Wings Postgame: The Magician and the Optical Illusion

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Tonight was a lot of fun, as the Detroit Red Wings blanked the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-0. Certainly, after giving up six to them four days ago, it’s nice to see the team rebound. Rather than go the traditional post-game route, let’s break this game into segments.

The Judgement Calls

There were a few moments tonight that put the referees under a microscope tonight. For Wings fans, none of them did so more so than this Gustav Nyqvist shot that disappeared into Al Montoya and would have given Detroit a 1-0 lead sooner than they actually made it happen.

It’s a tricky situation. On one hand, there’s lots of reason to believe that the puck went into the back of the net. After all, it just vanishes as Montoya hugs tight to the post. But without seeing it cross, the referees initially called it no goal, meaning that they had to search for an angle that showed it went in.

None did, so it’s completely fair to not call it a goal. I’m sure people would be more upset about it now if the score was a bit different, but rules are rules. I’m not against them instituting smart pucks with goal line technology whenever it becomes feasible, though.

Besides, that was evened out with their reaction to the Justin Abdelkader hit. Now, I firmly believe that Abdelkader got the chest of Barkov and that the follow through was non-malicious, but at full speed, I would have understood if the officials believed it to be much worse. Their reaction proved to be the correct one, as the only penalty called was one to Alex Petrovic for a cross-check just prior.

The Magician

Pavel Datsyuk turned back the clock tonight, and it was fun to watch. He was a positive possession player, his hands were as warmed up as they could possibly be, and in a game where all eyes were on Jaromir Jagr, he proved to be the wise old man that would run the show. This goal was one of two that he picked up; he also had the 2-0 tally just a minute before, where he narrowly avoided an offside and ended up roofing the puck past Montoya.

The Optical Illusion

streamable via /u/bmac39 on /r/hockey

Life is great when Petr Mrazek is in net. Even as the WIngs had a short dip in momentum, the young netminder was consistently equal to the task and ended up with his career-high fourth shutout of the year. Not that either extreme is likely to repeat itself, but it’s weird how the only difference in the final scores of these last two games vs. Florida was this shutout against Jimmy Howard’s six against on Thursday.

Mrazek’s performance bumps him up to a 0.933 on the season, which leads the NHL.

The Push-Pull

Jakub Kindl gave us the best moment of “of course” in a while tonight. He wasn’t expected to play during his call-up, but with Mike Green needing a night off, he drew in tonight. When he took this shot that led to the game-winning goal, people were floored with the fact that he made a direct positive contribution to the game. Seconds later, he was in the penalty box.

Win some, lose some.

The End Result

Overall, it was a solid night for the Wings, who now have back to back wins. Unlike the blowout against the Islanders, however, this was one that the team deserved and one that brought plenty of must-see TV. You take these every day of the week and hope that you can run them into the sunset. A good start would be to repeat it tomorrow night, when they take on the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop for that one is at 7:00 PM.

  • Darren's Helm

    Thought that was one of Mrazek’s better games in a while. Didn’t stop a billion shots and didn’t have that many highilght reel saves but he was cool and collected throughout