As in any game without Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, it was difficult to know what to expect from the Wings today.
Against the Flyers, the Wings seemed to be the far better team at times until crumbling late in the game. Against the Devils, the Wings somehow managed to scrap together a win despite playing in one of the most boring games that I have seen in ages.
Today's game was more akin to the former. Like the Flyers game, this one had its fair bit of excitement, and it also had a Red Wings letdown.
Here's how it happened:
A few minutes into the first period, the Wings would draw first blood. The admired and revered Daniel Cleary would score what would be his 2nd goal of the season. While I know that a small group of people have echoed their ill sentiment towards the re-signing of old yeller, I personally love it. Who else doesn't love a $1,750,000 cap hit for a guy that has scored 2 goals and a total of 5 points this season. It's almost a match made in heaven.
The second period was not as kind on the Red Wings. Not only did Jimmy Hayes tie up the game for the Panthers just 3 minutes in to the period, but the Panthers seemed to outright dominate the Wings at times.
Jonas Gustavsson had his second straight start in net tonight for the Wings. While I do think that he has been playing well, he looked real shaky at times. It may have just been the constant pressure from the Panthers, but Gustavsson kept coming out of his net, and had it not been for some lucky defensive play by the Wings, he may have let in a couple of more goals than what he actually did.
The third period started in the same fashion as the second, with a Panthers goal. Jonathan Huberdeau shot the puck past Gustavsson, who was slightly out of his net.
Now that the illustrious unbeaten-in-regulation reign of Jonas Gustavsson has come to an end, can we all get back to agreeing that Jimmy Howard is our starter?
Honestly, I don't know if I should be disappointed with this result. We were without three of our best forwards, and Florida came in hungry to play. While 2 points in the last 3 games is undoubtedly disappointing, considering the circumstances I don't know exactly how to react.
Your player of the game is Daniel Cleary.
On a completely unrelated note, I was watching this game of Fox Sports Florida and I have to say that I was really impressed by the Panthers announcers. I think this was the first time that I have actually watched a Panthers game on TV, and I was pleasantly surprised by the commentating. Not too biased, and fairly informative. They reminded me a bit of Ken and Mick, but don't get me wrong, nothing compares to Daniels and Redmond.
Next up for the Red Wings is a rematch against the Panthers in Sunrise, FL.
Let's Go Red Wings!
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