Sunday, February 24, 2013

Recap: Red Wings 8, Vancou-Wait, what!?

You're seeing that correctly. The Detroit Red Wings took Roberto Luongo to the cleaners this evening and put 8 pucks in the back of the net. There were also two goals that were waived off, so in essence, the Red Wings scored 10 goals tonight.
Unfortunately, you will be responsible for the tax liability of all goals given as gifts by Roberto Luongo.
Again, the Wings met a determined opponent. The Vancouver Canucks came into town, having shut out Nashville the night before the Wings shut out Nashville. It appeared in the first that the Canucks were going to take advantage of the Wings having played a hard fought game yesterday. They came out firing on all cylinders and the early 2 goal lead had me extremely nervous. However, the Wings battled back, and even though it was touch and go there for a good while, suddenly in the 2nd period the Red Wings found another gear and never looked back.

Oddly enough, that extra gear was called "The Power Play" - an overdrive the Red Wings seem to forget they have.

I could sit here and summarize the entire game, but it would just be a series of "And then the Wings scored again". So I'm going to hit some bullet points, hand out the awards and get ready to enjoy The Walking Dead.
  • I don't care how well he plays, I will not praise Jordin Tootoo. That being said, I would like to set up some kind of Goal to Fight ratio that he's required to meet before getting in anymore fights. Because I think we're better off with gritty body checking and goals from him rather than only fisticuffs. 
  • Also that check wasn't charging. That check happens at least once a game in every game played and isn't called. I'm pretty sure the ref just saw a stick go flying and assumed there was some kind of penalty. Of course it didn't help that it was Tootoo who made the hit, but even Raffi Torres can check a guy clean
  • Speaking of the refs, we actually shouldn't be mad about the two goals waived off. On the Eaves "goal", there was a delayed penalty and Eaves' shot hit Luongo pretty much in the mid-section. I'm like any Red Wings fan in that I am livid whenever the Wings' opponent gets a short whistle while our opponents are allowed to gang rape our goaltender. But this wasn't a quick whistle, it was spot on given the delayed penatly. And Datsyuk's stick was very obviously above the cross bar.
  • And hey! They actually called someone for running Jimmy Howard, even though the worst of it was the fact that Kent Huskins basically cross checked him in the face! 
  • I've long argued against the Red Wings attempting any kind of dump and chase tactic. However, with lines composed of Tatar, Andersson, Eaves, Miller and some other guy, it actually works. Speed, grit and a nice touch of finesse. Imagine if you had Darren Helm in there.
  • Jimmy was not as strong tonight, to be sure. First goal, not his fault. Second goal, half his fault. Third goal...you can't allow a wrap around Jimmy. You just can't. I didn't expect him to shut out Vancouver, but he did make some big saves again, and basically got to take a nap about half way through the second period until the end of the game. 
Hey guys, remember that time the Red Wings scored 8 goals on Roberto Luongo? That was pretty sweet. Let's give out the awards for that game and go eat some...whales, I guess? That's the Canuck's logo right? 

The Bret Lebda Game Puck: Ian White - I've been a pretty stout defender of Ian White since he came to Detroit, but this was a pretty bad game for him. In the first period, he wasn't in position or staying with his guys very well and that made him partially responsible some of those first period goals allowed. The biggest thing is that in an 8 to 3 rout, Ian White was a -2. Only Huskins and Cory Emmerton had a negative +/- rating (both were -1). I don't expect him to be an offensive power house, but if he's not going to, then that means it's that much more important for him to be defensively sound.

The Kris Draper Game Puck: Some Guy - He was throwing his body around, grinding hard in the corners and even scored a wonderful trash goal to get the Red Wings churning. Even after throwing a completely legitimate body check that was called for a bad charging penalty, he didn't take the bait when the Canucks jumped him. So instead of going on the PK, the Wings got a 4 on 4. It was a great game by that guy. I'm just really glad he's not Jordin Tootoo because I hate that guy.

10 Points to Griffins-dor: Joakim Andersson - I thought his first goal tonight was his first career, but I was wrong. Didn't matter. It didn't matter that they were two super late goals while the Wings had a solid 6-3 lead already. What mattered is this kid has been busting ass ever since he came up from Grand Rapids and punked Roberto Luongo not once, but TWICE. Good for him. 

The Perfect Puck: Pavel Datsyuk - He was great again tonight, and even though his goal was (correctly) waived off, he had two assists, including the one he's getting this award for. I know we all love to watch Datsyuk dangle and snipe, but I'm seriously okay if he just skates around, dropping dime passes and getting 2 or 3 assists a game. I mean, this is just art, with a great finish by Zetterberg.


O' Captain, My Captain Game Puck: Damien Brunner - 4 points for Brunner tonight. He was just fantastic. It's understandable why he and Datsyuk are competing for the Red Wings' top goal scorer, and why he's tied with Kronwall for third in points. Babcock said he was going to be a top 6 forward, and a lot of us scratched our head and said, "Okay, sure Babs, we'll believe it when we see it". We've seen it. We believe it. 

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