Skating in Oil Country: Wings Win

The Wings went into Edmonton looking to extend their road winning streak to four while ending a two-game losing streak after dropping a couple of games to Eastern Conference opponents. Teams like this are supposed to beat Edmonton, but taking that for granted can lead to a bloody mouth and a sour taste.  Fortunately, for the Wings, skill was able to overcome a very workmanlike effort put forth tonight by the young Oilers.

The Wings jumped on Edmonton early in the shots department, putting 11 on net to their 6 in the first period en route to a 1-1 tie at the end of 1 thanks to goals by Henrik Zetterberg and Gilbert Brule.  Z's came on a one-timer from the high slot as the Edmonton D was chasing while the Brule tally was a backhand tip-in past Osgood as three defenders watched the play develop without doing anything to stop it.  The 2nd period went better for the Wings as Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal in 16 games and Draper was able to miss the crest by deking and going backhand in a period that saw the Wings widen the shot disparity with a 17-9 run in the second. 

Unfortunately, Edmonton came out very strong in the third and tied the game up with just over ten minutes left to go thanks to their aggressive forecheck and the Wings' taking their foot off the gas.  Fortunately, a pair of late goals scored only 40 seconds apart sealed the deal.  Bertuzzi netted the eventual game-winner by throwing the puck into traffic in front and being lucky enough for it to bounce off Theo Peckham's skate.  Less than a minute later, Darren Helm is the beneficiary of Peckham falling down, which gives him the room to walk in and fire a shot under Khabibulin's blocker to ice it. 

Just three options on the Player of the Game Voting today.  Vote below and join us after the jump for the bullet points. 

  • For all the talk about the defense needing to give up fewer shots and goals, this game got frustrating.  They limited shots to only 25 (although that also could have been lower), but another couple of gaffes leads to another couple of goals.  We need to see that this team can turn it on in crunch-time if needed.
  • Player of the Game food for thought, if you haven't already voted.  Darren Helm had 1G, 1A 7 SOG and played 3:02 of perfect PK hockey.  Todd Bertuzzi had 2G, 0A 6 SOG and 2:18 on a PP that failed to score.  Does scoring the game-winner make the difference here?
  • Kronwall's quietly been good on offense, but his defense still scares me as much as ever.  Hell, it's not even that, it's the passes up the middle that are getting in skates that bug me.  He's either got to eat the puck or dump it out, because I'm running out of ways to blame forwards for not receiving his passes.
  • Speaking of which, Ericsson failed on a couple of those too.  I'm wondering if looking from the press box for one of the back-to-back games this weekend might not be such a bad idea.  He hasn't been terrible, but he's reverting back to some scary habits.
  • There were three correct score predictions from this morning.  nbschaff, TehGOALIE, and mrsunshine.  Congrats to you three.  Looking at your PoTG picks though, I don't hold out hope for a double-hit on that.
  • The speed at which Mursak, Tatar, and Helm skate is fun to watch, even if they do spin out a lot of the time and lose the puck completely.  Their legs are quick enough to make up for positional deficiencies.  It's getting to be a tough choice for me between Mursak and Tatar for who sits as soon as anybody is ready to go, but I'm leaning towards sitting Tatar because Mursak is a little faster and a little more defensively sound. 
  • Osgood's dad was in the crowd to see him win #401, just two behind Oilers great Grant Fuhr all-time.  It was a nice touch for the FSD crew to be on that during the game.

The Wings plan to go curling tomorrow as an off-day activity and then they head to Calgary for a Friday night tilt against the Flames. We'll see Calgary finally done with the Sutter Catastrophe era and now move into the Feaster Famine era.  Hopefully, Detroit can pull of the season series sweep before heading to Vancouver on Saturday.

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