Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wings Grind Out a Win in Jersey

It weren't pretty, that's for sure.

Detroit needed to get the game against Philly behind them badly, while also figuring out a way to stay mentally strong through an entire game.  It seems their answer to that particular problem was to play just above sea level on an ocean called Mediocrity and somehow it worked.  Neither the Red Wings or the New Jersey Devils really seemed to be firing on all cylinders.  Obviously with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Darren Helm on the shelf, things were going to be tough, but the Devils didn't make life much more difficult for us than we did for them.

The Wings trailed first in last night's game but were able to claw their way back to a 1-1 tie before opening things up very late in the game.  Johan Franzen got the 2-1 lead on the end of a great passing play by Tatar and Nyquist.  New Jersey really got up in arms, though, when their goaltender Cory Schneider was called for playing the puck outside the trapezoid.  Personally, after looking at the replay angles, I do agree the call was a bit close, but when Tomas Tatar scored immediately off the ensuing face-off to make it 3-1 Red Wings, I stopped thinking about it.

One thing that's bothering me is the continuing lack of discipline that is leading to stupid, stupid penalties.  Detroit took 3 of the first 4 penalties in the game, the first of which was Brendan Smith.  When I saw the play, I swore he was going to take a boarding call and put us down a man for 5 minutes.  Just a reckless play that didn't need to happen and thankfully did not result in an injury.

Jonas Gustavsson improved to 8-0-1 on the season and didn't need to do much work to get there.  He did, however, make an amazing save on Adam Henrique.  The puck went behind Monster in mid-air, and he somehow twisted himself around and spun his glove hand around backwards and shoveled the puck away from the goal line.

The Wings get right back to it tonight when they host the Florida Panthers.  This will be Stephen Weiss's return to his old team, and from the way he's played this year, I'd like to offer that he stay with them after the game.  Maybe playing his old mates will finally light the fire under his ass, but I highly doubt it.