In yesterday’s matinee game against the Florida Panthers, we witnessed something rare. The Detroit Red Wings out-shot their opponent.
They held the Panthers to a mere 23 shots, never allowing them to hit the net more than 9 times in a period. Unfortunately for them, Jimmy Howard was a mere human in net and posted a .913 save percentage, allowing two goals.
But two goals is all that’s needed when Roberto Luongo is a brick wall in net. Were it not for him, the Wings would have logged another two points in the standings.
The Wings put on a dominant performance, winning the puck control battle with a 55.5 Corsi-For percentage and logging 34 shots on net. They weren’t just tossing pucks on net from anywhere, either. They were getting to the front and creating high-danger scoring attempts, as the following chart from Natural Stat Trick shows.
Mike Hoffman scored on an early power play three minutes into the game and Evgenii Dadonov padded the lead late into the first. Thomas Vanek brought the Wings within one midway through the second with a goal that was assisted on by Dylan Larkin. And then they took Larkin’s assist away. And then gave it back to him. And then gave it away. The whole thing was very confusing.
Then, it was all Roberto as the Red Wings posted 16 shots in the 3rd period.
It’s unfortunate, but you’re going to run into hot goalies all the time. If the Wings need to play like this consistently though, they’ll have a better shot of winning more in the long run. Tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs will be a good test.