Detroit went into Minnesota with a three-game winning streak on the line to play a Wild team that beat the Oilers on Thursday (hooray!). After a slow start and then another slow start, the Wings remembered that they're supposed to destroy Minnesota and reacted by barely squeaking by them in overtime.
Josh Harding played his first game since 150 Red Wings fans got together to celebrate Herm's first game at the Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings welcomed him back by throwing rubber at him like they were some sort of deranged out-of-control Michelin Man trying to smother the Belle Tire guy (rated PG-13). Meanwhile, Patrick Eaves played his first game since last Saturday.
Overall, the Wings played a bit too carefully against a team that really isn't as trap-oriented as people still want to believe they are. The Wild's forecheck was very aggressive and I think they missed too many opportunities to create odd-man rushes by being too cute. Still, the Wings fought back and absolutely deserved to win this game. It's crucial that Detroit doesn't leave points on the table during the easiest part of their schedule. November and December aren't going to be as easy as this month is and we'll need to stockpile what we can get for the leaner months.
This recap already sucks. Let's get to the bullet points below the jump.
- The Wings outshot the Wild 41-14. I don't know when the last time they had a palindrome on the shot clock, but this might be the first in a while where there was a 4 involved. Harding had to come up huge a lot during the game to keep it from getting out of hand. Niklas Backstrom should be feeling the heat after this one. This should be a good change of pace from having Jose Theodore, which is the most Mexican-sounding Quebecois name I've ever seen.
- Moving feet was a big issue in this game, especially for Datsyuk. There are a lot of times when he can wait for a player to make a move and then dangle around him. Hell, there were a lot of times in this very game that he did exactly that. Unfortunately, when that doesn't work, it leads to goals against. He was the most-common perpetrator of this, but lots of other guys were waiting for pucks to come to them instead of making the extra move to go to it.
- In a rare moment of solidarity with Hockey Wilderness, yes, I have to say that the reffing sucked. Of course, I disagree with their saying that Holmstrom was getting away with stuff and the Wings were flopping, but I also generally disagree with their existence. We found at least a little common ground tonight and that's important.
- Do you put stock in individual Corsi? If so, what do you have to say about Brad Stuart being a -3 in that category when the Wings outshot the Wild so badly?
- Remember all those times last year when I would yell angry expletives at Valtteri Filppula begging that he please shoot the puck more often? If yes, please get out of my bushes (Tyler). Either way, he listened. He already has ten shots on goal this season. At this pace, he'll beat his career high sometime before Veteran's Day.
- Hey, the power play finally scored. 1-for-19 is absolutely horrible, but it's better than nothing. I thought they moved the puck around the zone well, but they're still not getting shots all the way through, not shooting early or often enough, and are struggling on their zone entry which costs them precious time (time with Gabourey Sidibe, that is).
- Brad Stuart's groin is still bothering him... and me kinda. This is the earliest in a hockey season that I've ever been bothered so much by another man's groin.
Vote below for your Player of the game: