I wanted to step away from the game for a second before putting together my final thoughts on the Red Wings’ 5-3 win over Minnesota tonight.
With how poorly the Red Wings had played in their first three games (even the win over Columbus), it’s easy to look at any win as a giant leap forward, a righting of the ship. It’s important to remember that it’s just one game. It is a step forward, however.
It was fantastic to see the power play clicking. Two goals after going scoreless in the first three games is a pretty big deal.
More important is who was scoring. Before tonight, the Red Wings’ top six forwards accounted for two goals. Yeah, it was half of the team’s overall output, but that just shows how bad the team was. Tonight all five goals were by the top two lines. Brunner, Bertuzzi (twice), Zetterberg and Datsyuk.
And it’s not just the actual goal scoring. Datsyuk had quite the night, with a pair of really nice assists to Zetterberg and Bertuzzi.
Even Kyle Quincey, dedicated whipping boy, came out of it looking good with a +2 on the night.
That said, there were some downsides. As I said on Twitter at the time, the Wings’ first power play was horrible. Mickey Redmond called a play just before it happened and the Wild saw just what he did, breaking it up. You can’t telegraph your moves like that.
Taking that many penalties in general was bad. Eight power plays for the Wild. That’s putting a lot on your PK. Tonight the PK was awesome, so it worked, but that won’t be the case every night. And how much of the PK’s success was based on the return of Darren Helm to the lineup?
Overall it’s a win, and wins are great. Lets see if it can become a trend.