Talk about it being just one of those games. The Wings partied like it was the first round of the 2003 playoffs, but could not solve the riddle that was Jonathan Quick, losing to the Los Angeles Kings for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, this time by a score of 5-0. This really was one of those times where the score was not indicative of how close the game was, but the Wings were unable to figure out Quick, who was the first and second star of the game (not from a Wing perspective).
The Wings gave up a goal in each of the first two periods, but despite out-shooting the Kings 38-17, the Wings entered the third period down 2-0. Then the doors were blown off as the Kings potted three goals in the first 6 minutes of the third period, and the game was pretty much over at that point. To their credit, the Wings did not let up, and they made Quick really work for his shutout, the first of his career over the Wings. He made a lot of people out there in fantasy hockey-land very happy with a 51-save shutout, and the Kings got off to a great start on their five game road trip.
Join me after the jump where we'll examine why the Wings got kicked in the family jewels.Unfortunately the Wings were unable to crown their ass.
- We've all seen these games: the Wings are red-hot early, getting tons of shots, good scoring chances, and controlling play. They look like they're the better team, but the opposing goalie makes a few big saves early, and then there's a goal against the Wings. If you're like me, then your next thought is this: "uh-oh". That's exactly what we were all thinking, and after the second period ended, it sure seemed obvious that this was going to be one of those nights. It happens.
- Have the Wings won a game on Versus this year? It sure seems like these national games are what afternoon games were last year: their Achilles Heel. I sure hope that the Cursus of Versus ends soon, because we all know that the Wings are going to be on there during the first round of the playoffs (that's right, I said playoffs).
- It's really hard to get on anyone in a game where the Wings outshot the Kings 51-26, except the goalie. Once again, I'm not about to put this loss solely on Jimmy Howard, because he was outdueled by Jonathan Quick. However, he's got to come up with a big save in the first or second period to keep his team in it and give them a chance against a hot goalie. I can't help but think that if this were Chris Osgood, we'd be ripping him apart for the way he played tonight. I'm starting to become concerned that we might be seeing the beginnings of a slump for Tiberius, and it's time to give Osgood some more starts.
- I'd like to give a quick shoutout to Casey, who pointed out that the Wings had yet to give up a goal in the 12-14 minute block of any period so far this season, only to give up 2 tonight. Nothing like having some knowledge to go along with my anger at the Wings being scored on. Thanks, Casey.
- Despite the score, the second line of Filppula, Bertuzzi and Franzen was exceptional tonight, especially Bert. They had a ton of chances, and I really thought they were going to get one. It was just not meant to be.
- When the game ends up so lopsided, I tend to look for and listen to other things. I then write them down. I had 2 nuggets from tonight. The first was that Doc Emrick and Edzo calling a game remind me of the playoffs, and this gets me excited. The second was the fact that 14 of the 21 players in the Wings lineup tonight were drafted and developed by the Wings. The players included in that 14 were drafted as long ago as 1989 and as late as 2005. The Wings have won 4 Cups, been to 2 other Finals, and only missed the playoffs once since the 1989 draft. I guess it shows that you don't have to suck for years and build up high draft picks to be a successful franchise in the NHL. Food for thought.
I can't say I'm ultimately upset at this game. Unlike previous losses, this wasn't a case of the Wings looking disinterested and lacking effort throughout the game; they were simply bested by a great goalie who stood on his head early, and a poor 6 minutes in the third where the game got away from them. Take that game tape, study Quick to see how good he was, then throw it away. Next up is a game against the Blues, then a Friday tilt against the Blackhawks. It's a Central Division rivalry week, and I expect the Wings to show up with a good effort so they can put some real distance between them and the rest of the teams in the division.