Thursday, January 21, 2010

Red Wings 4, Wild 3 (SO): Post Game Snipes...

  • Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves had a 2-on-0 on the Wings’ first PK. They didn’t score, but it was pretty fun to watch. Those two are just dynamite together.
  • This game was breakaway city. It seemed like there were a dozen of them throughout the game.
  • The Wings had a fantastic first period. The Wild only had 3 shots on net. The second period, on the other hand, was not so fantastic. They let Minnesota tie the game, and seemed like they barely escaped it with the score deadlocked.
  • I knew that Minnesota’s goal that went to review was going to stand. I didn’t even need to see the replay. How did I know? I’ve watched the entire season. That being said, it was probably the right call. I just felt like Leggo owed the Wings one after screwing them over on Saturday.
  • Minnesota’s second goal had to be reviewed too, as it bounced in off of Marty Havlat’s foot. Where is Kronwall when you need him?
  • Larry Murphy is already gearing up for $1 Hot Dog Night at the Joe.
  • We were all astonished for a minute when we thought Meech had scored that third goal. I actually said, “What’s next? Ville Leino’s going to do something good?” Of course, as we all know, the goal turned out to be Miller’s thanks to a nice deflection, and Leino continued his streak of uselessness.
  • On a related note, I actually yelled at my TV when Leino was announced as a shooter for the Wings in the shootout. Not only did he miss, but he also fell over. I think it was fitting.
  • For the life of me, I don’t understand why Filppula is so low on the shootout list. He’s got great hands, and is definitely more of a scorer than Cleary or Leino…which he demonstrated by scoring on his shot.
  • The Wings have GOT to work on their shootout skills. ASAP.
GP Answers:
1. The Wings have been looking like their old selves for the last couple of games. Unfortunately, they have next to nothing to show for it other than some warm, fuzzy feelings. Can they keep up that level of play, or sink back into the habits of their recent past?
The first period was excellent. They looked like the Red Wings that we all know and love. The second period was more typical of this season. The third was back and forth.

2. Despite their largely solid play, there are still glaring defensive lapses that need to get taken care of (see the Sharp goal against Chicago, and a couple of the Capitals’ goals on Tuesday). Minnesota isn’t quite as dangerous as the Wings’ last two opponents, but they’ve been creeping up the standings lately. Can the Wings find a way to lock things down and show the kind of defensive focus that they supposedly pride themselves on?
I’ll go with a hesitant yes on this one. The three Wild goals tonight were all fluky in their own way, and it’s hard to blame defensive collapses for them (ie. a shot that bounced off the glass, flew over the net, and bounced in off of a player’s elbow.). The second period was pretty shaky all around, though.

3. On a positive note, the Wings have been getting more of an offensive contribution from the blue line over the last few games. Lidstrom and Rafalski have both chipped in with key goals lately. This is a huge element that’s been missing from their game this season, especially since Kronwall went down (exactly two months ago today). Can the back end keep it going tonight?
I wasn’t really referring to Meech when I wrote this question, but he picked up two assists tonight. There was even a point when we thought that he scored the Wings’ third goal. It turned out to be Miller’s after all, but I’m not particularly broken up about it.

4. Pavel Datsyuk has looked phenomenal over the last few games after floating along for most of the season. (Not only that, but he’s graced us with two great interviews over the last couple of days. The one at Puck Daddy is a must-read, as is pretty much anything that involves Pav and speaking.) Is his recent performance a trend, or was he just showing off for NBC and AO?
Pav was flying again tonight. He was all over the place. His long pass to spring Bertuzzi for his breakaway goal was a thing of beauty. He also buried his shootout attempt, and while it wasn’t as pretty as his goal on Sunday, it got the job done.

5. “The young goalie” has a chance to cement his status as the Wings’ starter beyond any shadow of a doubt with a strong performance tonight. Even the most die hard Osgood supporters can’t argue that the Wings are better off with Ozzie in net right now. Can Howard keep up his hot streak and demonstrate why he won the starting job this season?
Howard was on again, of course. Sure, he let in three goals, but you can’t fault him for any of them.

Cookies and Cupcakes for Drew Miller
This one doesn’t need any explanation.

An Extra Stick Tap for Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi
They were the two best players on the ice all night. During the first period, I was pretty sure that Bert was going to net us all curly fries. It’s a good thing I didn’t say anything, because I would’ve been accused of jinxing things. He just looked like he was faster and stronger tonight. If only he could’ve converted more of his breakaways.

Ville Leino gets the Golden Facepalm
I have absolutely no idea why he’s on the powerplay or in the shootout. Or even on the ice. I liked it better when they called Ritola up to replace him.

What I Learned:
The Wings are capable of winning shootouts after all.


  1. I think all the Minnesota goals got reviewed. Seemed like a lot of reviews for one game. I kept yelling at the screen about why Leggo wasn't consulting the referee down at the other end of the ice, as he was obviously too close to the play to have seen it properly!

  2. Yeah, no kidding. I kept wanting to make a "Leggo my Eggo" joke, but I couldn't find one that worked, haha.

  3. Leino = deadline trade bait? I mean, I could really see him in ottowa, and the wings could pick up something useful... Perhaps a handful of pocket lint?

  4. Well, apparently it's all Lilja's fault that the Wings hadn't done so well in shootouts recently, and he'd forgotten to run them in practice. He did the last practice they had, so good on him to get the boys back in shape. On another note, I totally had a dream last night that he was going to be playing in this game. I'd have preferred him over Lebda & Ericsson's uselessness... Meech gets a by tonight cuz he got some assists. Either way, glad to hear he's still contributing to the team in some way, but we've still got some work considering those missed breakaway attempts that ended up biting us in the ass. You've shown us you've got good hands, Bert, and I know you're trying to plead your case to get another contract in Detroit, but Pavel Datsyuk, you are not. Stop trying to dipsy-doodle the damn thing and shoot.

    I nearly went on a tirade when I found out Leggo was officiating this game. Then when we went to a shootout...

    And I nearly burst out laughing at the interview with Marty Havlat with Trevor Thompson in the 2nd intermission where he basically said, "Wings fans are familiar with your face...(pause)...because you used to play with Chicago." Oh, yeah, Trev, that's exactly why we remember him. Oh, Kronner, how I miss you!

  5. Saving Fil in the shootout was obviously a Secret Strategy put forth by Babcock's Hair.

  6. I actually really liked the idea of using Leino in the shootout with that first sudden-death chance to win it. I'm not happy that Leino fell flat on his face, but I've been downright not-unhappy with Ville's play over the last two games. Uncle Mike was giving him the opportunity to win the game and get his confidence back. He's a dangerous guy when he's feeling good about himself, just like Bert.

    Still, I agree that if we can get fair trade value for him, I'm not crying to see him gone. He's got serious deficiencies with his skating and size that need to be addressed in the offseason if he's going to dig himself up the 2nd line minutes he thinks he deserves.

  7. It seems like the only way we could trade Leino would be to take on someone else's disappointment in return. But our reclamation projects have gone pretty well (Eaves, Miller) and some of those trades do work out (Latendresse-Pouliot), so who knows.

  8. @JJ Babcock tried that earlier in the season with Leino, and I was okay with that (especially since he'd just used the same strategy with Bertuzzi, to great effect). I just feel like at this point in the season, the extra point that was at stake was more important than trying to get Leino to feel special. I always hate to write anyone off, but when the team's trying to crawl its way into the playoffs getting the points has to take priority.

    @Jenn Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure who'd be willing to make a trade for him, unless he was packaged with someone more useful. If anything, I could see a team taking a chance on him off of waivers when the Wings finally decide that they've had enough. If not, he and Brad May will get to spend a lot of quality time together in the Lounge...probably scrapbooking and playing Ouija Boards.