I've been mentally drained by this team after the Florida trip. I sorta reached a point of worry.. They haven't been scoring, and it seems like they just don't click as much anymore. What Detroit needed today was a good win. Not a dominate win, or a game where they throttle the other team. They just needed two points.. Two points is what they got, and it was against a pretty damn good Western Conference team in the St. Louis Blues.
This game was a chippy one. Lots of penalties to be had on both sides, and not many goals scored.
Red Wings came out playing with some urgency today. Did a good job at drawing penalties, and bringing the shit-stink out of the Blues (not like it's that hard.) I really enjoy the way Erik Cole is playing for Detroit. He might not light the lamp that much, but he's a true blue-collar type player. Maybe I just have a soft spot for crafty veterans. Jimmy Howard and Jake Allen both did a great job at keeping it scoreless. However, I think credit is more due to Jake Allen's goalpost than his saves. The Wings had multiple shots ring off the pipe, which is frustrating, but at least they're generating chances and pushing the Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko is awesome, I'm not sure I can ever hate him. He cuts through defense like a hot knife through butter, and he reminds me so much of Sergei Fedorov. Anyways, we're scoreless after one period, with shots in favor of Detroit, 10-8.
Detroit came out, played much like they did in the 1st period, but just couldn't stay out of the box when it mattered most. Luke Glendening took a high-sticking penalty on Chris Butler, which shortly after translated in a goal by Alexander Steen, which ended up being his 300th career point with St Louis. Jimmy Howard didn't have much of a chance on the goal as he was screened by two players, one being a Blue, the other being Niklas Kronwall. Detroit generated a couple of good chances, but couldn't knot it up. Their giveaways thus far in the game are a bit jarring. They're doing a swell job at making Jake Allen look like a good goaltender, and that pisses me right off. Through 40 minutes, the score is 1-0. Up to this point, the Red Wings have not scored a goal at 5v5 in 110 minutes of hockey. So, there's that. Frustrating, to say the least.
Sort of a messy period, with 15 periods handed out to both teams. Drew Miller got into a scrap with Petteri Lindbohm, and it was pretty funny to see. Listen, just because there's snow on the roof, doesn't mean there isn't a fire in the furnace. Way to go, Miller. Detroit was finally able to knot it up on a goal from Erik Cole assisted by Justin Abdelkader, and Chris Butler's face. Detroit handled this period pretty well after tying it up, preserving the point and taking the game into extra time, and starting OT with a little bit of the man advantage. Detroit's power-play had been pretty bad so far in the game, but they finally figured it out with the carryover time in OT...
It didn't take long, but Detroit did it. Justin Abdelkader scored the game-winning goal on a feed from Marek Zidlicky and Niklas Kronwall. This was an iffy call, because Abby technically scored the goal with a broken stick.. For those of you who don't know, well, that's not allowed. But the reality is that it's the St. Louis Blues, and nobody gives a shit about that team. So hey, we won. Another Western Conference season series sweep by Detroit.
Gotta hand it to Jimmy Howard, honestly. He played his ass off, and kept it close. Jake Allen did, too. He made some fantastic saves.
You know the story, we've had a rough go of it since the win in Pittsburgh, but I truly hope this can serve as a turning point for this team as we enter into the final stretch. Get Pavel healthy, keep playing smart hockey, and do some fine-tuning to this machine before entering the postseason. Good game by Detroit. Let the good times roll.