Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wings Left Wanting in Beatdown from Blues

As one is normally able if they look, the tone of the hockey game last night was evident from the first 10 minutes of the match.  Sure enough, Detroit was transparent yet again.  The St. Louis Blues came into JLA like they owned the place, and from what transpired they basically did, never letting up on the Red Wings as the Blues decimated Detroit 4-1 Monday night.  Gustav Nyquist got the lone Red Wings goal, while Jimmy Howard did his best to keep the Wings in it till he left with a lower-body injury.  Petr Mrazek finished the game, giving up the last of the 4 St. Louis goals.

It was a pitiful sight, to be sure, with the only real fight coming from the energy guys: Helm, Sheahan, Eaves, Glendening and so on.  With so much top-tier talent still on the shelf, those who remain are obviously getting focused on and bore down upon, and it's choking the life out of this team.  One thing that really stood out to me was the distance from which the Blues were scoring most of the night.  Only 1 goal came from around the net front, with the other 3 goals originating from back along or near the blueline, screens or deflections all.  Why does that stand out?

Because we don't get those goals, not recently anyway and not with any consistency.  Ericsson is the only big name D-man still out, so injury isn't the problem there.  We need our defenders to start getting pucks through bodies for scoring chances.  Too many times do you see Kindl or Smith or Lashoff just bang it off someone's shin guard and back comes the opposition with an odd-man rush.  Lidstrom might've been the best, but he wasn't the ONLY one who could get a puck from the blueline to the net on this team, so someone needs to figure this out now.

The Wings will get Ericsson back for tomorrow's tilt against Chicago.  The Wings desperately need to steal some points through the remainder of this homestand and finish as high as they can before the Olympic break, and taking a point or two off the Champs would be a sweet time to do it.