- The Wings were inches away from scoring into their own empty net on Phoenix’s first delayed penalty call. I think I would’ve cried if it had gone in the net.
- The Wings scored a powerplay goal tonight. I was almost in a state of disbelief. I’d almost forgotten how to experience any emotion other than frustration with the Wings’ powerplay.
- Holmstrom’s first goal came off of a nice tip. So did his second one. They were pretty much textbook Tomas Holmstrom.
- Datsyuk's goal was also a thing of beauty.
- No seriously. Watching him tip the puck is like viewing art. I don’t know what that says about me, but I’m sure it’s nothing good.
- Brad Stuart had a breakaway? I saw it, but I really thought it was Helm at first based on the 3 on the back of his jersey.
- I really wanted them to give that second goal to Nick. On the other hand, it’s easier to meet my self-imposed 4 question quota for the GPs if I just keep copy/pasting that in.
- Could some of the calls that the Wings took have been any weaker? I mean really.
- Jimmy Howard was fantastic again. Who wants to bet that he gets the next start?
- The Wings gave up a goal on the 5-on-3 penalty kill, but I’m not too broken up about it.
1. Leino looked better on New Year’s Eve. He did things like skate and appear to have a purpose out there on the ice. He even scored a goal. With Brad May’s injury, he’s guaranteed another shot at playing, so can he build on that performance and work his way out of the doghouse?
I thought he looked like a hockey player again tonight. He’s not exactly lighting things up, but he didn’t seem to be meandering aimlessly around the ice like he was pre-benching.
2. Guys will be coming back from injuries in the next couple of weeks. It’s time for the guys who’ve been playing to start fighting for their jobs. Who’s going to play well enough to guarantee himself a spot in the lineup every night?
Miller, Eaves, and Ritola stood out as the best of the “bubble” guys. I don’t think there’s any way that Ritola will be staying with the big club once guys come back from their injuries, but he’s impressed me in his time with the Wings. Miller’s been nothing but solid since he got picked up off of waivers, and he had a couple of decent chances tonight. And Eaves has shown his signing to be yet another Kenny Holland stroke of genius.
3. Tonight marks the start of a 5-game roadtrip. Ten points are at stake (How do you like those mad math skills?) on the trip, and it’s important for the Wings to start stringing together some wins. Will they be able to start it off well and set a good tone for the rest of the roadtrip?
Well they certainly got off to a good start. Here’s hoping that they can keep up that tempo throughout.
4. When is Nick Lidstrom going to score a goal again? It’s been the better part of a decade since he put one in the net, and I’m going to copy/paste this into every GP until he does.
Oh, he came close tonight. FSD originally awarded Holmstrom’s second tally to Nick, but the replays showed that it had been tipped in front. He’s been much more active in the offensive zone the last couple of games and had some great chances tonight. But…halfway through the season, he’s on pace for a 2 goal season. And that makes me sad.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Tomas Holmstrom
Two glorious tip-in goals are enough to earn the baked goods any night. I could watch those replays all night.
An Extra Stick Tap for Nick Lidstrom
He was, of course, fantastic all around. He was much more noticible in the offensive zone than he has recently, and was his usual perfectly-placed self on the other end of the ice. I usually don’t give him enough credit, so I want to give him his due tonight.
Justin Abdelkader gets the Golden Facepalm
I had a hard time choosing this one, but I’ll give it to Abdelkader because there’s really no reason to ever take an offensive zone penalty while your team is on the powerplay. And he did that tonight.
What I learned:
Euchre is supposedly known as Bacon (scroll to the Origins section) on the East Coast. I've never heard this, and I've played my share of Euchre with folks from around the country (after putting them through Euchre boot camp, of course). Apparently there's also some kind of bacon salt that you can use to make everything taste like bacon. I don't know what to make of this.