POSTGAME: THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

Scoring has been an issue lately to say the least. Thankfully, Jimmy Howard has been making a great case for taking back the crease. Coming into this game he was third in goal against average among goalies with 10 starts or more this year. But when Howard went out with an apparent groin injury just three shots into the game the Wings looked to be in trouble. The Wings only have two back-to-back wins in the entire month of November so needless to say, they wanted that W desperately. There was some hope though as injuries and poor play by some veterans had placed Mantha, Tatar, Nyquist and Larkin all in the top six (finally) and we got to see a bit of what everyone could do with the extra minutes.

FIRST PERIOD

While Detroit managed to keep the Devils to only 5 shots in the first period, they still found themselves down early in the first on a John Moore goal. Overall they were putting together a decent period, but all it takes is a quick lapse and suddenly you’re digging the puck out of your own net.

While the power-play hasn’t been good for Detroit this year, the penalty kill has shown real promise. After last year’s poor showing it’s a welcomed improvement. This particular PK struck early, after Abby made some noise in front, Frans Nielsen was able to finish off the loose puck:

It’s almost as though Frans Nielsen could feel the critics moving in on him despite having flown under the radar so far this year. Before someone could post a think piece about his CORSI through 20 games, he managed to redirect all criticisms with another goal:

Not pretty but at this point I’m sure the team will take anything. Despite outshooting the Devils 12-5 in the first period, if we’ve learned anything from Detroit this season it’s that no lead is safe.

SECOND PERIOD

The Devils came to play in the second and they came quickly. Cammalleri netted his 5th goal of the season just 4 minutes into the second frame:

Just like they drew it up in the room. 

After a Jonathon Ericsson interference penalty, the Wings PK strutted out to the ice only to come back down to earth as the kid, Pavel Zacha, notched the power-play go ahead goal:

Alright, so the Wings were down again, shots were close at 10-9 but then the D-Boss himself managed to capitalize on a beautiful play by Zetterberg to keep the rush alive in the dying seconds of the second period:

Now we’ve got ourselves a game. 

THIRD PERIOD

With the expansion draft coming, there’s been a ton of speculation about who may be left exposed. Some hockey analysts have gone as far as to say there’s a good chance young stud Anthony Mantha is left exposed and thus (obviously) snatched up by the Las Vegas Boogie Nights or whatever they went with. All I know is if they let a kid go with this much size, skill and speed, I’ll consider drop-deading myself:

The amount of times I watched a Red Wing last year fly down the Wing and blow it high and wide (Helm) to see one of those actually go in nearly put a tear in my eye. But then again, the only thing more Detroit than mismanaging a prospect lately seems be blowing a lead and they weren’t about to switch that up anytime soon:

The Devils only had 4 shots in the third so of course one of them goes in. We’re heading to overtime for the second game in a row. 

OVERTIME

Kyle Palmieri took virtually the only penalty refs will call in overtime (high-stick) and as he went to sit for two minutes the OT power-play unit took to the ice. Nielsen and Mantha with the hot hands on the night played some back and forth with each other for a little while before sending a pass over to the man who would finish this uncharacteristically high scoring game for both teams:

Mr. Green, in the O-zone, with the sniper rifle. Game. 

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Well the boys have a nice little win streak on their hands despite mediocre play. Thankfully they had the Devils and the Sabres this week but tomorrow’s game vs the Canadiens likely won’t be an easy one. While the Wings decisively outshot the Devils 33-19 there should be worry about the three goals on thirteen shots a rusty Mrazek gave up. Montreal always gives the Wings issues and Petr is likely starting again tomorrow so let’s hope he gets some proper support (unlikely) and the Wings can find 5 goals in them again. 

  • Steampuck

    Las Vegas Boogie Nights! That has to be a thing.

    There are few teams as hamstrung as the Wings when it comes to the expansion draft. How do you protect all the young talent? Surely a trade of two is on the horizon…