Wings Postgame: Detroit Loses to Brick Wall in Elliott Costume

Photo Credit: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Remember a few years back, when Brian Elliott had one fo the best save percentages in NHL history? It was an insane, 38-game run that saw him save 94% of pucks, something that he hasn’t matched since. However, you wouldn’t know that if you watched him tonight; while the Wings had their moments of let down, he made their overwhelmingly positive moments turn into ones of frustration, stopping all but one of the Red Wings’ 30 shots in a 2-1 regulation loss.

Detroit controlled the bulk of the first period, with the only lapse coming when Tomas Jurco shoved Scottie Upshall into the boards. It was admittedly a bit of a dangerous play, something that you’d think Jurco would be more cautious of attempting after being a victim of recklessness against the Flyers, but he got away with a minor penalty that was soon killed. That didn’t mean that the Wings would escape the period in a good spot, however, as with two minutes to go, Ty Rattie had a bit of a lucky deflection bounce off of his body as he tried to screen Petr Mrazek, instead beating him to put St. Louis up by one.

Rattie’s goal ended up being the only one for quite some time, as the second period went about with no serious action. Not to say that the Wings didn’t try; the top six swarmed the net with scoring chances but for whatever reason had absolutely no luck beating Elliott. As the game progressed, it began to look as if the team was just a bit cursed: 

Unfortunately, despite a pair of powerplays, things got worse for the Wings before they got better. With eight minutes to go, Dmitrij Jaskin saw an opening in Detroit’s defenders, streaked from his own blue line to the front of the net, and beat Mrazek for an insurance tally.

The Wings continued to press hard in the final minutes and were eventually rewarded in the form of a snipe from Henrik Zetterberg. No matter how hard they pushed, though, they weren’t able to get another goal behind Elliott behind the final buzzer.

Play of the Game

I love everything about this play. The second effort after a similar cycle-to-shot failed to work at the point. Zetterberg’s precision in finding the corner. Justin Abdelkader’s hacking, slashing, punching, and screening in front of the net. It’s bliss, especially after 57 minutes of pent up frustration.

Hockeytown Hero

I thought Alexey Marchenko had a very good game, after returning to the lineup to fill in for Niklas Kronwall. His underlying numbers were above average (66.67% CF at even strength, with Jonathan Ericsson and himself getting the toughest zone starts on defence at 50%), and he drew a penalty against Alex Steen late in the third period that gave the Wings the powerplay that they got the lone goal on.

Curse You Brian Elliott


Seriously, this game was plenty winnable. It stings a lot. Detroit outshot St. Louis 30-20, and out-attempted them 54-30. You can’t say the Wings had a poor effort tonight; just a poor result.

See You Next Time

With that game behind the Wings, they’ll look ahead to the next one. That matchup comes on Friday, when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at the FirstNiagara Center. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.