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Howe About That Power Play, Eh? Flyers 3 - Red Wings 2

Jeff's sharpening his pitchfork right now.
Jeff's sharpening his pitchfork right now.

At what point does something become so glaringly obvious it's not going to change that you stop driving yourself mad about it?

Wing fans are asking themselves that same question tonight. Detroit turned in another dreadful performance on the power play against the Flyers, a team with the NHL's 22nd ranked penalty kill, and gave up their 9th shorthanded goal against in a 3-2 loss to in Philadelphia. For those keeping track, the Red Wings have not won a regular season game in Philly since January of 1997.

It's the same old story: the special teams are not acting very special, unless you think they're eating paste and wearing really thick glasses. We talked on the podcast last week that a strong penalty kill was more important than the power play, but if the Wings are going to not only fail to score but also give up shorthanded goals, then I'm going to have to change my answer. Another 0-fer with the man advantage in a second period where the Flyers were playing stupid was the difference, just as it was the other night against Chicago.

Ultimately it was the same story for a road game involving the Wings. A slow start resulted in the Wings falling behind, and a frantic third period was not enough to get them a win.

  • Kudos to Philadelphia for a very classy number retirement ceremony for Mark Howe. He said that he'd like to see the Wings and Flyers play Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Philly, apparently forgetting what happened the last time the Wings played a playoff series against the Flyers.
  • 2 SOG in the first, even if one of them went in, is not acceptable against a team with as many injuries on defense as Philly. The Wings have their own injuries to deal with, but it's not like the Flyers are the 1995 Devils. More offensive pressure was needed in the first period.
  • One of the reasons for the lack of offensive pressure is the total inconsistency of the lines. I have to question why Drew Miller and Darren Helm weren't paired together, and I would have liked to have seen Johan Franzen up with Zetterberg and Filppula for a few shifts because Jiri Hudler just wasn't doing anything tonight.
  • JJ gave his thoughts on the Kronwall hit here, and you can head over there for video. My opinion is that it was a huge, clean hit. Voracek's head was down along the boards, and the first thing they teach you is to keep your head up. Kronwall stayed on his feet, didn't extend his arms, and hit a guy that had the puck and put himself in a vulnerable position. To those that want a suspension, explain to me what Kronwall is supposed to do in that situation. Not hit him? Go low and take out his knees? It was a very big hit and we all hope that Voracek is ok.
  • However, despite this hit being clean, I think Kronwall gets suspended because of the shock value. I think this is a situation where Shanahan has to "send a message", and he'll get a couple of games. I don't think the injury to Voracek should factor in a suspension unless it's determined that he had intent to injure first.
Ultimately it's hard to get too upset about losing tonight. It's a tough road game against a good Eastern Conference opponent, and the Wings seem to have escaped the game without any injuries, which is a small miracle at this stage of the season. One of the Flyers' goals went in off a Wing defenseman's skate, and the shorthanded goal was a brutal turnover by Ian White at the blueline that never should have happened. The Wings will get another couple of days off, enough time for us to all pray to whatever we believe in to get Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom healthy and back in the lineup so this losing trend can stop.