This game featured a strange pre-game show on Red Wings Live. The crew thought they’d try different things to “power up” the Red Wings Powerplay, and came to the conclusion they would achieve this by tossing different appliances on the desk. Things that contain power, was their logic, I believe. Really there should only be batteries, generators, and motors, but appliances? These are things that require power, and suck up juice. So why weren’t Cleary and Abdelkader thrown up there?
Anyway, the Wings started out with a strong push, looking great 5-on-5. Pav steals one off the boards and feeds Kronwall, who has a screen in front of Kipper thanks to OH NO, ABBY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STILL DOING ON THIS LINE? 1-0 Wings.
Shortly thereafter a bad call on Smith leads to a PP goal and we’re tied. Very deflating. But once we’re 5-on-5 again the Wings look great. Great until Lashoff falls down and Pav is caught as the D-man on a 2-on-1 with Kindl chasing. Blow-meester throws it to the net , Guesstavsson saves but it deflects off of Kindl’s skate. Off course it does. 1-2 Calgarians. Bonus deflation. Rest of period ends pretty uneventfully after that. Shots 15-6 Detroit after 1 but Guesstavsson appears to have a worn a Maple Leafs jersey under his Wings jersey and stopped only 4 of 6 filling in for Howard, who was out with the flu.
Second Period is rather uneventful, and flies by without many whistles. Nothing really standing out here, until Whodler trips and falls into Gustavsson and we’re awarded a penalty on goalie interference. Valtteri Filppula, who to this point in the game was probably our best player, pots one and our 0-for-37 road PP drought is OVER! Wooo! Plan the parade, b*tches.
Third Period I blacked out. We gave up 3 goals and none of them looked like they were really all that hard for the 29th best offensive team in the league to score. Really upset about how that one ended. Nothing looked right defensively for us and in the worst possible way. Furthermore, Abby still with Datsyuk by game’s end? We have played Columbus, Columbus, and Calgary the last 3 games and have 1 point to show for it. Unbelievably mindboggling decision making here. Far be it from me to call out Babs or Ken Holland (as I’m not hockey expert, just a real opinionated fan), but holy smokes, please change something to get the boys out of this funk.
3 Stars – I was gonna have Val Filppula be my first star because he was playing well before the goal, even hit the post once and had a few chances. But that turnover to let Calgary go up 4-2, wow. Extremely bad. So instead I’m giving it to Jiri Hudler for this photo (huge thanks to Dieter @dnaujok)
Datsyuk needs Bert back. I swear he was one of the best wingers for Pav. Size, grit, hands, and a wicked shot. All while being on the same track mentally with Pav. Bert knew where to go and when to go because he is a goal scorer. All Abby knows is to work along the walls and stand in front of the net. No passing, no shots, so far off mentally from Pav that the whole line suffers.
Also our D needs to work on communication skills. Too many goals that could have been solved with better coverage. Everybody needs to learn their assignments. Plus the Wings just need to catch a freaking break. So many posts in the past few games. We need an ugly 3 or 4 deflection of skates type of goal every now and then. If our D could get shots through to the net every now and then maybe that could happen. SO FRUSTRATING!
@JOHNxJOHN I agree that Abby doesn't below in any Top 6 in the NHL, let alone ours, but I would disagree about Bert being the perfect fit with Pav. That probably would have been true in, say, 2001, but last season showed he is well past his prime. For 2011-2012 playing on a wing with Datsyuk (the greatest playmaker of the generation, at least), he had 71GP and only 14G. I used to say that was embarrassing, because Pav could probably bank 14 goals in off anyone occupying space within 15' of the net but I guess Babcock has proven that wrong this season with Abby. I think if we were coming up with the best wingers for Datsyuk with the players we have under contract now, I would think it would be Franzen (assuming he starts playing like a Power Forward a little) and Tatar. I was upset with that 2-year, over-35 contract we gave Bert after his streak of 15-goal-ish seasons, especially playing with Pav, but I'm OK with him on the team basically as a shootout specialist. I hate that he eats up a spot on Pav's line when he's in the lineup, because he just doesn't produce much anymore.
Jimmy's probably out with a sore back from carrying these freeloaders, not the flu.
Is there a reason that no one seems to be able to corral a pass without it bouncing off their stick to create a turnover? Babs better get a few dozen eggs for today's practice and go back to the peewee hockey method of teaching players how to take a pass.
Monster, I really want to see you tap gloves with Mrazek as he passes you on your way to the AHL. Mrazek can play enough backup games to get us through to the end of the season without becoming a roster player, can't he? At least I have some confidence that he has what it takes to steal a couple for us, and that's the difference between golfing and playing in June this season.
Off topic, but why do players who have a little sniffle always get the "out with flu" line. It's not flu if you can physically tell people that you have flu. Anything less is a fucking cold at worst. If Howie is back within two weeks he didn't have "flu".
Anyway. Gustavsson should've had three of those goals. Never does it look like he's giving 100%. He has an awful butterfly, which he insists on using for every shot. Pro-tip, you don't need to drop to your knees for every shot!
What the hell is Abby doing still in the lineup, let alone with Datsuk. Neither of these are good enough excuses to absolve everyone though, the team fell to bits in the 3rd.
Nyquist in the Bottom 6 with Cleary on his line isn't going to work. Tatar has a different type of game that stands alone better than Nyquist, who is more of a passer which is useless when given no one to pass to. Abby. There is nothing more to be said. I thought Bert had terrible stats last year with Pav and didn't deserve to be there, but wow, look at Abby (27GP, 1G, 1A, -3). That's obscene. Here's two notable statistical underperformers: Smith (16GP, 0G, 1A, +4) and Quincey (25GP, 1G, 1A, +8). At least they are defensemen, so their stats aren't expected to be that high anyway, but I feel uneasy with embarrassment for Abby when I look at his stats. On that note, I've been more underwhelmed with Gustavsson this season than I had anticipated. I knew he had issues, but he really looks lost most(?) of the time out there. I also feel embarrassed for him watching him play sometimes. It's going to be a hard road to the playoffs guys, so keep the bark buckets handy...