That’s not the biggest rout I’ve ever been present for at the Joe, but the last time I saw Detroit beat a team by more than six goals, the original Winnipeg Jets were still in existence (a 7-0 Red Wings win over the Colorado Avalanche on March 22, 1996). If not for a bad goal early, tonight’s win over the new Winnipeg Jets could have matched that.
And I will throw Jimmy Howard under the bus on the one goal against – it was a bad goal. True, Bryan Little got in behind the defense but Howard had plenty of time to get square to him. The shot wasn’t so good that Howard could not be expected to stop it.
Thankfully, Howard had a much better game from there out and it ended up not mattering. I had been worried that the first goal would be a sign of what kind of game it would be, turns out that the second goal was much more of one.
Nicklas Lidstrom, long pass to Johan Franzen who goes into the corner to get it, pass back out front to Todd Bertuzzi to put home. Two things the Jets did wrong there that they just kept doing all night.
First, they let passes like that get through. Now it was a heads-up play by one of the top defensemen of all time, but Franzen had to race to get to that puck. Winnipeg had a chance to break things up right there.
Second, Bertuzzi was covered but not cancelled out in front of the net. Wings players were in high percentage areas all night tonight. Some of the goals that would come later were great shots but it’s a lot easier to make those shots happen when they’re uncontested.
Speaking of great shots, the wife pointed out midway through the game that the Wings must have gotten a memo about shooting high on Ondrej Pavelec. They seemed to be picking the corners on him with ease.
Detroit games against the Atlanta Thrashers always seemed to be a little crazy. This game was no exception.