Wings Postgame: Hello Brooklyn

It’s been a bit of a rocky road to the All-Star Break for the Detroit Red Wings, but if there’s any positive to take out of it, it was the fact that it ended on a high note. Despite this game being their third in four nights, the Wings were able to squeeze out a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders ahead of a week-long vacation.

Interestingly enough, the Wings only had one powerplay in this entire game, and it came at the midway point of the first period. That’s not to say that they didn’t make the most of it, though; Pavel Datsyuk made himself the victor of a board battle a few seconds into the man-advantage and set up Brad Richards for his fifth goal of the season.

Detroit couldn’t escape the period with the lead, however. Five and a half minutes later, a poor breakout by Jonathan Ericsson turned into a turnover by Tomas Tatar. This already sounds bad, but when you hear that the puck was handed to John Tavares, who had an open Brock Nelson available to him, it somehow gets worse. Thankfully, that was New York’s only goal of a period where they outshot the Wings 11-7.

The biggest reason the Wings won this game was a pair of goals scored at the midway point of the second period. First, there’s this absolute beauty by Justin Abdelkader, in which Henrik Zetterberg was the star:

Just a minute and change later, Danny DeKeyser followed with his sixth goal of the year, picking up his own rebound on an aggressive rushing pinch to beat Jaroslav Halak. The Wings never quite looked back from there; Mikhail Grabovski scored on a breakaway with five minutes to go in the game, but he was eventually met with an empty netter to calm everybody’s nerves.

Hockeytown Hero

Eric Tangradi made his Red Wings debut tonight. You probably didn’t see him out there too much; he was dead last on the team with 6:55 of ice time and no special teams usage at all. But he did manage to do a decent enough job of moving the puck up to the other side of the ice as he was called upon, statistically being one of the best shot differential players despite starting the bulk of his shifts closer to Mrazek than Halak.

It is worth noting how little Blashill used him towards the end, though; he played just 40 seconds in the third period.

Why The Wings Won


I don’t think it can be understated how valuable it was for the Wings to keep themselves disciplined tonight. Teams that are trailing are prone enough as it is to pouring it on as the leading team avoids risky plays; the last thing you want to do is give them a powerplay. After killing Mike Green’s late-first interference penalty, the Wings stayed out of trouble and played at 5-on-5 until the Islanders pulled their goalie. No guarantees that being a little more stick-happy negates the team’s chances, but that’s not the type of thing you typically want to experiment with.

See You Next Time

Time for an extended break! Anybody who is banged up will now have some time to rest, with the exception of Dylan Larkin, who will now start prepping to play some 3-on-3 hockey. He’ll be leading the way on February 3rd when the Wings take on Steven Stamkos, Ben Bishop, and the Tampa Bay Lightning.