Slow start, but strong finish. Can't make a habit of that, but we'll take the 2 points.
Full recap after the jump:
Ericsson and Commie did a fine job as the third pairing. Maybe Ericsson just plays better next to a veteran? Nope. Rafalski played with him for a year and it was sadness. Just a good game, but he can build on it. Hopefully he will.
Filppula was everywhere he needed to be. The puck was finding him, but it was more than that. He's being rewarded for his hard work. Our best forward?
If I was Nashville, I'd be pissed about Pavel's goal. Not because it wasn't in. I think it had to be in. Based on the last replay, that's where the puck had to be. But that's not what the rule sates. Ref or Toronto has to see it cross the line and I don't know that they did. Ref by the net called no goal. Toronto shrugged. But the ref or linesman from center ice said it was in. Where have we seen that before? We'll take it, but the explanation from the NHL will be interesting. Assuming Nashville asks for one.
That goal led to Cleary's goal and the game changed in our favor. Up until that point, the game was kind of boring and I think favored a team like Nashville.
NOHS 3 Stars:
First Star: Filppula, of course. 2 goals and all around great play.
Second Star: Howard. Almost got the shutout, but more importantly, made big saves early and late to deny Nashville a glimmer of hope.
Third Star: Datsyuk. Celebrating the goal even as the ref pointed to the near faceoff circle. Defiance.
Speaking of Datsyuk, or Not Datsyuk, best tweet I saw all night (And there were some good one) was this gem: "What I like about play in Nashville? Fans blow whistles to let you know you have easy shift coming." NotPavelDatsyuk, ladies and gentlemen. Follow him for more awesomeness.
NOHS Favorite Moment of the Night: Mick made a few references to the refs being "out to get the big bad Red Wings." Hard to argue that point after Pavel's goal, but that's just another reason we love our FSD crew. They're fans, too.
That's all I got. Anyone else see something special tonight?
Next game is Tuesday against the Blues. They're playing well to say the least. Puck drops at 7:30 EST.
Update: According to Khan on Twitter, Homer has a groin injury. He'll be out tonight, for sure.
Update 2: According to multiple sources on Twitter, Joakim Andersson will be making his NHL debut tonight in place of the injured Holmstrom, for sure.
this is what i think happened about pav's goal. I think the ref didn't call for "goal" or "no goal," he just whistled the play dead because he didn't know the puck was in. as he skates over and stands on the net he sees that the puck is in. now, in a very rare occurrence in the nhl, he decides to use the part of the human anatomy most commonly referred to non-referee types as a brain. (i believe they refer to it as, "dat ting tat hurtz when i tink?"). anyway, he then deduces that the puck had to have went in on pavs initial shot because there was no deflection or rebound, so there was no way he could have "intended to blow the whistle" before the puck entered the net. he probably told that to toronto and despite the fact that there was no conclusive evidence that it went in, he saw it in the net and used....common sense! boo yah!
@marti783 I have noticed some refs will point to the goal scorer right after pointing to the net when a goal is scored. I think that this ref did that but forgot to point into the net first. Pav was over there celebrating by the faceoff dot Mic alleged he was pointing at. His arm was parallel to the ice (as in, at a player) not pointing toward the circle at a downward angle (as in, not at the dot). That was my take on it as it happened, and based on what he said coming out of the review is most plausible.
After watching this game last night, i'm totally stoked for my trip to Nashville to see the boys play in March. I can only hope the outcome is as good as this was.
I seen something special. That being franzen's 250th career point with the assist to that pavel goal ! And fil is only 4 points away from 200. And millers pass was great. They need to keep that 3rd line together they play so well, didn't like him being with hank and huds with helm
Wings looked good, I like Commie out there with B52. Kronwall played defense instead of 4th forward, and thus they gave up a lot fewer odd man rushes. Fave moment was definitely Pav and the boys celebrating while the refs tried to figure out how to call a puck that was deep in the net a no-goal.
Ericsson played better tonight than he has since the first stretch of the season, but I wanted to strangle him more times than anyone else on the team. I think we all want to believe he isn't as useless as he really is, and we get used to seeing him be so bad. So given those two things, a night that looks "good" for E is still bad. I saw him give the puck away in our own zone on unforced errors enough times. WHY CAN'T WE GET KINDL/COMMODORE AS OUR THIRD PAIR????
@ThroatShot If they try to park Ericsson in GR, they will lose him on waivers. He is our big-boy. He does make a lot of mistakes, but it was Z who gave away the puck in front of the net to end game 7 and the wing's playoff run last year, not E52. He is also starting to get a lot of things right. E is no more a liability then Kindl is, and Kindl doesn't have E's reach. Overall E52 is +12, Kronwall is -5, why aren't you crying for parking Kronwall instead?
Besides, I am told he is quite handsome, and at least half the reason my wife watches hockey with me.
I'd rather see Ericsson work with Stuart. Show him how to work in the corners or anywhere in his zone, block shots, and clear the zone. Between Lidstrom, White, and Kronwall, we've got plenty of offense from the D men. I can understand grooming for the near future but I think it is time we start taking eggs away from the Ericsson basket and start adding to the Smith one.
@marti783@reecardoraul@ThroatShot That's honestly my biggest issue with Ericsson is his inability to play his size to his advantage. I really would like to see someone from the coaching staff pull him aside and have him work with Kronwall, to help his physical game. It'd be great to have another physical player that can throw the weight around when needed.
@reecardoraul Kronwall is disappointing me in +/- this year. However, the difference is that Kronwall's "giveaways" are actually odd-man rushes resulting from an aggressive pinch. At least that has a chance at scoring and he has shown that scoring touch in the past. A little more experience will bring the wisdom to make a better decision. He is solid in our zone generally. E brings no offense and his problems are almost all unforced giveaways or bad break out passes from our end. No offense and no security in our end makes him, in my mind, useless. He is like a slow version of Lebda. I think Kindl has been great this year. Responsible, few giveaways, and showing some offensive promise.