Jimmy Howard Recap: 3.5.2013

Like the headline suggests, Wings get 2 points tonight largely because of the play of Jimmy Howard. Thanks, Jim! On the other end of the ice, J.S. Giguere did a terrific job of wearing gigantic equipment. In the end, Detroit’s two goals were enough as they held on to win 2-1.

More after the jump:

Well, we got our wish for a little bit there. Tatar was on Datsyuk’s wing for a short time. Whether that was Babs rewarding Tatar or him giving Abby a wakeup call, it worked. Abby gave a much better effort in the third period, though he still doesn’t have the skill needed to produce on that line. Seemed Cleary and Datsyuk were trying to bank one in off him in the third. Didn’t work.

As for Tatar, some of the knocks against him are for his lack of defensive ability. Tonight I paid close attention to him in his own zone and he wasn’t spectacular back there. Not that I think that makes him unworthy of the top line, but it is something he can improve on.

I love watching Ericsson play right now. He reminds me of a 180lb puppy dog that goes to a dog park full of ankle biters and suddenly becomes aware of his size advantage. Keep tossing those little punks around, Big Rig.

Power play hit a snag tonight. No shots on that 5 on 3. That could have been very costly, but the Wings found a way to win. They also did quite well on a PK of their own. Cleary in particular made a strong play at the blueline to get the puck out of harms way.

NOHS Three Stars of the Game:

First Star: Jimmy Howard. No doubt about this one, without him, Detroit loses.

Second Star: Jimmy Howard’s glove hand. He stopped breakaways and had one desperation save late in the third.

Third Star: Jimmy Howard’s other pads. Great work by Howard tonight.

Honorable Mention: Johan Franzen. He had some great looks tonight, scored a goal and hustled on every play. It’s not the end of the word if Franzen doesn’t score in games. Our gripe with him will be his level of effort. Well, tonight he showed up and played. Hope he keeps that up.

Next game is Thursday against the Oilers. Home game against a lesser team? Have to get those 2 points.