I think that's the best thing that the team can do after this loss, just forget that it even happened. As fans, I think that's also the best thing you can do; the team's 8-3-1 and just won 2 of 3 on the road--at least we're not the New Jersey Devils. They head back to Detroit to play Phoenix on Monday and would be best served to shake it off before playing a
There were some bright spots in the game, but also a whole hell of a lot of glaring mistakes. Since JJ is putting a detailed CSSI post that includes all TEN goals on the night, I don't want that effort to go unread so I will stick strictly to analysis after the jump.
- In the morning skate I said something to the effect that special teams might be a key factor considering how well the two teams match-up. Well, definitely was the case tonight as Vancouver got a shorthanded goal from Manny Malhotra and then two consecutive powerplay goals which were ultimately the difference in the game. Detroit had a power play goal of its own but lost the special teams battle tonight
- Vancouver outshot Detroit 23-7 in the third period. Let that settle in for a second. Their third period shot total was only five short of Detroit's game total. To be fair, Detroit held Vancouver to 11 over the first two periods. The third period was the worst one for Detroit and I still can't decide if it was a switch flipped to "on" for Vancouver or to "off" for Detroit.
- Niklas Kronwall played well in the offensive zone tonight. Sometimes he looks more like a forward than he does a defenseman. Kronwall was a +2 on the night and should look to this game as a bit of a confidence booster for his offensive game from here on out.
- Jiri Hudler ALMOST ended his goal scoring drought but his shot rang off the crossbar. Hudler may be in danger of losing playing time if he is unable to find the scoring touch. He got 11:08 of ice-time but nearly 4 minutes of that came on the man advantage. His linemates, Helm and Miller, got more ice-time than he did but they also each spent 4+ on the penalty kill. Hudler's playing on the power play right now probably in an effort to boost his offensive game but is it worth sitting a player like Valtteri Filppula or Todd Bertuzzi (depending on the night it seems)
- The Canucks had the advantage over the Wings in the face-off dot, winning 37 of 61 (about 61%). Ryan Kesler won 86% of the draws he took in the defensive zone and helped control the game for Vancouver.
- I love having Justin Abdelkader back in the line-up. Kid (can I call him kid if he's older than me?) has great energy and has made the third line a little bit more complete than Hudler did. He delivered 5 hits in the game and I guess you could say he fought with Keith Ballard, it looked more like they were hugging than anything. But back to Abdelkader, I don't see how he sits anytime soon if he keeps playing like this. I think Cleary and Modano like having him on their line.
- Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen were on the verge of ending their slight slumps in the third period. Bertuzzi made a pass from the near boards to Franzen in the slot, but Franzen couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. Franzen was credited with four shots on goal for the game, but to me, he didn't look too interested in the action tonight
- Franzen's holding penalty set up the power play opportunity that lead to the winning goal for Vancouver. Part of me wants to say that he took the penalty to prevent Andrew Alberts from getting to the puck, but another part of me thinks it was just a dumbass play and that Alberts was out of the equation to begin with.
- After the sixth goal by Vancouver, Detroit looked completely uninterested--despite having about 9 minutes left to play. They rarely pressed and didn't seem all to interested in trying to create scoring chances. Kind of disheartening as a fan though to see over the course of 9 minutes, hoping that they'd turn it up but never actually doing so.
- Jimmy Howard had a bad night. There's not much of another way to say it. Yeah, sure he got left hung out to dry a few times, but if we're going to criticize Chris Osgood for having a sub .900 SV% game, it's only fair to do the same to Jimmy. Howard struggled with the rebound control and it became a problem tonight. Just like with the whole team, he needs to put this one away and not let it affect him for the next night out.