After the Oilers got their first goal tonight, I was a little worried it was all downhill from there. It was such a mess of a goal, I could see it deflating the Red Wings and leading to a loss.
When Edmonton tied things up in the third, that fear seemed to have been warranted. Detroit got caught coasting a bit. The tying goal was on the power play but the Wings hadn’t done much before it to make it seem like they wanted this one. No killer instinct.
They managed to turn it back on, though. Drew Miller‘s goal was just hard work, driving to the net for a loose puck (much like Cory Emmerton‘s earlier in the game). Henrik Zetterberg‘s goal was the kind we expect to see from him, he was given a part of the net and he hit what was given to him. Perhaps more importantly, they shut the Oilers down, holding onto that lead.
Things I liked to see tonight:
All of the Detroit goals. Cop out answer but each was very nice in its own way. I already mentioned the last three goals, even Franzen’s tip from in front is something that hasn’t been going in for the Wings lately. And let’s be honest, even Sam Gagner’s breakway was a pretty goal – it would have been fun to see if it weren’t scored on Detroit.
Jonathan Ericsson‘s play – for the most part. Aside from one play, Ericsson had a really solid night. Sadly, I’ll get to that one play below.
Joey MacDonald didn’t see a lot of shots but he’s making saves when he needs to. Not bad for a third-stringer when your starter is hurt and your backup has no confidence.
Things I didn’t like:
Justin Abdelkader got his ass kicked in the early fight.
The first Edmonton goal. Yeah, I mentioned it as being pretty, but it never should have happened. I debated about this during the game with @onthewings and @wingingitmotown and I think there’s plenty of blame to go around on this one but it mostly falls in one spot.
First off, I feel like MacDonald committed too early. That said, it was a breakaway at that point so I can’t fault him much. How did Gagner get that open? A mess at the Detroit bench. Jakub Kindl and Ericsson both went for a change. Kindl got off the ice but Ian White didn’t get on quickly. Meanwhile Ericsson challenged Ben Eager to a fight (which didn’t happen) after Eager hit Danny Cleary. The way I see it, White might have been able to prevent the breakaway but probably not. Ericsson could have either gotten off the ice or stayed in the play and broken things up. He did neither, so he gets most of the blame from me.
To end on a high note… Eighteen consecutive wins at home. That’s a nice little run there.