- Play was a little chippy for the first few minutes, but San Jose took over after the Wings gave up the first goal. They responded in typical Red Wing fashion by sitting back and conceding play afterward.
- The Sharks’ first two goals both came off of rebound control issues. Get that sorted out please, Jimmy.
- On the first PK, Kronwall went down and couldn’t stand up at all. I nearly had a heart attack as I thought he was seriously injured again. Luckily, his skate blade had just popped out and the Wings weren’t hurt by it.
- Cleary’s goal came off of a good, hard-working play. It was a pretty novel concept.
- It was nice to see the Wings take advantage of their 5-on-3. They let those opportunities slip away far too often. Seeing the Flying Circus line click after all this time was a thing of beauty.
- The Wings looked good after they broke onto the scoreboard. I actually didn’t want the period to end because they had good momentum going. This was unusual because I’m typically counting down the seconds and hoping that the Wings survive to intermission.
- Derek Meech scored. I laughed. When the puck ended up in the net, I was just about to yell at my TV wondering why he was out on the powerplay. Clearly, Mike Babcock saw this coming and this was the reason he put Meech into the lineup tonight. Clearly.
- I love Patrick Eaves a little more each game.
- Kronwall left the game with what was described as a “slight tweak.” Normally this would be reassuring, but this is the ’09-’10 season and things are a little different. After the game, Babcock said that it was his ankle, not his knee. Unfortunately, it looks like he won't be able to play tomorrow against Anaheim. An ankle tweak's probably better than a knee, though.
- Jimmy Howard scared me for a minute there toward the end of the game when he got run by Joe Thornton. I never would’ve seen that coming at the beginning of the season.
- Darren Helm beat out an icing in the final seconds of the game to prevent another faceoff in the Wings’ zone. Yeah, it’s impossible not to love that guy.
- The Wings needed this win. They're now tied with Nashville in the standings and have finally actually passed Calgary. They're still stuck in 8th because Nashville has more wins, but this was especially big with Dallas and Anaheim creeping up behind them in the standings.
1. Are the Wings going to show up tomorrow, or is Jimmy going to be standing alone again?
The first part of the first period was not pretty. I was almost convinced that the game was over when San Jose scored the first two goals. Then the Wings went and scored four unanswered goals, and things looked good. They were carrying the play and resembling themselves. Games like this make the pathetic efforts we’ve seen at times that much more frustrating.
2. What kind of impact will Homer’s return have on the offense?
That’s the Homer we all know and love. His presence was immediately noticeable. Not only that, but we got to see the Flying Circus line back in action after what seemed like forever. It’s good to see him back and looking good.
3. Much has been made of the Wings’ lack of killer instinct this season. Blown chances, sitting back on leads, lack of intensity, you name it… Can the Wings for once look like a team that knows what it’s doing?
I was tempted to start feeling happy midway through the third, but I refused to get excited because of the Wings’ penchant for third period collapses. This was exacerbated by the fact that the Wings took another late penalty. That’s a trend that has to stop. They kept up the intensity, though, and held on for the win.
4. Two games ago, the problem was the defense. On Sunday, it was the offense. What part of their game is going to give us fits against San Jose?
My only complaint tonight was the way they started the game. The defense was good, and the offense tallied 4 goals. It’s hard to be upset with that.
5. The powerplay has been looking more functional lately, but it’s still not converting as regularly as we would like. While they boys are able to establish control and cycle in the zone, but the pucks just aren’t going in. Getting Homer back should help in that regard theoretically. Can they start to get that sorted out tonight?
Look at that. The Wings converted twice. It was glorious. Please keep it up.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Tomas Holmstrom
I missed that guy. My excitement for his return was justified as he picked up two assists. He was in vintage form, causing all kinds of chaos in front of San Jose’s net.
An Extra Stick Tap for Henrik Zetterberg
He was great in both ends tonight. it was like he and Holmstrom signed a pact of awesomeness tonight.
Jimmy Howard gets the Golden Facepalm
San Jose’s first goal came off of a rebound that just shouldn’t have happened. Their second goal came off of a weak-ish rebound too. He did manage to lock things down after that, but the first goal was a killer.
What I Learned:
Nik Kronwall is the most fragile human being ever. Seriously.