Another slow start, but a much better finish results in a nice 4-1 Red Wings win over the Dallas Stars. The power play still needs work, but the PK was good last night. Howard had to be big on the early kills, but the Wings were able to clear the puck when they had chances to do so.
A few players really stood out last night and we'll discuss them after the jump:
I liked Kindl tonight. I wasn't thrilled that Lashoff was sitting since he had proven himself capable to playing at this level, but Kindl didn't disappoint. He played aggressive tonight. He pinched in a couple times, hit guys and skated for loose pucks. In the past I felt he may have felt that his roster spot was safe because the Wings had no depth, but the emergence of Lashoff seems to have inspired Kindl to step up his game.
Quincey had a better game. I saw him make a few good plays in his own end. However, someone needs to convince him that tossing the puck towards the goal when there's no traffic will almost always result in a tired opponent being able to get a line change. He tends to do a good job of keeping the puck in the zone when Detroit is applying pressure, only to shoot it into the goalie's chest.
Kronwall seems intent on being the second best defenseman on this team whether Lidstrom is here or not. I don't know if he's trying to fill Nick's perfect shoes or what, but he hasn't had the greatest start to the year.
I thought Val was snake bit when his first good scoring chance didn't go in, but thanks to the best setup man in hockey he finished with 2 goals on the night. I think Brunner is getting more and more confident in his ability to beat NHL goaltenders. He has 3 goals in 6 games, meaning he would be on pace to score 40+ in a full season. Not bad for a rookie.
Are there still fans out there mad about the Tootoo signing? I can honestly tell you that last July when we first signed him, I was pissed. Then I saw that he killed seals and wore their skins and I thought, "Well, that's kind of awesome." And then I saw him finish check after check and fire up the team and I thought, "Well, that's really awesome." Then I saw him fight guys bigger than him and pretty much destroy them and I thought, "Well, that's undeniably awesome!" I like Jordin Tootoo.
Pavel Datsyuk is good at hockey.
Howard is making key saves now. It was pretty clear to me that he was rusty as can be early on, but now he's making big saves when we need him to. You know, like other goalies do to us all the time.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Datsyuk. Good on Val for finishing, but he doesn't even get a chance to score those goals without Datsyuk setting him up. Twice.
Second Star: Filppula. 2 goals and he was driving the net at every opportunity.
Third Star: Howard. Probably his best game so far. Really had no chance on that rebound goal against, though I suppose not giving up that big rebound would have helped matters. Still, a solid performance.
Sorry this post is so late. Sometimes life (or poor internet connections) gets in the way, but we'll do our best to keep you informed and entertained. Thanks for reading and as always:
I know we are happy for finishing strong, but it was expected because Dallas played the night before. It was pretty much a reverse of the last game against the stars. If they weren't tired we may have had a whole game of the first period. It's good to grab these points when we can though. I think we play quite a few teams on the back end of a double header.
@JOHNxJOHN I've heard that tired excuse (no pun intended) too many times. The fact that the professional athletes played the previous night means exactly f*ck all. SO many times we've played "tired" teams and had our asses handed to us. It's just as difficult playing a "tired" team as it is a fresh one imo.
@Reddy If it was a normal season I would agree with you, but this shortened season is asking a lot of many guys who weren't in game shape. When a team plays 4 games in 5 nights like the Wings did last time they played Dallas, fatigue is definitely a factor.
I think every player on the team has gotten better every single game. Except for maybe Kronwall, but whatever, that's fine. Two games in a row I actually liked Emmerton and his 4th line crew. Unfortunately for Emmer, I cannot wait to see our 4th line with Abby on it instead. I think it'll be one of, if not the best 4th line in the game.
Eaves was on the PP! I liked it. They always talk about how he has a great shot, and how we have no right-handed shots on this team. Must've forgotten about him.
Ericsson earns the defenseman of the night for me. Broke up a 3 on 1, joined the rush, and looked like he even considered hitting people. Once he decides to hit, he just might be worth his contract.
I thought Huskins played solid all around. Everyone was saying how he is simply a defensive d-man, but it seems to me like he's pinched in and joined the rush quite a few times.
Our defense is shaping up to be pretty solid after all. Even without signing any big-name guys.
Datsyuk has been brilliant so far this year. If I had a nickel for every time he picked the pocket of an opposing player, I would have a shit ton of nickels. It really is awesome to watch him play.
The Zetterberg line is starting to pick it up, and I love Brunner's desire to shoot the puck. We have a lot of great passers on the team, but some guys (like Filppula) that like to make one last move instead of firing the puck. Brunner has no resevations about firing the puck.
I found myself getting fired up as if it were a playoff game last night, yelling at the TV that they Stars player that high sticked Smith deserved 4 minutes (didnt help that Game Center Live wasnt working properly, POS).
Anyway, looking forward to the rematch against the Blues on Friday. Hoping for some revenge. Good day all.
Gotta agree with you on Tootoo. The Grind Line is looking good. Remember all those Cups we won with the Grind Line? And with Pasha turning opposing players into practice pylons, we're once again reminded how good the best player in the NHL really is!