I’m not a game wrecker! I was seriously afraid that I was going to have to take up the mantle of Game Wrecker of the Red Wings lost tonight. Thank God that didn’t happen.
Goals were as follows:
Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk (Zetterberg, Lidstrom); Dan(ny) Cleary (Zetterberg, Lidstrom); Kris Draper (pp; unassisted; empty net)
New York: Brian Boyle (Higgins)
+ Right off the bat, Detroit looked much more awake than on Saturday. They outshot New York in the first 14-6.
+ A relief to see Rafalski taking warmups and play.
+ Nicklas Lidstrom is absolutely unreal. There’s a reason the team calls him the Perfect Human–he held Marian Gaborik to 0 points, 0 shots on goal. The Rangers fans would start to cheer if there was a 1-on-1 opportunity, but it was always Lidstrom who was back, and to be honest, those chances didn’t make me nervous because I knew Nick wasn’t going to get beat alone. Like I said, one of his better games of the season, with two assists, 3 SOG, +3, and innumerable plays on defense.
+ Classy of the Rangers to honor Brendan Shanahan, who was in the Garden to take in the game. He wasn’t a Blueshirt for very long, but they love him there. He’ll be starting his job at the NHL offices tomorrow, and I’m already plotting how I can stalk him, as my office is catty-corner from the NHL.
+ Pavel scored because he was positioned on the side of the goal to pick up the rebound and stuff it in. See, boys? It really helps when you do that, instead of letting rebounds be cleared.
+ Howard looked great. He looked like he wanted to prove that Thursday’s game against Edmonton was a fluke.
+ What a hit by Stuart, when he decked Anisimov. Kid’s gotta learn to keep his head up.
+ Maltby looked like a real hockey player again tonight! He had some good solid hits, a couple shots, and did his job on the PK.
+ And the PK went 4/4, which was an incredible relief. There was that short parade to the box in the 3rd which honestly had me assuming that they’d give up a goal sooner or later if they kept it up.
+ Lastly, they looked like the Red Wings. They let up a little in the 2nd, and did have penalty problems in the 3rd, but for the most part they worked hard to grind out a win. They came back, held onto the tie, and won. Which is something we want to see more often from them, because games aren’t going to be won easily anymore.
- Howard let in a goal on the Rangers’ 4th shot of the game. I couldn’t see all that well, seeing as i was seated on the entire other end of the rink, but I heard that it was due to poor defensive coverage. I don’t particularly care about the reason, because letting in a goal on the 4th shot is pretty poor no matter how you look at it.
– Before the Rangers’ scored, it felt like we couldn’t even buy a goal. It doesn’t help that Lundqvist is a world-class goaltender.
– Avery’s a jackass. I admittedly like what he brings to the Rangers, and deeply feel that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship–he clearly doesn’t fit as well with other teams. But he was his usual super-pest self tonight.
– Along that line, I can’t believe the people who think that Zetterberg should be suspended for hitting Avery. Who dove. It was a hip and shoulder hit, not to mention that Z’s never been called for a questionable hit, or intent to injure. Add to that the fact that the refs merely called it for tripping, and I don’t think anyone has a case for Hank to get a suspension. It’s just silly to even consider it, though I know it’ll be making the rounds on the blogosphere.
– The power play was awful. The PP goal by Draper hardly counts because it was an empty netter.
– There was an older gentleman wearing a Red Wings jacket on the escalator in front of me as we were leaving the Garden, who said, “it’ll be a miracle if we make the playoffs. I’d rather not make it then lose in the first round.” If that’s how you feel, sir, then you’re free to get off the bandwagon.