Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jimmy Howard Wins His 150th Game as Detroit Squeaks by the Bruins 3-2

Credit goes to Jorge Nemsis on the Red Wings' Facebook Group.

The Red Wings won a game they had no business winning against the top team in the league with a score of 3-2.

Jimmy Howard also collected his 150th win in the NHL, all with the Detroit Red Wings. He's still 201 wins away from the first place Terry Sawchuk on the Red Wings' all-time wins leader.

The first goal was awarded to the Bruins with a blast from the point by Johnny Boychuk. The right-handed bruiser from Edmonton blew one past Howard at the very end of the first period after his teammate Krug had one disallowed on a sketchy call at best a couple of moments earlier.

When the second period started, the Red Wings had some get up in their skating and it finally paid off as Tatar blew one top shelf by Rask. The Finnish goaltender didn’t have a chance on the goal, as the big frame of Riley Sheahan had blocked his view. It was all tied up 1-1 after two periods and the fans, like myself, had no more nails left as the Bruins outshot the Red Wings 25-11.

Quickly in the third period, Carl Soderberg put the Bruins back up 2-1 after a PP goal, assisted by Patrice Bergeron and Brendan Smith’s brother, Reilly. That goal kind of left the Wings short of breath. Then, the Kid Line of Sheahan, Jurco and Tatar took my breath away (Top Gun reference here!) with a play that showed how much effort they give game in and game out. Tatar kicked the puck in front of the net to Jurco and the beneficiary of the Slovakian connection potted his 6th goal to tie it up at two apiece.

Then, Nyquist exploded and did what he’s been doing for the last 12 games, scoring on a near breakaway, whilst being chased by none other than Zdeno "I have a 7 foot stick and a Norris Trophy" Chara. Gustav had the eventual game-winner, as the Red Wings would hold on and win 3-2.

After the game, Claude Julien said that the team only played 50 of the 60 minutes of the game and that is what cost the Bruins the game. For his part, Soderberg said in the post-game interview that the Bruins "never want to lose two in a row" and was quick to comment that the Leafs’ game was now the only thing on his mind, putting the lost behind him.

As for the winning coach, Babcock stated in his post-game interview that a lot of the forwards didn’t have a great game but redeemed themselves in the third period with big goals. "We can play with anyone, we don’t have to watch them play. We just need to get out there and play" Babcock remains confident that his team can overcome adversity and stated that although "this wasn’t one of our best games, we found a way to win".

Now let’s just hope they can find a way to get into the playoffs with only 6 games left. One thing is sure, if the Red Wings play like they did against the Bruins, this team can surprise in the playoffs and keep the streak of playoff appearances alive.

Red Wings Rookies on Fire

As we approach the playoffs, many were worried and doubting the Wings success. It seemed that the longest playoff streak would soon be put to a halt. However, the rookies of the team seem to have a different plan in mind.

The game last night versus the Boston Bruins was electric. The team that has been floundering to find their rhythm beat the Bruins, the best team in the NHL. Why? Nyquist, Jurco, Tatar. It has been these lethal three that have been making a difference in the Wings playoff stance and making a name for themselves too.

Boston started the night with a goal late in the first period from Boychuk. Tatar scored the lone goal in the second period to tie Detroit and Boston at 1 to 1. A feed from DeKeyser helped Tatar to get one past Boston goalie Tuuka Risk at the top of the right circle. Boston quickly took the lead back in the beginning of the third period when Soderberg scored the second goal for Boston. During a scramble in front of Rask,Tatar sent a kick pass to Jurco. The Detroit rookie tied it up 2-2. Nyquist followed up
with a beautiful breakaway with 7:12 left in the third period, leading the Wings to a 3-2 victory against the Bruins Wednesday night.

The energy from these rookies is really what is astounding.  Nyquist, with 28 goals this season (20th in the league), still has a smile from ear to ear when scoring. The star has had 22 goals in the last 27 games. Tatar, 19 goals, pumps his fists into the air when he assists a goal. These rookies are hungry for goals and even hungrier for wins. If you ask me, they are what will make the difference going forward. For anyone who has doubted the Wings in these last two seasons, look at these guys. They are our future. Producing and learning each and every game.

Another honorable mention: Jimmy Howard. He was on his game last night. Howard, who has had a rocky season himself, seems to be kicking it up. Hopefully we are seeing him preparing to be the awesome playoff goalie we always see out of him. Howard had one of his best games this season, keeping his team in the game and in the playoffs. An impressive 33 saves

on 35 shots landed Howard the "Star of the Game" spot.

Some things to look at going forward: will Gustav Nyquist stay in the spotlight? Datsyuk is said to return soon, which we all are surely celebrating. The magician has been out due to a knee injury, but has been skating during practice for the last week. It would seem obvious to have Datsyuk on the first line with Nyquist. However, will that hurt Nyquist's recent successes?

Detroit will face the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow, April 4th at 7:30pm for their second to last regular season home game. The Sabres are last in the league, with 51 points. Despite their win on Tuesday, the Sabres have lost heir last four games. Hopefully tonight's game against the Blues will tire the Sabres out and allow the Detroit Red Wings for their third win against the Buffalo Sabres this season.

What do you think of these star rookies? Do you think they will allow Detroit for another playoff appearance? Share your opinion and follow our Facebook and Twitter for more Wings coverage!