Detroit picks up 2 points with a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators. These points were vital, as are all points from here on out, but losing this game would have been hard to overcome.
More after the jump:
Earlier this week I started to write an article about how Franzen has been lazy most of the season. I could think of two games where I remember him working hard: the first win against the Blues and the game where Abby had a hat trick. Looking at the stats from those games you’ll find that he had a total of 6 points. Lately, and especially tonight, Franzen has skated hard and generally played like he cared, so it came as no surprise that he put the game away with that great goal late in the third.
I really like Danny DeKeyser. That was a heads-up play to shoot wide on purpose. I know we’ve seen that move a time or two in our days watching the Wings. Glad Danny was taking notes, too.
Abby worked hard tonight, especially while Rinne was on the bench. Glad he was rewarded with the goal. Brought a smile to my face, for sure.
Howard was great tonight. A breakaway save and he played the penalty shot well, though he didn’t actually face a shot. Pay him, Ken. Pay him.
Nyquist and Brunner are clicking, but Brunner is a bit off right now. Not connecting on his shots very well. I think that will change soon, though and when it does, that line could be the difference between making the playoffs and an early vacation.
And on a non-Wing note: That Forsberg kid? He’s going to be very good. That’s a great pickup by that team. Not sure why Washington did that.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Jimmy Howard. Shutout with some huge saves. Some in the anti-pay-Howard crowd say he doesn’t outplay the other goalie enough. He did tonight.
Second Star: Johan Franzen. That goal he scored was huge and he got it by bearing down and driving to the net rather than just flinging it towards the goal whenever he felt he had room.
Third Star: Zetterberg. GWG and he did a great job controlling the puck with Nashville players draped all over him.
Honorable Mentions: Abby and DeKeyser. Both got a point tonight and both played hard/smart hockey.
Next game is Wednesday against the Flames. After a game like this, there can be no letdown in Calgary. Any loss now would be damning, but a loss to a team like Calgary could be the end.
Follow me on Twitter: @Twig81
(Rinne is fat, too)
The people who say don't pay Howard and claim that he isn't Elite should check their numbers. He's got better stats this year than Quick and Rinne. Lundquist only just beats him on GA and SV but only because he wears a size XXXL chesty.
Howard is consistently very good with frequent awesomeness, goalies like him are NOT easy to come by. We can't rely on Mrazek for sure yet. He isn't NHL tested properly and we all can think of plenty examples where A-grade prospects haven't been up to scratch when they're playing in the show.
For a minute, let's forget how great Pav-Hank are. Nyquist-Andersson-Brunner are our best line. Do they look like a line of rookies? Yes. Do they look like they will one day (soon) be the best line in hockey? I think so.
@ThroatShot Agreed, they had me on the edge of my seat every shift (in a good way).
@Reddy I just wish Tatar was up still. Fast forward about 4 years (I'm unfortunately assuming Datsyuk has moved to Russia or retired at that point). This is what our Top 6 SHOULD look like. I like that a lot.
Can you imagine where the Preds would be without Rinne? That man is easily the best goalie in the NHL.
@JOHNxJOHN Shame he gets rinsed because he's playing on a team with no offence and lackluster everything else.