Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red Wings earn Emotional, Valuable Win in LA

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard found a piece of himself and forward Tomas Tatar paid a fitting tribute to his recently deceased father in what was easily one of the most satisfying wins of the year.  Howard made 44 stops and Tatar scored the game winning goal as the Wings downed the Kings 3-1 Saturday night.  Riley Sheahan netted his first NHL goal to open Detroit's scoring and Dan Cleary also contributed a goal, rounding out the Wings' offense for the evening.

After a dismal performance in San Jose, Howard needed a strong comeback game to build some confidence and momentum.  Unfortunately after having done so, news broke that Petr Mrazek will get the start tonight as it seems Jimmy tweaked his hip flexor, even though he himself suggests he is fine.  Hopefully this effort is not squandered and can be built upon after he returns, unlike the night-and-day showings between Dallas and San Jose.

Tatar undoubtedly played last night with a heavy heart, with news of his father Jan's passing still fresh.  In an emotional show of character, however, Tatar endured and played, and was instrumental in the win over the Kings.  Not only did he score what ended up being the game-winning goal, but he also assisted on Sheahan's opening goal for Detroit.  The sight of Tatar pointing to the sky after his goal will not soon be forgotten.

With last night's big win behind them, the Red Wings now move on to Anaheim, where the Ducks will host Detroit.  Can Detroit hold onto the energy from last night and propel themselves deeper into playoff contention?  I believe they can, and they will.