Red Wings dug deep today and pulled out a 3-2 win against the defending champs. With the kind of the pressure the Kings were putting on I thought it was just a matter of time before they tied the game and it was. I sure didn’t expect what happened next, though. Good play by all involved, especially Big Rig who got the winner with less than 5 seconds remaining.
More after the jump:
This was Howard’s best game in a long time. The Wings could have very easily been blown out tonight as it was clear they were tired from the compacted schedule, but Howard held onto their slim lead until the very end.
The PK has been good for 2 games now. Baby steps. Really, though, they’re doing a good job of blocking shots and clearing the puck when they have a chance. Also, Howard. Mostly Howard.
Datsyuk was flying early and I thought he might have a huge night, but seemed to hit a wall in the second just like the rest of the team. Still, I think he has found his rhythm. Expect the points to pile up soon.
Brunner and Zetterberg both had good games again. I assumed Brunner would be a bust and would be on the 4th line by now. I was… slightly off on the prediction.
I have nothing to say about Cleary. We have better players in GR, but he’s staying, so get used to it.
Mike Babcock dodged a bit of a bullet this afternoon. When he put Andersson out there in the last minute, I knew we were in trouble. That whole “Wow, he has a lot of faith in his youngsters” talk only works if that faith is well founded. Not that the goal was his fault or anything. Hell, he almost kept it out, but he shouldn’t have been out there. Luckily, Ericsson scored and the Wings won, so Babcock is awesome again.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Jimmie Howard. Who else, really? If not for Howard, this team gets blown out. I’m even going to give Babcock credit here. He probably knew this team would be tired and that the Kings would get a ton of chances. Putting Mrazek out there on national TV with a tired team in front of him could have been a disaster.
Second Star: Pavel Datsyuk. He was great early in the Kings’ zone and terrific in our zone late. And he scored. Again.
Third Star: Ericsson. Not only did he get the GWG, he played another solid game in his own end. He has been one of our better players on the blueline for some time now.
Honorable Mention: Z and Brunner. I believe Brunner has a point in all but 2 games. Similar for Zetterberg. Keep it up, boys.
3 games in 4 nights. 6 of 6 possible points. We never know what team will show up, but if this team that we just saw shows up more often than not, the Wings will make the playoffs.