Monday, January 21, 2013

Wings Survive BlueJackets, Feels like it Means Something

You've gotta love when young guys produce, especially when they put on a show and win you hockey games in the process.

Detroit went from leading the Columbus BlueJackets 2-0 to trailing in the third 3-2, but clawed their way back thanks to the talents of our resident EuroTwins, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, tying the game back up at 3-3.  Overtime settled nothing, but did set the stage for a dramatic and electrifying performace by Swiss phenom Damien Brunner.

It wasn't even the simple fact that Brunner scored the game-winning goal for the Red Wings, but moreso the fact that he did so with such obvious calm and confidence, pulling a right-handed version of Datsyuk's trademark deke and stuffing the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky's pad.  It was the fact that, on the very first Columbus attempt, the Jackets seemed to take an early 1-0 shootout lead, but Detroit was granted mercy by the hockey gods, as Cam Atkinson looked to have double-tapped the puck before it crossed the goal line and the goal was waved off.

It was also the fact that, after the shellacking we took from St. Louis, we were desperate.  We were desperate to see Detroit win a game and put the previous match behind us.  When we almost let that slip away, it made Brunner's spectacular goal all the sweeter.

Have you forgotten yet that I've talking about a game against the Columbus BlueJackets?

The concerns for this team are obvious, and a trip to Columbus has always been thought of as the write-off, the obvious 2-point night.  Much as we hate to admit it, the NHL doesn't work that way anymore, and anything is possible.  That statement is compounded when you lose two legendary veterans like Nick Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom.  The two areas these players excelled in, Lidstrom's defensive poise and both players' powerplay presence,  have been sorely missed in these last two games.  Detroit is a pitiful 0 for 11 on the man-advantage, and surrendered a shortie in St. Louis.  It was admittedly nice to see Detroit find a way to fight, tooth and nail at times, for a W.  It doesn't always have to be pretty, it just has to be a win at the end of the night.

And speaking of fighting, how about Jordin Tootoo earning his keep this evening? The opening puck-drop brawl between Tootoo and Jared Boll was just the thing Detroit needed to get their energy up and help build a 2-goal lead before Columbus stormed back.  Considering Bobrovsky's circus act in the Columbus net to keep most of the Detroit shots out of his net, had Toots not lead with the knuckles this game could have ended much differently.

I mentioned young kids at the beginning, and how can we not smile and congratulate Brian Lashoff for his 1st NHL goal in his 1st NHL game!?  Way to go, kid.  You played your heart out tonight.  Our D got even more banged up this evening, and you might be looking at an extended stay up top if you keep it up!

Next on the docket is the home opener, and it's going to be another sad one.  Before the game, Tomas Holmstrom will hold the press conference where he will officially announce his retirement.  Afterwards, the Red Wings will host the Dallas Stars and their newest high-profile acquisition, Jaromir Jagr.

Should be interesting, Wingnuts. Till next time!

Let's Go Red Wings!!