Games like this, they just make me so happy. Early on it looked like it might be a long night with the Sedin twins playing nauseatingly great hockey, but Detroit took over in the second with, get this: our special teams. Not only did they score three with the man advantage, they didn’t give up any to a hot Vancouver power play. Awesome.
More after the jump:
Last night I almost wrote that Brunner had something of a bad-ish game. Maybe I did write it, but I’m not checking. Point is he rebounded in a big way tonight by recording four points, including the GWG.
I liked Howard tonight despite giving up three. The first two were a product of Sedin magic, but that third one must be stopped. Still, 120 minutes of hockey in less than 24 hours and he gives up one bad goal. I’ll take it. He wasn’t even supposed to be here today!
It’s fun watching Abdelkader and Cleary get the puck and instantly look around for Datsyuk. The line is producing but it’s entirely because of Pav. I’d still like to see Tatar switch with Abby.
Kronwall leads all NHL defensemen with 16 points. Now if he could continue to be responsible in his own end like he has the last two games, we could be talking James Norris. The amazing thing about him leading in points? His partner is a rookie.
I really like watching Tootoo play. The goals he scores for us are just like the ones he scored against us for so many years: fluky and well-earned.
I liked our defense today. They made good plays with the puck in our own end and kept turnovers to a minimum.
Emmerton continues to impress me. There was a moment early in the first when he was surrounded by three Canucks and had no immediate outlet pass. Rather than panic, he held the puck for an extra second and waited for a teammate to get open. Once the option was available, he took it and Detroit cleared the puck. Those were the plays he didn’t make last year when we all wanted him shipped out.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Brunner. 2g 2a and the GWG. I didn’t expect him to be our leading goal scorer at any point in the season, but he is. Detroit hasn’t had a 30 goal scorer in a few years now despite Zetterberg and Datsyuk’s crisp, sexy passes, but Brunner would easily be on pace for 40+ if this was a full season.
Second Star: Kronwall. 1g 2a for the second straight game. Seems our power play is a bit more effective when our point man is playing well.
Third Star: Andersson. His 2g came when the game was basically over, but it’s always good to see our young guys stepping up and taking advantage of their ice time.
Honorable Mention: Third and Fourth lines. These guys have sealed the deal on two straight games by grinding it out in the third period. They’ll need to keep that up if they expect to make the playoffs.
Next game is Wednesday against the defending champs. 10:00 puck drop. They’ll be looking to get some revenge after that heart-breaker that Howard and Ericsson gave them last time. Don’t let them have it, boys.