Has there ever been a bigger-feeling win over a 30th place team in NHL history? After collectively messing the bed on Long Island, the Red Wings came back with a strong effort against the ‘Canes, winning 3-1.
First of all, let’s all take a second and soak in the fact that Nicklas Lidstrom scored for the first time in Helm games (oh you didn’t hear? From now on, forty-three shall be known as Helm). It was a beautiful shot from the point on the power play, but like I’ve been saying lately, I didn’t think it was affecting him mentally. He wasn’t forcing shots, or taking shots that he knows he shouldn’t. But it was his time, and it was the right play, and it was the most quintessential goal a hockey player has ever scored.
Next, Drew Miller is a monster. He must have read a conversation Hollis and I were having earlier today about him being a potential “odd man out” because he’s not doing much to assert himself as a “must-keep.” We both agreed that we love him and hope he stays, but he’s not standing out like he used to be. Well, scratch all of that. Tonight he was a stud. A goal and an assist (on the play that should have earned him two assists with that nasty screen in front of Cam Ward). Superstar.
Patrick Eaves is endearing himself something fierce, as he blocked a shot with what appeared to be his chest. It clearly stung him, it took a second for him to get up, but did you see what he did immediately after? HE BLOCKED ANOTHER SHOT WITH HIS CHEST. If I’m Kenny Holland, I have the contract extension in his locker waiting for him after the game.
The Power Play was less vomitty than usual. They must be reading Natalie’s stuff.
The Canes goal was kind of bizarre. Sutter took a shot that looked like it floated off of Howard, who (SURPRISE!) couldn’t keep the puck within ten feet of him. The rebound had popped home, but Howard looked like the composed and confident guy we’ve gotten used to lately. Ultimately, I don’t think the Long Island Massacre messed with his head too much. Which is good. He was rewarded by learning he’ll start the next game — his eleventh in a row — against Dallas on Saturday.
Zetterberg — who really hasn’t looked like himself lately — finally got a goal, the insurance marker in the third. He had a nifty little tap in off the pass from Asstuzzi (thank you, WIM poster Kalyn88). Ballgame.
Speaking of Bertuzzi, he was falling all over the goddamn place. Yeah, he was mugged from behind (doesn’t feel so nice, does it, Todd?) on one near-breakaway, but he flat out flubbed another. Psst, look down here. He actually played a fairly decent game when he stayed on his feet (which, I urge, wasn’t much). He got to the corners and had a nifty pass to Zetterberg.
Hollis was kind enough to ask me to do the Miscellaneous Points section on the game’s recap, since he wasn’t able to get a good feed going. I took the opportunity to essentially name Drew Miller the player of the game and give a half point to Jimmy Howard (which I’ve been told isn’t how CSSI works, but tough noogies), and -1 to Bertuzzi because I could. Mmmm power, nom nom nom nom.
As of right now, the Red Wings have amassed a total 231 man-games due to injury (or illness). That’s the equivalent of five whole players missing every game this season. Sounds about right.
Brad May is still on this team? Could have fooled me. Shift after shift of uselessness.
REVISITING THE PRE-GAME QUICK THOUGHTS
1. Tiberius showed poise and bounced back tonight. Book it, done.
2. A shiny nickel to Nick Lidstrom (our very own Shiny Nickel) for being the man to break the schneid.
3. 33% of tonight’s Red Wings goals came from defenseman – a marked improvement over the 13% they’re shooting on the season.
Back on the road — Dallas on Saturday