That was the last Wings game I’ll see until the Calgary game and I’ve gotta say, that’s not what I want sticking with me for the next week.
Credit the Blues’ defense for pressuring the Wings every chance they got. Detroit had a horrible time gaining the St. Louis zone because they had no space to work. It wasn’t just the offense not clicking, they hit a defense that shut them down.
That said, I don’t think the Blues ever really got anything going in the offensive end. It never felt like they were really threatening. Their best chances came off of one-off miscues by the Wings (of which there were far too many). I can believe the Wings only got 22 shots off but I’m surprised that St. Louis took 37.
The game overall felt a lot like Detroit’s wins over Edmonton on Friday and Dallas on Saturday (especially through two periods of the latter). It was a close game, not very smooth, not a lot of offense for either team. The Red Wings were able to break the game open against Dallas and get a key late goal against Edmonton but tonight they didn’t play with the urgency needed to do that.
And I’ve said before that I hate that. I can’t stand watching a game where the Red Wings don’t act like they care. It’s offensive to the fans when star players coast. Tonight the third and fourth lines put forth more effort than the first and second, and the Wings aren’t built to win games like that. The best players on this team have to at least look like they’re trying.
One thing not entirely related to the game that I feel deserves recognition is the end of Brendan Smith’s suspension. He deserved the five games he got but it’s amazing the loopholes that exist to allow him to serve the entirety of that suspension without missing a single NHL or AHL game he wouldn’t have already missed.
The AHL suspended him for a set time period rather than a set number of games to start the season, so he stayed up in Detroit burning three games off his NHL suspension when he couldn’t play in the NHL. Then he went down and started playing with the Griffins as soon as he could, not missing an AHL game once his suspension in that league was over. His fourth and fifth games served of the NHL suspension were on nights the Griffins weren’t playing and he wasn’t actually needed (not that he could have played) by the Wings. His five-game NHL suspension effectively became a three-game AHL one.