After a win like this, in a season like the Red Wings are having right now, you kind of just want to sit back and smile a bit and bask in the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives you. It’s easy to do that, the good heavily outweighs the bad in a game like this.
However, just like in the ridiculous 8-2 losses the Wings suffered on back-to-back Saturdays last season, the score of the game doesn’t always mean the most. Last winter those losses to Nashville and Columbus were written off as outliers, anomolies, games you just forget about and move on. As such, you have to look at a game like this in the same way.
A 9-1 win is fun but it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Wings are just back to even in the standings. Just as when the score goes the other way, there is bad to see along with the good and good to see along with the bad.
Some of the bad…
The Blue Jackets looked a lot like the Wings have looked in some games this season. If we discount the Wings’ losses when they just don’t show up to play then the wins against teams that don’t show up can’t mean as much either.
Though the score shows domination, Detroit let up for about the first half of the second period. With the Blue Jackets still not entirely out of the game the Wings started to play sloppy, making bad passes and giving up the puck. Rick Nash got Columbus on the board and even with a three-goal lead the Wings seemed on their heels. Detroit snapped out of it but it was not something you want to see.
Some of the good…
Todd Bertuzzi finally scored. He’s played an extremely solid game this season and has been robbed of goals in just about every way possible. That also happened tonight, with a chance to jam the puck home that Mason somehow stopped. The look of relief on his face after scoring says it all. The same goes for Ville Leino.
Balanced scoring. With all of the injuries, Detroit needs goals from people who aren’t expected to score. The Eurotwins did not carry the scoring tonight. Pavel Datsyuk had one goal, the rest all came from people who need to step up. Bertuzzi and Leino and Kris Draper and Dan Cleary and a pair each from Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader. By my count that’s two goals for the first line, two for the second, one for the third, two for the fourth and two more from the defense. Not bad.
Jimmy Howard looked good. His reliance on rebound control scares the hell out of me but he was on tonight. The puck was hitting him and dropping dead, falling to places where it could be cleared by his defense. If the Blue Jackets crashed the net at all it could be a problem but the Wings’ defenders were on top of things tonight, taking care of those loose pucks.
In all, it was a good night, as any win is. I just don’t think we should get caught up in the score.