.
What I Learned:
Hey, look, the powerplay is alive.