The Red Wings finally pulled off a pretty good win tonight after struggling to break in new players and having a bit of an identity crisis, much like last season.
Yes, the Wings played the closest thing they had to a 60 minute game and they did a lot of things right.
For one thing, the Wings were the only NHL team coming into tonight without a powerplay goal. They responded by collecting three of them. THREE. Daniel Alfredsson, who had an awful night against Phoenix, put up three assists on all three of those goals.
Here are some key points from tonight's victory:
- A lot of the big guns showed up tonight, and if Detroit plans on winning a lot of games, they need them to.
- Pavel Datsyuk has a backhand like John McEnroe
- Todd Bertuzzi actually looked pretty good on the first line alongside Datsyuk and Z. He was the grit that Babcock had been looking for to play alongside those two.
- Justin Abdelkader was supposed to act as a "boost" to the second line. That line generated three shots the entire night and was absolutely invisible.
- Luke Glendening saw a little over five minutes through the first two periods and then was politely asked by Mike Babcock to kill off one of the most critical penalties late in the third period. He did a very good job and resembled a younger [albeit less injured] Darren Helm by putting up a shot on goal and pinning the puck behind the Flyers' goal line. He earned a well deserved ovation from the crowd for that.
- Todd Bertuzzi scored his first powerplay goal since 2010 tonight. Nothing to see here, folks.
- Jordin Tootoo, if he's still with the team the next time the Wings meet the Flyers, will in all likelihood attempt to destroy Kris Newbury for a dirty slash late in the third period.
- Daniel Cleary made some very good plays and picked up an assist. Whether you believe that he should still be a Red Wing or not is up to you, but he was very good tonight.
- Philly played a very good opening two periods and absolutely lost control in the third. Both teams took a lot of penalties but the Flyers lost composure on a few.
- Wings fans owe a lot of this game to Jimmy Howard. He stopped a lot of point blank chances (32 saves) and overall was very good, even if the ice in front of him was bouncing pucks in every direction.
- Philly had a ton of scoring chances in the third period that should have been sure fire goals but ultimately stayed out thanks to good saves or bad puck luck, largely the latter.
- Claude Giroux recorded his first point of the season tonight on an assist to the Tye McGinn goal.
- Fun fact: every player called up for tonight's game took a penalty at some point. This pointless fact is not brought to you by a particular pyramid scheme that is now far away from Winglsand.
- Alfredsson probably knows his role at this point, but Weiss is really going through some bad growing pains. Alfie is still having issues keeping the puck in at the blue line on the powerplay, but Weiss is doing almost nothing positive at this point in time. Hopefully he'll figure out what's going on very soon because the Wings need his production.
The Twitter experiment over on @WIIMGame seems to have worked very well. A lot of you stayed behind on the GameThread (which is what is supposed to happen) but there were plenty of fans who jumped aboard the Twitter bandwagon and liked what they saw. That will probably become a regular thing at some point in the future but at this point in time it will go by whoever is covering the game at that particular moment. I can promise that when it's me doing the GameThread and recaps, I'll absolutely use that feed. I'll admit it: it's a lot of fun.
I understand that tonight was an absolutely packed evening in the Detroit sports world with MSU, Michigan, and the Tigers all playing huge games tonight in multiple sports. (Let's be honest, none of you were watching the Pistons) I was watching the Michigan game score on my Yahoo! app, only to turn on the TV and notice that Brandon Gibbons shanked an easy field goal and Penn State would rebound and win on a touchdown in 4OT. Despite that, we had quite a few of you watching the Wings game with us and enjoying interacting on multiple fronts.
For that, I, along with the rest of the WIIM crew (who were probably watching other sports as well) say thank you for being with us today. We truly appreciate it.