The Final (Hi Mr. P!)
Red Wings 3, Oilers 0
Well, we said in the pregame that this thing might turn into a goaltender’s duel, and it didn’t disappoint. Jimmah stood on his head and Khabibulin wasn’t too shabby himself, but at the end of the night it was the guy who got snubbed on the All Star ballot delivering the better of the two performances. Howard was stellar and the Wings brought one of their most complete games of the season, doing all of the little things on the way to a very important win. That’s three in a row and, as Petrella noted, that constitutes a winning streak. It’s even more redeeming that it came against a team that is garnering so much early season attention for the play of their youth, as the Wings looked more than capable when pushing the pace and physicality. Of course, that will be put to the test when Dallas comes calling tomorrow, but for tonight at least, the Wings took another step in the right direction and helped erase the memories of that six game slide.
Bullets of Importance
- Happy Red Wings Anniversary Drew Miller! Two years after Ken Holland stole you away from Tampa Bay, you do the thing you do (second) best: score ugly goals (penalty killing, FTW.) Hey, if it goes in, it goes in, right? I personally thought your interview with John Keating at the intermission was the highlight of the whole night, as you gave it to him for saying that you don’t score alot of goals.
- Good gravy does Niklas Kronwall have a cannon blast. That second goal was like watching a Major Leaguer take batting practice off of a beer league pitcher. Comes in slow and absolutely driven to the back of the net. For the record, that was Jiri Hudler with the Little League poke pass to set up that shot, which is OK by me. As long as Scuttles is producing, it doesn’t mean diddly if it ain’t pretty.
- Can you imagine if the Wings would forecheck like that in every game they played? My goodness. They brought the pressure all night long and kept Edmonton on the heels and in their own zone. It’s refreshing to see the Wings punish a team that’s playing their second game in two nights, and that kind of grit and determination on a nightly basis would make the Wings and absolutely dreadful matchup for any team.
- How about the confidence of Valtteri Filppula? Not only did he have a gorgeous goal (on an equally spectacular pass from Hank), but twice he made some stick moves that were eerily reminiscent of one of his cohorts, and his play around the net and in the corners was some of the most balanced we’ve seen out of him in a long time. If there’s one guy that benefits from confidence more than anyone else on this team, it’s… Jiri Hudler. But Flip is a close second and it looks like he’s feeling pretty damn good about his game right now.
- Another guy that stood out for me tonight was Cory Emmerton. Kid is still finding his NHL game, and although it wasn’t always the most graceful exhibition, his penalty kill effort was outstanding.
Bullets of Less Importance
- Raise your hand if you knew you could get an extra two minutes in the box for instigating a fight with a facemask. Petrella’s evil twin Lennart Petrell now does. Is this one of those “make it up as we go” penalties that everyone’s been bashing Kerry Fraser on recently?
- It’s Orange Winter Hat Night at the Joe tomorrow. Also known as Mikael Samuelsson night, as folks honor the former player who had a tendency to pick off folks sitting in the 8th row. And although it’s a joint promotion with Carhartt, let’s not pretend we don’t know the REAL reason why those hats are Orange.
The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Jimmy Howard. Big saves when they needed them and really looked sharp en route to his third shutout of the season.
The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
Pavel Datsyuk. Sure, he played pretty damn well, but he hasn’t scored a goal in nine games now. Hey, someone has to be the Shitbox every night.
The Wings are up against the Dallas Stars tomorrow, with both teams having played tonight. Petrella’s got the keys to the Jeep.