I Love Everything: Red Wings 3 - Stars 1

Feel the love.

What did you do for your significant other today? Did you buy them flowers? Make them dinner? Just take time out to let them know how much you mean to them?

The Detroit Red Wings made sure to let their fans know how important they are by winning their 21st straight game at home. The fans then let the Wings know how much they appreciated it with a 2 minute standing ovation at the end of the game.

History was made tonight, and it was the great kind of history, not the "I sat through that just to say I did" kind. Tonight's 3-1 victory against the Dallas Stars earned the Wings their place in the record books as the longest home winning streak in NHL history.

We've often talked about let-down games and trap games, and after a tough win to tie the record on Sunday against a very good Flyers team, I can't have been the only one nervous that the Wings were going to come out flat. Within the first 3 minutes of the game, my fears were put to rest.

The Wings came out flying, and played one of their best periods of the season. Detroit got all four lines rolling, and it almost seemed as if they spent the first 20 minutes on the power play. Goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Brad Stuart staked the Wings to a 2-0 lead less than halfway through the first. The Wings poured it on, ending the period with 20 SOG.

After the first, it seemed like the Wings were going to roll to an easy victory. However, we sweated a little before getting what we wanted.

The second and third periods saw the ice get tilted back a little more even. Dallas began to press the issue, while the Wings didn't have the same jump in their skating as they did in the first. However, the Wings were able to prevent the Stars from getting a lot of shots, and when Dallas did threaten, either Stuart or the post (who loves history as much as we do) was there to make the save.

A late goal by Jiri Hudler sealed the deal, but the Stars just had to go and be a bunch of party poopers by scoring with less than a minute left to ruin the shutout for Joey MacDonald. Final score 3-1 for the good guys, and for those keeping score, that's 21 straight NHL-approved wins against NHL-approved opponents at Joe Louis Arena.

  • Welcome back, Henrik Zetterberg. With goals in 3 straight games, and 9 points in his last 6 games, Z has really started to heat up offensively. For those that have been paying attention, his overall game has been getting better and better as the season has gone on, to the point where he has been one of the Wings' most consistent players in the last 10-15 games. With his offense heating up, the Wings just became even more dangerous than they already were.
  • Re-sign Brad Stuart. That is all.
  • The Wings have been getting fantastic play by their depth forwards in the last few weeks, but the first period was the top line's time to shine. I thought that Johan Franzen was really engaged tonight, and Todd Bertuzzi definitely felt the love for the puck as he had it a lot tonight. But my true man-crush, Pavel Datsyuk, was once again everywhere.
  • The latest news is that Jimmy Howard may be back as early as Friday against the Predators, and it definitely sounds like he will return Sunday against the Sharks. If he's not backed up by Joey MacDonald, then Ken Holland has made one of the few mistakes of his career.
  • The best part was when the Wings set the all time record for consecutive home wins.
  • I mentioned this during the game thread, but that feeling of dread that I had the past couple of years as I watched the Wings try to protect a third period lead is just about gone. The way this team can clamp down and just refuse to let the other team possess the puck is reminiscent of 2008. It's also very encouraging to note that the Wings can pounce on a mistake and put the final nail in the coffin as they did tonight when the Stars failed to pick up Hudler coming off the bench.
The record is awesome, and I'm over-joyed that the Wings have once again made history. But more importantly it was yet another 2 points they banked against a team they should beat, and with St Louis losing to Columbus (seriously, who loses to Columbus?) and Chicago in free-fall mode, the Wings actually put a little bit of breathing space between them and 2 of their closest competitors. The Wings will have a chance to increase their lead on their 3rd pursuer on Friday when they host the Nashville Predators.

For now, the Wings have 2 days off, and we get to revel in this moment and enjoy it. The game thread asked an interesting question: where does this record rank in terms of Red Wing accomplishments for you? Let us know, and give it up for the greatest home team of all time.



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