After thinking about this for most of the day, there are a few things from today’s loss that are sticking with me.
The Red Wings absolutely survived this one. It was in Pittsburgh’s hands all game and Detroit just held on enough to get the point. It was a much-needed point but the problem is two-points were much-needed as well.
The offense and defense are still not communicating, leading to some awful turnovers on clearing attempts. Either that or the blueliners are just being stupid. Since the latter has never been a problem before, I lean towards the former being the issue.
Had the Wings been able to clear their own zone more efficiently the offense might have had a chance to get going but as it was there were probably only two or three memorable shifts in the Penguins’ zone. Thankfully one yielded a goal or we’d be talking about another game where the Wings didn’t even get a point.
Jimmy Howard continues to stand on his head… in the game itself. In the gimmick he’s a mess. I know it’s an unpopular opinion and I don’t think we have much better of an option but I have no faith in Howard once it comes to the shootout. He commits too early and gets burned on the deke. This isn’t a problem if Detroit wins in regulation but that’s been an issue of late.
I also question Mike Babcock‘s strategy in the shootout. Jason Williams as the second shooter? If you’re going to move Henrik Zetterberg out of that spot, Todd Bertuzzi has to go second. He’s earned that with his shootout performance this season, even if Williams was part of the shootout go-to group before he got hurt.
That there are things to take away from this loss at all make it better than the one to Minnesota a few nights ago.