Wings Postgame: You Can’t Do That

Photo Credit: Leon Halip/USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, a game is just too filled with juicy drama to go away quickly. Tonight was one of those nights. Right from the start, this game was jam packed with controversy, and it carried over for the entire 65-minute span before culminating in a relatively typical shootout, which the Red Wings, unfortunately, lost.

The Red Wings found an enemy less than three minutes into the game when Ryan White decided that Tomas Jurco’s face was the best location for his elbow. White was given a game misconduct (which you can find out more about here), which sent the Wings on an uneventful power play. Animosity became evident as the period progressed, but nothing quite turned into anything until the second.

In that middle frame, Radko Gudas became Enemy #2 by bullying Pavel Datsyuk, leading to a trip to the penalty box. He tried the same with Henrik Zetterberg, who wasn’t willing to have any of it and shoved back more times than Gudas expected though the refs left them both be for this encore performance.

With two minutes to go in the period, though, the Wings got their revenge on him. In this case, it came from a goal; Niklas Kronwall took in a puck from Jonathan Ericsson and ripped it off of Gudas’ body and into Michal Neuvirth’s net to open the scoring. Referees looked at the goal for goaltender interference, thinking that Darren Helm may have knocked Neuvirth’s glove a little too hard for him to recover for the save, but they eventually approved it.

The lead lasted a while on the real clock, but not long on the game clock; four minutes into the third, Jakub Vorachek set up Claude Giroux for a beauty of a finish to tie the game up. The two teams exchanged powerplays shortly after that, but things got very dire at the midway point. Less than 30 seconds after Mike Green fired a puck over the glass, Kronwall tripped Voracek to Detroit to a nearly full-length 3-on-5 penalty kill. They survived it, though, and while the last few minutes were tilted in Philadelphia’s favour, the Wings looked like they were easily going to get to overtime.

That was, until the final seconds fo the game. Brendan Smith took a hooking penalty with just five seconds to go, and on the ensuing faceoff, the Flyers scored. The game appeared to be all but over, but the referees reviewed it.

Wayne Simmonds’ unprecedented ass-check saved the Wings, as it allowed for the goal to be disallowed and put him in the penalty box, meaning that overtime would not only happen, but still be 3-on-3 after all. Neither team did much with the occasion, however, so it went to a shootout.

While many expected that the red-hot Mrazek and Neuvirth would carry the skills competition for a while, it wasn’t meant to be. Pavel Datsyuk skipped the dazzle to score Detroit’s lone shootout goal with a simple backhand, but equally nice efforts gave the Flyers the win.

Misplay of the Game

This hook was brutal and obvious. It was close enough to a breakaway that the referee could have called a penalty shot. There were five seconds left in the game. You don’t do this again, Brendan Smith. For all that is good and holy.

Underrated Play of the Game

This was just one save of many on the 5-on-3 penalty kill from the third period. Mrazek stood on his head all night, as he has all season, but in these two minutes, he was at his peak. He ended the night with 30 saves on 31 shots, a very solid result with all things considered.

Oh You Fancy, Huh


The Wings were an extremely good possession team tonight. Four players (Jurco, Pulkkinen, Smith, and Larkin) were above 70% in 5-on-5 attempted shots for. Nearly every shift started and finished in the offensive zone; Mike Green played the toughest zone assignments as “only” 57.1% of his shifts started on the good side of the ice. The Wings jumped ahead in attempts three minutes into the game, and never looked back, eventually putting 20 more pucks towards the net than their opponents, despite a similar number actually making it there.

There were those moments of fear (mostly on the penalty kill), but this was an effort the team can be proud of.

See You Next Time

That’s another for the books! From here, the Wings will continue their homestead, but not for a few more days. Their next opponent is the St. Louis Blues, who they’ll face on Wednesday at 8:00 at the Joe. The Blues are third in the war zone that is the Central and are 4-3-3 in their last ten. See you then!