Well I’ll be damned if that wasn’t an exciting finish. Let’s take a step back, though.
With the Red Wings up by two and dominating in the second period, that game never should have made it to the shootout. The Wings got sloppy (again) and Columbus made them pay.
The Jackets’ first goal never should have happened. Once again, the Kyle Quincey – Brendan Smith pairing got split and let someone in behind them, and Jimmy Howard got burned on the breakaway. If we can count on that happening once a game, it won’t be a good season.
And, of course, the injuries keep piling up. Carlo Colaiacovo is expected to miss weeks after being hit hard into the boards in the third period. If Jonathan Ericsson can’t go tomorrow, the Wings only have three signed defensemen in their system. Adam Almquist, Max Nicastro and Gleason Fournier. Almquist has at least spent the whole season in GR, as opposed to Nicastro and Fournier who have spent time in Toledo, but Almquist looks terrified of contact at the AHL level. Not ready for the NHL.
On the plus side, Brian Lashoff steps into a hole on the blue line to make his NHL debut and scores. He may have been the second or third best defenseman on the ice for the Wings tonight. Hell of a job by him.
Also great to see Johan Franzen looking like he cares. Great individual effort carrying the puck on the play to set up Ian White for the second goal, playing like the big man he is. And I mentioned it at the time but I love his defensive effort late in the OT, lying down to block a clearing attempt.
I also said this at the time, but I thought for certain I’d be bitching about Niklas Kronwall not shooting when he had the chance on the play that led to the tying goal. Great patience to see and get the puck to Datsyuk.
And, of course, Damien Brunner. Highlight-reel shootout game-winner in his second NHL game. Video will be going on the site shortly.
So not a perfect game by any means but the effort and the outcome were needed after the debacle in St. Louis on Saturday.