I said in my preview they have enough talent to beat this team, no question. And the Wings showed it. They put the foot down after a bad start and roared back with 4 unanswered goals. What a great game.
Goals were as follows:
Detroit: Dan(ny) Cleary (Filppula, Holmstrom); Henrik Zetterberg (pp; Holmstrom, Datsyuk); Derek Meech (pp; Bertuzzi, Filppula); Patrick Eaves (Rafalski, Draper)
San Jose: Joe Thornton (Heatley); Joe Thornton (Heatley, Demers)
– The first two goals were awful. Jimmy has got to do something about those rebounds. Both goals were because he didn’t completely corral the puck after making the save. It wasn’t even juicy rebounds; they were fairly close to him. Yeah, Rafalski could have backchecked a little harder on the first, or whatever, but still, it’s a pretty big weakness in Howard’s game right now. It was pretty much a wide open net both times for Thornton.
+ That being said, I like that he didn’t have a meltdown after letting in 2 in about three and a half minutes. He pulled himself up by his big-boy pants and played pretty well for the rest of the game.
= In what was only funny after the fact, Kronner was sliding around the ice during the PK with one knee on the ice. At first blush I was horrified and thought his knee or leg was completely messed up. Thankfully it was revealed that the blade on his skate fell out and he literally didn’t have an edge to stand on. It was initially terrifying watching him wobble and fall back down like a young fawn.
+ It pays off to go to the net. Cleary was in the perfect position, right in front of Nabovok and tipped in Filppula’s pass. Similarly, Zetteberg was hanging out at the side and had all the time and space in the world to get the rebound after Nabokov made a pretty great save on Homer. Eaves also camped out at the side of the net and banged it home as the recipient of a gorgeous long pass by Rafalski. Being in the right places really helps, eh?
+ Welcome back Homer. 2 assists for Demolition Man, and I wonder if his return didn’t play a little in sparking the team and giving them some jump.
+ The best part about the game was that the Wings didn’t look defeated after the 2 early goals. They didn’t slow down or get frustrated. They just charged themselves back up and really took over after Cleary’s goal. The two penalties by the Sharks also helped, leading to Zetterberg’s power play tally. They got outshot terribly in the first, 18-11, and then they took it in the second, 13-8. They still let more shots through than I would like to see with 34, but they also got 37 off, which is big, after two games of barely scrapping over 20.
- About 5 minutes into the 3rd Ken said that Kronwall wasn’t on the bench (that was why Meech was out on the PP). Turns out Kronwall “tweaked” something, nothing serious, but wasn’t going to return. And he’s not going to be playing against Anaheim tonight.
+ Meech… scored? Hey, Meech scored! I honestly didn’t notice him until he scored, and I didn’t notice Lebda very much either. In terms of the two of them, and their games, that’s what I like from them. I don’t want to notice them, because it means they haven’t made an egregious error.
- Anyone else have another moment of fear shoot through them when Eaves missed on the breakaway and slammed ridiculously hard into the boards?
= What a crazy last few minutes. Ken and Murph made a comment that it looked like 3rd down, and with the amount of stoppages and time it took to play the last minute or so, it was apropos. Joslin had an open chance for the Sharks, slid the puck straight through the crease behind Howard, but a hooking call on Lidstrom and a quick whistle saved us. I’ll take the penalty in that case.
- I almost had a heart attack when Thornton slid into Howard, who went crashing into the net and laid on the ice like he was dead for a few minutes. All the while Thornton’s yelling that he was tripped. I love when the mics pick up sound.
Now we hope that they didn’t burn up all their energy last night and that they have enough for tonight. I want to see the same amount of effort that they brought in San Jose against the Ducks.