Postgame: Oilers @ Red Wings – 2/8

After the Oilers got their first goal tonight, I was a little worried it was all downhill from there. It was such a mess of a goal, I could see it deflating the Red Wings and leading to a loss.

When Edmonton tied things up in the third, that fear seemed to have been warranted. Detroit got caught coasting a bit. The tying goal was on the power play but the Wings hadn’t done much before it to make it seem like they wanted this one. No killer instinct.

They managed to turn it back on, though. Drew Miller‘s goal was just hard work, driving to the net for a loose puck (much like Cory Emmerton‘s earlier in the game). Henrik Zetterberg‘s goal was the kind we expect to see from him, he was given a part of the net and he hit what was given to him. Perhaps more importantly, they shut the Oilers down, holding onto that lead.

Things I liked to see tonight:
All of the Detroit goals. Cop out answer but each was very nice in its own way. I already mentioned the last three goals, even Franzen’s tip from in front is something that hasn’t been going in for the Wings lately. And let’s be honest, even Sam Gagner‘s breakway was a pretty goal – it would have been fun to see if it weren’t scored on Detroit.

Jonathan Ericsson‘s play – for the most part. Aside from one play, Ericsson had a really solid night. Sadly, I’ll get to that one play below.

Joey MacDonald didn’t see a lot of shots but he’s making saves when he needs to. Not bad for a third-stringer when your starter is hurt and your backup has no confidence.

Things I didn’t like:
Justin Abdelkader got his ass kicked in the early fight.

The first Edmonton goal. Yeah, I mentioned it as being pretty, but it never should have happened. I debated about this during the game with @onthewings and @wingingitmotown and I think there’s plenty of blame to go around on this one but it mostly falls in one spot.

First off, I feel like MacDonald committed too early. That said, it was a breakaway at that point so I can’t fault him much. How did Gagner get that open? A mess at the Detroit bench. Jakub Kindl and Ericsson both went for a change. Kindl got off the ice but Ian White didn’t get on quickly. Meanwhile Ericsson challenged Ben Eager to a fight (which didn’t happen) after Eager hit Danny Cleary. The way I see it, White might have been able to prevent the breakaway but probably not. Ericsson could have either gotten off the ice or stayed in the play and broken things up. He did neither, so he gets most of the blame from me.

The last thing I didn’t like? The goalie interference call on Tomas Holmstrom. While it’s a chance to show off the new DH.N Multimedia Archive, I just see it as a horrible call.

To end on a high note… Eighteen consecutive wins at home. That’s a nice little run there.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Oilers – 2/4

Considering I was disgusted with the Red Wings’ play by the midway point of the first period, it’s hard to complain about an outcome that saw them pick up a point.

That said, after their third-period rally to take the lead, it really feels like they should have done better.

As a whole, Detroit was awful in the first period, mediocre in the second, fantastic in the third, back to mediocre in the overtime period, and then down to awful again in the shootout. Even with that fantastic third, that’s not enough to get two points, plain and simple.

Other thoughts…

Ty Conklin didn’t get much help but didn’t do himself any favors. With Jimmy Howard on the shelf for what could be days or could be weeks, Conklin has to step his game up or he will be replaced at the trade deadline. The Red Wings might not be willing to part with the pieces needed to trade for a top-six forward but they might be able to pick up a backup goalie.

Or they could go with Joey MacDonald, who backed up Howard through last year’s playoffs and was solid tonight. He took an undeserved loss while stopping 22 of 23 shots. I will not be surprised to see him start in Phoenix on Monday.

If MacDonald’s teammates could have gotten a shootout goal, he might not have been saddled with that loss. The Red Wings looked pretty uninspired in the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk made a nice move and missed the net. Todd Bertuzzi blasted it past Devan Dubnyk. Everyone else? Meh.

But a point is a point, and this was an important one to battle back and get. We’ll see how things play out from here.