Friday, March 19, 2010

Taking comfort in the Little Things...

March 19, Final Score: Edmonton 3, Detroit 2 (SO)

Well, certainly it'd be much nicer for the debut posting on a Red Wings blog to appear on the evening of a Detroit win, but we do what we must, right?

And hey, for a split second, that was almost the case.

Detroit made an effort - as I refuse to use the term "battled" in this instance - and after giving up a horrendous two-goal lead after a quarter of a period of hockey, the Red Wings managed to squeak out one of the most unlikely points they will have obtained all year.

Three keys to what happened here tonight:

1.) Vacation Hangover - Detroit came out textbook to what you'd expect from a team that has not competed for three days: lethargic, uncomposed (or decomposed, take your pick...), and nervous. Missed passes, botched coverage, and absolutely no jump in the skates from 90% of the roster is going to get you in trouble, and it was definitely so in the case of the Wings tonight.

2.) Pussyfooting - I'm really...I mean REALLY...getting sick of watching skaters like Bertuzzi, Franzen and Ericsson loping around and not finishing checks. You wanna focus on offensive play? Fine, but that's only an excuse if you're producing offense!!! For the love of God, throw your weight around when you get a chance for a clean hit, please!! Our stars get pummeled every night because other teams know that we won't, not can't, protect them!! Sad fact of this? Ericsson had the lowest playing time of the above three mentioned with 13:20...but also had the most shots with a whopping two SOG...

3.) RGS: Reliable Goaltender Syndrome - I swear, if Jimmy Howard has to stand on his head much more, the poor boy's gonna break his damn neck. The Red Wings need to take a long, hard look at some of the videos from their previous games. I can confidently say that 80-90% of the goals that have gone past Howard in the last month were ones he had no chance of ever stopping. Why? Because the Wings skaters are playing Swiss Cheese hockey. Your goaltender can only bail you out of so much, but when you consistently give up high-percentage chances the end result is *gasp!* usually a goal against!!

I truly think the Wings realize the situation they're in, but you have to admit that this is very foreign territory for the boys in Red and White. That's not an excuse, mind you. Detroit needs to pick up their play, because the second thing they should realize is that they are letting invaluable points slip through their fingers that could cost them the playoffs, and the injury card cannot be played anymore...