Well that was fun!
Today's game featured a heavy WiiM presence in the crowd. J.J., Graham, and Michelle were all at the game, in addition to other members from our community. Yes, the Wings played a great game, but I think their play was aided by the positive vibes bursting out from the crowd.
Tonight's game was one of the best performances all season by the Wings. It was fun, exciting, and most importantly, a win.
Here is how it all happened:
The game began in the best possible fashion. Riley Sheahan made a wonderful pass over to Gustav Nyquist who shot the puck past Carter Hutton to give the Wings the lead after only 57 seconds. A few minutes later Sheahan and Nyquist nearly recreated the goal. Sheahan passed the puck over to Nyquist, but instead of shooting, Nyquist tried to pass the puck back to Kronwall. As Ken Daniels said, "just shoot the darn puck."
Twelve minutes into the period, Datsyuk won a faceoff and got the puck straight back to Kyle Quincey. Quincey's shot rebounded off of a pair of Predators and possibly a Red Wing to give the Wings a 2-0 lead.
Just a little over a minute later, Tomas Tatar extended the Wings' lead to 3-0 via a phenomenal wrist shot. The goal prompted the Predators to switch goaltenders from Hutton to Marek Mazane, the goalie who had beat the Wings twice last season.
Mattias Ekholm cut the Wings lead by one after his shot took a funky rebound and managed to loft its way towards Petr Mrazek. The shot took another rebound on Mrazek's stick to make its way into the net.
What can I say, it was a great period.
Two minutes into the period, the Wings would reestablish their three-goal lead. Henrik Zetterberg shot the puck, hitting the back of Mazane's head, which caused the puck to rebound into the net. The goal was scored while on the powerplay, making it the Wings' 40th PP goal of the season. The powerplay was a result of a hook on Joakim Andersson, but more notably, on that same play, Luke Glendening made a wonderful move to hold up the play and pass the puck to Drew Miller. I am beginning to like Glendening more and more every game.
The rest of the period continued on with both teams exchanging goal attempts and powerplays, both nothing too notable happened until...
Tatar scored!!! On yet another pass from Sheahan! That was Tatar's 20th goal of the season. Speaking of goal scorers, Gustav Nyquist is one goal away from having scored 50 career goals.
The third period did not exactly begin as planned. Mike Fischer scored on a powerplay that carried over from the previous period to reduce the Wings to a three-goal lead.
Midway through the period, the referees called an interference penalty on Justin Abdelkader. To me, the play looked far more like a collision rather than an interference. But, luckily, the Predators did not score on the resulting powerplay. With ten minutes left in the game and only a two-goal deficit, anything could have happened.
The Wings managed to hang on to their lead for the rest of the period. Datsyuk nearly deked himself a goal, but the Predators blocked his attempt before he could make it six goals on the night for the Wings.
It feels weird to be this excited after a victory over the Predators. Not only did the Wings play a phenomenal game, but they beat one of the best teams in the entire league. This is a different and much improved Predators team than the one that we have faced in the past. And the Wings made sure to give a them a warm welcome.
Tonight's game was also the first time that the Wings faced former prospect Calle Järnkrok. He actually played alright, but he did not score, which is all that was important in my book.
The Wings MVP for the game was, in my opinion, Petr Mrazek. His play prevented the Predators from scoring more than they did, especially early on, which could have completely changed the tide of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings!