Tomas Tatar Likes His New Teeth: Red Wings 3 at Devils 1

Joakim Andersson celebrates a goal in the second period. - Bruce Bennett

Who needs Pasha and Z, anyhow?

So, we can all agree that this was the biggest snoozefest on the planet tonight, right? Well, here's a hint at how "well" the Red wings played: they allowed only eleven shots on goal the whole evening.

That's their lowest in franchise history. When asked during the post game media scrum at Prudential Center, DeBoer responded to several reporters (including Steve Lepore) with, "I don't look at the shot clock and say we didn't have any offense. We created enough chances to score three goals tonight."

The Devils indeed had created chances, but let's be honest, the Wings, despite playing really boring hockey, played the Devils to near perfection and came away with a hard fought win. Letting only eleven shots on net is no small task. Some of those eleven shots required the monster to come up huge, and boy did he ever.

Jonas Gustavsson, who would not be topped by Cory Schneider's jersey, [much to the dismay of Leaf fans] posted a save of the year candidate about four minutes into the second period.

Maybe he's still riding a hot streak, but Gustavsson looks incredibly solid in net and is starting to make himself look big, challenging pucks, and well, playing a bit like Hasek. It might be scary, it might not be the best technique, but it's athletic and at the moment, I'll choose to enjoy the show.

Anyway, here are tonight's game notes:

  • The Red Wings, specifically Kronwall and Ericsson, let Andy Greene get by them on a simple give and go. The Wings were a man short, sure, but that's a goal that had no business being scored.
  • Joakim Andersson showed some immense skill by sweeping the puck past Cory Schneider at the end of the second period to tie the game. Daniel Alfredsson made a hell of a play coming out of the neutral zone and Drew Miller threw the puck on goal from behind the goal line. I think the Griffins boys are really starting to solidify themselves in Detroit. I know I'm getting all third grader excited, but Michelle's and Jason's prospect reports are making me wet my pants a little bit at what these guys can do.
  • I wasn't a big fan of how the Wings were playing the puck early on, nor was I a fan of the game waiting seven minutes to even register a shot on goal, but the Wings improved and at later points both teams started to play each other evenly as well as trade scoring chances.
  • Todd Bertuzzi tried playing the front of the net as best as he could, grabbing a few chances, but ultimately failing to convert. He's [obviously] no Tomas Holmstrom, but he'll get more chances for sure.
  • Kyle Quincey didn't have an atrocious game.
  • FACT: Absolutely no player can score like a hot Johan Franzen at the price it costs to keep his contract on the roster. Is it questionable? Sure, but he's stepping up and he is actually playing very well at the center position. Franzen scored the second Red Wings goal of the evening on the powerplay. Stick on the ice, pass in front of the blue by Tatar, and a good play by Nyquist. I have no idea why Nyquist and Tatar were separated to begin with, but these two were downright dynamic together tonight. He has points in his last six games.
  • Speaking of point streaks, Drew Miller is riding a point streak, however I think we're all more interested in his favorite high school class growing up. Guess what it is down below in the comments.
  • The officiating sucked all around. I don't even need to explain why. You can just ask Cory Schneider or Marek Zidlicky.
  • Jonas Gustavsson is now 8-0-1.
  • The Devils' penalty kill was very good, but it was zero match for Tomas Tatar's laser of a shot off of the faceoff on the trapezoid penalty. The Devils' PK was second in the NHL heading into tonight's game. When life gives you lemons...
  • The Red Wings ultimately finished the game with 21 shots, of which three got past Schneider. They're going to hopefully put a lot more on the Florida Panthers tomorrow night.
  • The Devils attendance was 13,223 out of a possible 16,592 (change in calculating arena capacity). Not only was it a Friday night, but the Red Wings were in town. I'm not for taking shots at attendance figures, but that is absolutely piss poor.

Finally, as a bonus, I'm going to answer a question I received quite a bit today. Many of you know I'm a lifelong Devils fan, but I do enjoy the Wings very much. Tonight, I was indeed pulling for Detroit. The Devils get to play a rival in New York tomorrow (extra incentive), while the Wings needed a real confidence booster without two of the most important players in the game of hockey. It didn't hurt that I also had a bet going with noted Devils blogger and OHL writer, Todd Cordell.

Todd's a great guy and he shared quite a bit of information to the public about Red Wings prospects before the draft via Twitter. He's objective and he's awesome at what he does. If you like more than just casual hockey watching, he's a great follow. For now, he'll be sporting the perfect human being as an avatar.

For those crying about our stars, Pavel Datsyuk should be ready to go by Tuesday. Tread water Wings, tread.

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