Quite honestly put… The Red Wings did not deserve to win tonight. They put forth 20 minutes of effort and in no world should that be enough to win a game in the National Hockey League. The third period was pretty fantastic but, as the score showed, it wasn’t enough to outweigh how bad the first two periods were.
Detroit has got to stop coasting into games like this. They were out of this one five minutes in. Twice they completely failed to cover Colorado’s (arguably) best player, leaving Gabriel Landeskog open in the slot. These aren’t things caused by lack of skill, it’s all mental. They’re just not thinking out there.
That said… It was brutal to see Jiri Hudler hauled down in front of the Avalanche goal with about 45 seconds left, the puck nowhere near him, and no call made. If the refs didn’t see it because they were looking elsewhere, it’s an embarrassment that they missed it. If they chose not to call it because it was so late in the game, it’s gutless on their part.
And to make matters more fun… Jonathan Ericsson is now expected to miss a month with a fractured wrist. I give him sh*t often but the Wings need him healthy and playing well to make a long playoff run. Bottom line, he’s usually better than Jakub Kindl and Mike Commodore and that’s who the Wings have to work with if Ericsson is out.
On the plus side of things… The reunited line of Henrik Zetterberg, Hudler and Valtteri Filppula single-handedly provided the Detroit comeback. I like the idea of keeping that line together as the new first line and then having Johan Franzen center Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary on the second line. Fil just doesn’t work as a center on this team, to the point that Franzen is actually better there than he is.
The third line of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller provided just about all of Detroit’s chances in the first two periods. Had they managed to score, we might be talking about something different, but as it is it was still good to see them continue to click.