Final Score (Hi Dad!)
Wings 4, Ducks 2, California Power Grid -1
Detroit ended their first extended road trip of the season on a positive note, dropping the Ducks 4-2. The Wings will head home to Detroit, splitting the four games evenly and lifting their overall record to 11-7-1. Solid effort for the second game in a row, although they did allow the Ducks to climb back into this one.
Bullets of Importance
- Henrik Zetterberg broke the schneid right away, stealing a puck in the O-zone, and burying a backhand exactly one shift after Coach Babcock told him, via the press, it was his turn to score some goals. The goal came 1:26 into the game, and seemed to remove the weight from Z’s shoulders, who played like he was on fire all night.
- The big story is going to be the power outage, as the teams were sent back to the locker rooms after the Honda Center was unable to turn the lights back on for 27 minutes. At that point in the game, it was all Detroit, who were positively buzzing, throwing all kindsa meat at the net, and were (at that moment) on their first power play of the evening. Apparently, the Ducks lost power against the Kings on Thursday as well but this circumstance was “unrelated.” I don’t think that makes it better, actually… if you can’t keep the lights on, you don’t belong in the NHL. Mickey Mouse bullshit for a (former) Mickey Mouse franchise.
- What to do with Brendan Smith: he has been playing very well, particularly in the last two games. But what I think the most impressive thing about his debut is how much he’s growing from game to game. The first game was a bit testy, the second game was a marked improvement, and he looked downright good tonight. There are still a lot of things he has yet to learn, and I can’t help but think he’d be better served in Grand Rapids (not quite NHL-ready yet). However, it’s clear that he’s more trusted than Mike Commodore — Smith has gotten into as many games, has played significantly more minutes, and has been entrusted with special teams time and better pairings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike Commodore waived (when Ian White is ready to return to the lineup), but that’s ONLY if the Wings intend to play Smith every night. If that’s the case, who sits? Smith is better than Ericsson right now, but there are 3,250,000 reasons why Shitbox won’t get sent to the Lounge. Kindl? He looks fantastic, too. Tough decisions coming up for Ken Holland. What would you do?
Bullets of Less Importance
- Franzen continues his scoring ways, netting his tenth on the season just 14 seconds into the second period after Datsyuk completes a perfectly drawn up trap. Brad Stuart would make it 3-0 and 4-0, scoring the 17th and 18th goals from the Wings’ blueline this season, easily the most in the NHL
- The Ducks thought they scored in the second period, and the play was reviewed in-house and in Toronto. As it turns out, Jimmy Howard made a monster glove save, swatting the puck right around the goal line and out of trouble. In fact, Howard played really well tonight, despite allowing a few middle-frame goals in short succession. It was his twelfth start in a row, including three sets of back-to-backs, and from where I sit, it looks as though the team has lost all faith in Ty Conklin’s ability to even play the second half of back-to-backs against last place teams. Howard has been excellent against Anaheim the last few seasons, but if tonight wasn’t a night that Conklin was going to be in the net for, I don’t see many options coming up, either. The Wings have three days off before Calgary, and another two days before Cup Champion Boston (matinee on NBC). Next Saturday, the Wings play Nashville about 28 hours after the Boston game will end. Maybe that’s a target.
The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Henrik Zetterberg, if for no other reason than demanding he be taken off the hot seat on his first shift. Aside from that first goal, he had two near-assists, another would-be goal, and three shots. Statement game.
The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
It’s Jonathan Ericsson. I say it all the time, and might not have a chance to say it again until after the Thanksgiving holiday, but he’s absolutely horrendous. I have no idea what he’s still doing in the lineup. And he’s not going anywhere, so get ready for more entries in the section named for him. Dropping coverage, losing his man, and then taking a penalty with 2:34 remaining in a one-goal game? Automatic selection for this.
Point Pace :: The Wings are on pace for 99 points (+2 from yesterday). Last season, 97 was the playoff cutoff. 99 was good for 4th, 5th, and 6th in the West.
The Wings have the Flames at home, the day before Thanksgiving. Disch has the keys all week. Prepare for ‘teh funneh.’