Postgame: Wild @ Red Wings – 3/23

Quick thoughts…

As I Tweeted at the end of the third, I hate that the Red Wings blew another third-period lead but if you’d told me the game was going to overtime (and the Wings were guaranteed a point) at the start of the game, I’d have been cool with it.

This game felt a lot like a kind of game we’ve seen before, where Detroit can only get scoring from their stars and are let down by their secondary scoring (or lack thereof). Of course, with this lineup your stars are Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar so that’s a bit of ridiculousness.

Every game from here on out is a virtual must-win. Detroit sits seventh in the Eastern Conference, even with eighth place Toronto but with two games in hand. They’re five points back of Montreal, sitting third in the Atlantic. One point up on Washington. Two up on Columbus. There’s not a whole lot of room for error there.

Speaking of those teams… Up next? Columbus. After that? Montreal. Then? Toronto. By the end of this week the Wings could be third in the division or be out of the playoffs.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Wild – 3/22

Alright, quick postgame notes on today’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild…

The Good
Two points are huge. A regulation win is huge. Really everything else doesn’t matter at this point.

That said, Gustav Nyquist growing his legend is a fun story. Leading the NHL in scoring since mid-January and another game-winner today. This is the guy who proves the flaw in “The Red Wings Way.” He should have been on the team to start the season.

Brendan Smith had possibly the best game of his career and not just because of his goal.

The Bad
At different points it looked like Niklas Kronwall and Kyle Quincey could be out of the game. Awesome that they weren’t but if they’re playing hurt, that’s a big deal. Especially Kronwall, as there’s no way he should be playing with a head injury. Doubly because Kronwall is probably the second-most important player on the team right now, losing him would be a massive blow.

The Ugly
God, that called-back goal was awful. Video is going up on the site shortly.

Postgame: Penguins @ Red Wings – 3/20

It’s been awhile since the Red Wings finished off their slightly-incredible 5-4 OT win over the Pittsburgh Penguins and I’m still not entirely sure where I want to start my postgame notes.

I guess let’s get David Legwand out of the way. His butt-ending penalty in the closing minutes of regulation is one of the stupidest things we’ve seen from a Red Wing in a long time. He absolutely deserved the penalty and probably deserves a couple games of suspension as well. It’s just a stupid, stupid play that there’s no need for.

On a happier note, the game winning goal… This is the kind of goal that has killed Detroit so many times before. Ill-timed, wacky bounce, cannot believe that just happened kind of stuff. But it really summed up the entire game, as with two goals already having gone in off the Pittsburgh defense, a third almost was just appropriate.

But there never would have been a chance for that if not for the fantastic penalty kill effort late in regulation and early in overtime on Legwand’s major penalty. Luke Glendening in particular was a beast.

With the win, at least for now the Red Wings are back in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. I’ve written the team off but they refuse to give up.

Postgame: Maple Leafs @ Red Wings – 3/18

Postgame thoughts are going to be quick ’cause I’m sick…

Jonathan Ericsson lost for “some time” according to Mike Babcock due to a broken finger. That’s the sixth injury in six games. This nonsense just will not end. It looks like that just means Jakub Kindl gets to stay in the lineup but with Alexey Marchenko lost for the season in Grand Rapids, I have no idea who would even be the next call-up for the Wings. Adam Almquist and Xavier Ouellet have seen time with the big club this year and Ryan Sproul got a call-up for practice purposes at the end of the Olympic break.

Jimmy Howard, as they said on the FSD postgame, could have been the first star easily. Very solid game punctuated by some big stops, especially on Phil Kessel in the second period.

The actual first star was Gustav Nyquist, who had one of the better games of his career. His first goal was a bit of a fluke (though still a great play) but that second goal was amazing. Absolutely fantastic shot off the far post and in.

Landon Ferraro… Aside from the early giveaway, pretty invisible, which is good for a player like him. Being out on the PK late was clearly a sign of faith in him.

Postgame: Oilers @ Red Wings – 3/14

The important take-away from the Red Wings’ 2-1 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers is two much-needed points. With the Wings in the East and the Oilers in the West, that Edmonton walked away with a loser point doesn’t matter for Detroit’s playoff chances.

That said, Edmonton is the worst team in the Western Conference. Second-worst team overall. There is no way the Red Wings should have required a shootout to get the win. Second-worst defense in the league and Detroit only managed a single goal. I get that the Wings have injuries but they’re not trying to make the playoffs with the team they could have, they’re going to have to do it with the team they’ve got. What they’ve got didn’t look all that good tonight.

On the positive side, Teemu Pulkkinen looked okay in his debut. Not afraid to shoot the puck, that’s for sure. And that second period hip check was awesome.

Unfortunately, the player that really stuck out was Brendan Smith for his awful giveaway leading to Edmonton’s goal. Absolutely inexcusable.

As I said off the top, though… Two points.

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