Sorry I missed you all after the Boston game, meant to recap that but you have to understand the pressures of Thanksgiving Family Holidays. My parents and grandparents were here and kept forcing drink down me; partying like a woe begotten Red Wings team had just slammed a second place Boston Bruins team by 5 goals. Seriously, imagine 5 little old drunk Sullys running around shouting “wine!” “beer!” “scotch!” “tequila!” It was nuts. I survived. Recap time:
How many times during the many losses this season did the Red Wings play rather well but not get the bounces, have the puck find a way to stay out of the net, and give up a back-breaking goal in the most untimely manner possible? Too often, I’d say. Jimmy’s stats do not reflect how well he has played, our powerplay unit is better than that of a team averaging as few goals per game as we are. We aren’t the terrible offensive enigma that we have showcased in many games, including the last 7 starts of James Tiberius Howard and the last several at home prior to Boston.
These two games on either side of Thanksgiving were both very unrepresentative of our recent history. Which is to say, they kicked some majour ass. Outscoring Boston, and a surprising nemesis of ours in the Islanders, 10-1 in three days is pretty much as good as anyone can ask for. This game, though not as surprising as the total dominance of Boston (especially since we were on a losing streak that game and Boston had just beat Pittsburgh in OT), was great because of the frustration we caused our opponent. All of a sudden, Detroit becomes a team that allows only one and done chances, possesses the puck well, and scores shorthanded goals again.
Little known fact: the last Detroit Red Wings short-handed goal was scored by Mickey Redmond. The last shutout, in an even weirder fact, was by Red Wings goalie Manny Legace in 2004. Neat, huh?
NOHS Three Stars and then Some:
1st Star – The Namesake. Dude was flying. Absolutely killed it on our odd man rushes, whether or not he was the open threat or the guy with the puck shooting it into the goalie’s chest, he was great. He even once shot it right into the goalie’s chest and then the puck came back at him and his hyperextended limbs flicked it in for our second goal of the game (and his second as well). That shorty felt so awesome. Helm has 6 goals his last 7 games? Something like that (I’m wasted and can’t be bothered to look things like hockey stats up right now) and that’s crazy.
2nd Star – Jimmy Howard. Jimmy hangs dong. Jimmy didn’t have to be great, but faced some really good opportunities with occasional Red Wings gaffes, especially in the final period…especially in the final minute to preserve the shutout. More importantly, this was a game he had to have to rebound from his recent struggles and what Howard-twitter-haters would call “that period of time where we proved ourselves right in the fact that the Wings sold the franchise to pay for a sh***y goalie.”
3rd Star – I know you want Daniel Alfredsson, but this kid Gustav Nyquist had yet another goal and he has been noticeably not-to-be-sent-back-to-Grand-Rapidsworthy of late. 4th goal in 5th game of the season? My assessment means d*ck though so back to the Griffs he goes tomorrow.
Honourable Mention – I’ll throw Daniel Alfredsson in here, but his goals were tap-in’s and both came when we were pretty sure we finally had that illusive win over the Islanders. Also, Tomas Tatar. I know I’m a broken record but I really like the way this kid plays. His goals against Boston was very impressive and I liked how he stood up to their rough and nasty nature. He did the same to some unwarranted grit in New York and continued to generate chances. And for a little guy he’s surprisingly strong on the puck. I’ll lament his move to Grand Rapids tomorrow along with Gustav’s. Go Wings.