That… I’ll admit, that was not what I expected.
I expected the Red Wings to have to fight to end their losing streak, especially against a Ducks team that always plays them hard. I expected a chippy game with lots of “extracurriculars,” battles in front of the net, grinding in the corners.
What happened instead was a dismantling.
Detroit definitely made some mistakes. As they have too often in the last couple weeks, they failed to clear their own zone at times and sent errant passes into the Anaheim end, turning the puck over. For the first time in weeks, though, that wasn’t the story of the game.
The Red Wings fired an insane 50 shots on the Anaheim net. They haven’t been getting that kind of pressure during this slump but they certainly applied it against the Ducks. They got high-percentage chances from the slot, shots with a screen in place, rebound chances.
They got goals from their top players. Kronwall, Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Franzen all scored.
And Jimmy Howard remained solid.
The Ducks did not play a good game, some of Detroit’s domination is due to that. But the Red Wings played better than they had in weeks and that’s fantastic to see.