The Final (Hi Dad!)
2-0 Red Wings. Shutout for Jimmy Howard — the Wings improve to 3-0-0.
The Red Wings continued their undefeated surge — and, for the second game in a row, held their opponents off the scoresheet. Jimmy Howard needed a strong bounce-back game, and he got one, making the saves necessary to keep the Canucks blanked. The Wings peppered Nucks’ backup Cory Schneider for 37 shots — twelve more than Vancouver managed on Howard. Goals were scored by Justin Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula, continuing the early-season storyline of scoring depth. They were the ninth and tenth different goal scorers in 2011-12, and if you’re keeping score at home — that’s ten goals and ten different goal scorers on the young campaign. Pretty sweet to see the wealth spread around like that: two goals for the top line, three for the second, two for the third, and Cory Emmerton notching one for the fourth.
Bullets of Importance
- We promised we’d keep an eye on the penalty kill, and they were under the microscope early. Kindl pulled down Samuelsson and Detroit was the first to be shorthanded — but the kill looked sharp and Jimmy Howard made some great saves to keep it at zeroes. Just a few minutes later, it’d be the Wings turn with the man advantage (which had gone 0-9 in the first two games) and that, my friends, is something to keep your eye on. The power play looked awful, hardly being able to keep control in the zone. I’m clearly not the only one frustrated with the lack of energy — as Justin Abdelkader dropped the gloves with Maxim Lapierre as soon as the power play sputtered to an end. The Wings would end the game 4-for-4 in penalty kills… but 0-for-7 on the power play.
- Justin Abdelkaker got on the board first, but it wasn’t until almost halfway through the second. He took a pass from Bertuzzi and went wickets to make it 1-0. Just two minutes later, Valtteri Filppula finally capitalized with a great shot (he had several big shots tonight) and made it 2-0. It would be all the Wings would need. There was a scary moment as the second period came to an end, as a shot absolutely got by Howard after brushing his shoulder, but the clock hit triple zeroes before crossing the goal line (which it did).
- Faceoffs. Whack. Even though the box score would show that the Canucks won 26 and the Wings won 24, it seemed like every time you paid attention to a big draw, Vancouver came away with the puck, particularly when the Wings had the man advantage. On the other side of that coin, however, was the Wings going 5-for-7 on faceoffs while shorthanded. Get ’em where you can, I guess.
Bullets of Less Importance
- Thew new in-game public address announcer (you can follow him @e_freiny) has requested a Shirtuzzi. We’re getting one to him immediately and will begin begging him to show Budd Lynch in 3…2…
- Todd Bertuzzi had two penalties tonight of the “He’s Todd Bertuzzi” variety — neither needed to be called. The Canucks were called for too many men twice, at least one of which was bullshit, so I suppose it all evens out.
The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Justin Abdelkader: game-winning goal and some fisticuffs. Cowboy up, Sparty.
The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
Hard to point a finger at anyone tonight — no goals allowed, most of the penalties were backed up with on-ice performance. The default here is Ericsson, but he had two shots including a laser in the second, so I’m sad to say it’ll be Kindl tonight. Bad penalty a minute into the game, and didn’t make much of an impression in the 57 minutes after his penalty expired.
Saturday at Minnesota. Disch has your pre-game.
Photo Credit: Jerry S. Mendoza, AP