Another game full of spotty defensive play but the Wings stole a point late.
- It was good for the Wings to actually claw back a bit, but it wasn't exactly how you wanted. You'd hope that the goals would have come from stringing passes together and shooting from good spots, but they came from a deflection off of a skate and a goalmouth scramble.
- Wings have had very little offense in the middle of the ice. The only guy that was able to do anything in the middle of the ice was Johan. More on that later though.
- Pavel Datsyuk was on all game long. He was fast early on and stayed that way and turned more St. Louis inside out than the fog from Treehouse of Horror V (there you go Petrella). When Pavel is playing his game, he's incredible and that's what we saw last night. A dominant puckhandler with little regard for what the defense threw at him.
- Jimmy Howard was exceptional again. Very little he could have done about the two goals that were deflected and the other goal was bad defense/Bertuzzi hooking. He still needs to improve on his shootout skills but he's also probably one of the biggest reasons they even got to overtime. Oh, and how about that save late in OT on great cross ice pass? Nice.
- Henrik Zetterberg played a good game last night but still needs to work on the shootout move. He has the hands to make some great moves but lately he's just shot the puck without doing any set-up work.
- Darren Helm needs to be re-signed right now. The amount of good he has done on even strength and more impressively the penalty kill is impressive. 3 hits, 1 takeaway, and the only positive faceoff percentage for the Wings last night.
- We touched on it the game thread a bit and a few on twitter voice it too, how many of you almost were expecting Ericsson to slam that rebound past Howard late in the game? It flashed right before my eyes. It's kind of indicative of how spotty his play has been this year.
- You want the truth? The Wings did not deserve a point at all last night. St. Louis outplayed them the majority of the game and the Wings were lucky to get a point. "You can't handle the truth. No truth-handler, you. I deride your truth-handling abilities!"
Johan after the jump...
Johan played pretty well in his first game back. He wasn't exceptional and nor should we have expected him to be so. For missing that many games, he was pretty solid all night. Here's the highlights I saw:
- First, Mule was sporting a mustache which was quickly deemed the Mulestache. I liked it a lot and could get used to it. Gives him more of a badass persona it seems.
- His legs seemed pretty good. There was a loose puck that he turned on the jets for and got to pretty quickly, impressive I thought.
- He's not afraid to go to the center of the ice. A lot of times this year, it seems like the rest of the Wings are hesitant to go in the middle for whatever reason but Franzen waltzed right in all night long and ripped shots from that location. I've always been a fan of his positioning and that showed no decline during the injury it seems.
- He played a pretty good defensive game too. He's never been the best defensive forward on the team but I noticed a play or two last night in which he occupied two Blues players at the same time just by positioning himself correctly.
- Good to see him with the big hit along the bench. That was a good sign that he's not afraid of contact after taking the ice for the first time.
- An assist, 4 shots on goal, 3 hits, 17:28 ice time. Not bad