POSTGAME: STEALIN’ POINTS AGAIN

The Wings came into the game hot, winners of their last 5 but there have been some trouble spots. A combination of getting outshoot regularly, poor possession numbers and relying too heavily on goaltenders to bail them out constantly. Well thankfully all of that luck continued against one of the leagues best, the St. Louis Blues.

FIRST PERIOD

Not the start Detroit was probably hoping for. Another period where they got dominated and were bailed out by their goaltender. Mrazek was on point early. Stopping redirects, big saves, excellent movement side-to-side and the only reason Detroit left the first still tied 0-0. The teams traded power-plays early but neither team managed to pot one. Tarasenko was getting his looks though, which is never a good thing. Only matter of time before that guy scores. Detroit had periods of using their speed but found themselves pinned in their own zone a lot. 

The Blues want to clog up the zones as much as possible and slow the game down. If the Wings had any chance it was going to come on fast breaks and a swift attack. Shots stood at 14-4 in favour of the Blues and Detroit looked like they were going to be giving up 30+ shots again. Thankful for Mrazek:

SECOND PERIOD

It’s always tough starting the period shorthanded and this was no different. Shots coming from everywhere and just failed attempt after failed attempt to clear the zone. The Blues kept that momentum flowing after the penalty expired and eventually set up this fluky one:

The goalie had a clear lane to see the shot but an errand block attempt that would have been an easy save cost the Wings a goal. Nielsen, the culprit, would make up for it soon though. 

The pressure still hadn’t let up when the Wings took another penalty. After a solid first half of the kill by the Ott-Glendening pairing, out came Helm and Nielsen to finish off the penalty. The speedsters entered the Blues zone and caught a couple of lax defenceman standing still and a cheating goalie. With Allen anticipating the pass, Nielsen caught him cheating and smashed in the equalizer:

Filthy. 

The Wings definitely had a better period than the first but they were still down 23-14 in shots and continued to get bailed out by Mrazek. They got a late call though and entered the third with most of a power-play against the league’s third best penalty kill on this late rush by Helm:

THIRD PERIOD

This was a much better period for the Wings. Eight minutes in and the Blues had yet to get a shot as the Wings started closing that gap. Athanasiou with another solid game, so much so he was seeing top line time with Zetterberg and Tatar at this point and was close to getting loose on a couple occasions. 

But the pressure wasn’t sustained and the Blues again took control of the game. In the last two minutes they had some scary looks, including a big face-off with 20 seconds remaining after an unnecessary and unchallenged icing by Ericsson. The Red Wings made it out alive though and guaranteed themselves a point for the 6th straight game.

OVERTIME

When is 3-on-3 overtime not stressful? Chances going both ways, a Lehtera breakaway, good zone time by the Wings and a breakaway of his own for Tatar that somehow didn’t earn a penalty shot.

Tatar breakaway:

SHOOTOUT

This is why we signed Frans Nielsen right? So of course he doesn’t score but we got this beauty from Nyquist:

But then we found ourselves in a gridlock. Mrazek stopping everything and Allen going shot for shot with him. Some fumbles and some great saves from both sides. Mrazek’s save on Jaskin was so insanely good the Wings finally smartened up and decided to end this 8 round affair:

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Another game the Wings stole away from the better team but points are points. They have a big divisional weekend ahead of them, with Boston on saturday and Florida on sunday. With Boston’s disastrous goaltending situation this should be a good chance to dagger a weak team. Florida gave them some trouble already this year so hopefully this streak can continue and gain some much needed headway in the Atlantic over the teams they’ll be battling near the end of the year. Maybe this weekend the guys can help Mrazek out a little more.