Friday, January 29, 2010

Red Wings 4, Predators 2: Post Game Snipes...

  • I missed the first half of the first period, so I have no idea what happened then. I made it back in time to see the Wings’ first goal, so I guess I didn’t miss anything of great importance.
  • Before they scored their first goal, the Wings missed two glorious chances. I would’ve been upset about it if they hadn’t buried one almost immediately afterward.
  • Brad Stuart scooped another sure goal right off of the Wings’ goal line tonight. He seems to have a knack for that.
  • The first part of the third period was weak. I used to like the good old days when I could relax with a two-goal lead in the third period because I had a reasonable expectation that things would turn out well. Instead, the Wings let the Preds narrow their lead to one goal and sat back and let them walk all over them for several minutes.
  • Lidstrom scored again. Watch out, world.
  • Jimmy Howard was either shaky or brilliant tonight. I can’t decide. He made some huge saves, but he also got a ridiculous amount of help from the goal posts. Maybe that was his strategy…I don’t know. He got hung out to dry by the defense on numerous occasions, though, and came up big.
  • The Wings were lucky to come away with two points from this one. They really didn’t deserve to win. They had far too many turnovers and several times they appeared to attempt to hand goals to Nashville. However, the Preds’ many goal posts, crossbars, and near-misses on their glorious opportunities seem to indicate that they didn’t deserve to win either. Someone had to take the points home though, and I’m glad it was the Wings.
  • When Rafalski took that penalty with 1:35 left in the third period, I began having flashbacks to the Phoenix game. Luckily, this one had a happier ending.
  • When Zetterberg’s goal went to review, I began arming myself with things to throw at the TV. I was just waiting for them to wave off the goal. Even after watching the replay with my own eyes, I was holding my breath to hear the call. The Wings seem to have a special talent for finding ways to get screwed by reviewed goals, so I was pretty excited/mildly surprised when they let the goal stand.
  • The bottom line is that the Wings skated away with two points tonight. it wasn’t necessarily pretty at times, but they needed to get the job done tonight, and they managed to find a way to do so..
GP Answers:
1. The top line’s been dynamite since Cleary got moved up. I kept trying to explain to my brother why moving Bertuzzi down was a good move, but he won’t believe me. Can the top line keep rolling?
I’ll go with a yes on this one. It’s nice to see the stars stepping up and acting like stars for a change.

2. The Kings have climbed the standings from 8th place to 5th in just a few short days. Why can’t the Wings do that too?
Well, they picked up two points tonight, and they did it in regulation. They’re now in 8th place since Nashville has more wins than they do. There’s a 5-game roadtrip coming up, and now’s as good a time as any to start making a run.

3. The PK’s been slipping lately, and the powerplay still isn’t doing much good. At some point, the special teams are going to, you know, be special, right?
The Wings scored two real, live powerplay goals tonight, and a third one was buried just three seconds after the expiration of one. That’s what the Wings need to keep doing.

4. Are the Wings even going to look like they care?
There were far too many turnovers and sloppy plays in their own zone. I did notice, however, that on the final penalty kill, the Wings looked incredibly determined to keep the puck out of the net. Nashville was pressuring, but the Wings were blocking shots and disrupting plays all over the place. It was nice to see, and I hope that effort can carry over to the next game.

Cookies and Cupcakes for Drew Miller
He made the first deflection on the Wings’ first goal, and then buried a nice one of his own later on in the game. I don’t know how the cap and roster space will work out for the Wings, but I really hope they find a way to keep Miller.

An Extra Stick Tap for Jason Williams (Who?)
I don’t think anyone expected him to score in his first game back. Especially me, since I completely forgot that he was returning to the lineup tonight. I didn’t really notice him doing much else during the game, but it was a good way to remind people of his existence.

Jonathan Ericsson gets the Golden Facepalm
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. He wasn’t the only one, but it seemed like every time he had the puck, it ended up on a Nashville player’s stick.

What I Learned:
The Wings can actually hold onto a lead sometimes.


  1. After the game I was recapping in my head who scored the goals. Lidstrom, Miller, Zetterberg ... who scored the fourth goal?? I honestly couldn't remember until I read this.

  2. I'm really glad that I wasn't the only one who had trippy flashbacks to the Phoenix game at the end of tonight's game. Actually, it was more like post-traumatic stress because I was watching it through my fingers in fear... I think I jinxed us with the penalty though because I said about a minute before then that "we just need to not take any stupid penalties..." But Patrick Eaves was THE MAN & blocked like 3 or 4 shots on the PK (I think it was him, I was in the very top row at The Joe in the $9 seats, so I could be wrong), so I came away happy that we made it through their barrage. We may not have deserved these two points, especially when we kept serving Bubba the puck on a platter, but seeing how many games lately that we should've won and didn't, I won't get to worried about it...

  3. I've tried being patient with Jonny Ericsson this year, but it doesn't really seem like he's progressing. No fewer than infinity of the Preds' scoring chances came directly off his stick. I know it takes a while for a D-Man to develop (especially one that played forward most of his life) and I know the difference between a good play and a complete mistake is so small when you're behind your own net, but that guy's going to give me rage problems. I'm praying he has that turnaround season in him like Andreas Lilja (who I'm so happy to see getting ready to play hockey again).

    Top line was money. Five points between 'em.

    Drew Miller witht he GWG is kind of like the mantra of the whole team. Yeah, the top guys stepped up and were top guys, but it's a fourth-liner grinder guy who's played his way to near indispensibility who pots the one that wins it.

  4. IF Lilly comes back, does Jonny go back to GR?

  5. I am not sure the Big E can go to GR but I would think he'd gain a bit of stability playing with Lils. He does cause me fits but I am not ready to give up on him yet. I refuse to believe that he can't get back to playing the same way he played last year in the playoffs. There has just been no room for error this year.

  6. Last year in the post season Ericsson was spending a lot of time on the same defensive pairing with Nick Lidstrom, which I'd assume to have a lot to do with his stellar play. It's easier to miss mistakes when they can be recouped by a great teammate. All Ericsson has is Lebda... >.>

    My guess is that when Lilja eventually returns, Ericsson and Lebda will rotate out who gets benched. I don't think Big E can go down to GR without clearing waivers and I'm pretty sure they won't risk that.

  7. @Jenn-Exactly. Williams who?

    @J.J.-Yeah, Miller's the kind of player that I've always liked.

    @Krystal-I'm certain that his play during the playoffs was impacted by the fact that he was playing with better partners. That's why I'm excited about the prospect of Lilja returning. He's no Nick Lidstrom, but he's got to be better than Lebda.