I’m unhappy with the game-winner tonight but to focus entirely on that is to ignore the problems the Red Wings have.
Coming down the stretch, needing a goal to get even, how many unscreened shots from the blue line got straight through to McElhinney to grab for a stop in play? No second chances, no tips in front. And if it wasn’t the Gustav Nyquist / Riley Sheahan / Tomas Tatar line, there was no offense. They really are the new Eurotwins.
It’s not just Nyquist and Tatar, though. Sheahan is becoming a force. His move to get the puck to Nyquist on the first Detroit goal was beautiful.
Also on the personnel front, Mitch Callahan looked acceptable in his NHL debut. Better than Landon Ferraro, probably worse than Teemu Pulkkinen. Didn’t do enough to make me want to see more of him if Tomas Jurco comes back on Thursday but I wouldn’t expect that.
That said, let’s come back to that game-winner. I have issues with it on multiple fronts.
First is the call, that the net came off because Brendan Smith pushed Cam Atkinson into it. Yes, Smith pushed Atkinson. He didn’t push him that much.
Second is that Atkinson was standing in the space normally occupied by the post while he handled the puck. If he wasn’t able to be in that spot, he wouldn’t have been able to score. If he was able to be in that spot, clearly the net being off its moorings had an affect on the play.
Third, goes back to last weekend, when this goal was waived off but then Columbus’ is allowed to stand. Just feels like the Wings are the only team that can’t get away with anything around the net.
But coming out of the night Detroit still holds a playoff spot, sitting in eighth due to tiebreakers as they’re tied for seventh with Columbus, Toronto and Washington. Big games coming up against Montreal and Toronto later this week.