Coming off of a huge 3-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings traveled back home to meet the snow-displaced Anaheim Ducks. Just a few games ago, these two teams danced on the West Coast, with the Wings scoring a 2-1 win. How would the game play out this time?
Well the Wings picked up right where they left off as Brendan Smith found Darren Helm with a beautiful stretch pass. Darren Helm made a move,
tripped, shot it into the goalie, missed the net, and tucked the puck by Ducks' goaltender John Gibson for an early 1-0 lead.
What a pass by Smith to send Helm on the breakaway. Beauty. pic.twitter.com/N2syLlWzB4— Kyle (@KyleWIIM) January 24, 2016
The Joe was rockin', the Wings were feeling good, andddddd they blew it. The Wings took a penalty and the penalty kill was absolutely eviscerated by the Ducks passing. Somehow the Ducks were not able to get one past Jimmy Howard and the Wings killed it off. Just over six minutes later, Smith and Henrik Zetterberg had a defensive miscommunication that led to LIVONIA NATIVE Ryan Kelser being wide open in front of the net. He roofed one past Howard (READ: blame Jimmy) and it's 1-1 just like that.
The Wings decided it was a great idea to go back on the penalty kill after a cross-checking penalty to Smith. This time, the Wings PK looked a lot better and limited the chances against. That penalty kill means that the Wings have killed off 21 of their last 24 penalties. However, the Ducks kept pressing and after a soft cross-ice pass by Pavel Datsyuk, the Ducks quickly turned the puck up ice and Corey Perry undressed Jimmy Howard with a nifty forehand-backhand-shelf deke. 2-1 Ducks.
The Wings still didn't mount much pressure, but managed to get a powerplay with just over a minute remaining. They wasted the first portion of it with a lot of needless perimeter passing before the period ended.
Score: 2-1 Anaheim
Shots: 13-9 Anaheim
Standout Players: Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson, My Beer
Tough Periods: Jonathan Ericsson, Zetterberg, Mike Green
The Wings had 35 seconds remaining on the powerplay but nothing of substance happened. The Wings started off the period very sloppy, with bad giveaways by Smith and Zetterberg, but Howard made several huge saves to bail his team out.
The Wings went back to the powerplay after David Perron decided that he didn't get to press his face up against the glass and make funny faces enough during his first penalty. Of course, the Wings made sure he got two full minutes as they again failed to do anything. This powerplay is really infuriating and has caused me much grief. You can read about it tomorrow AM on this website.
The period sort of drag-- OH MY GOD TOMAS JURCO. I've been screaming all game to get him back with Sheahan and Tatar. This time, Smith led the rush to catch Ducks' defenseman Hampus Lindholm deep in the Wings zone. He makes a great pass over to Nyquist who finds Jurco for the breakaway. Jurco ABSOLUTELY UNDRESSES GIBSON. This is what we've been waiting for. That might be the prettiest goal I've seen this year (yes, better than Larkin vs. Schneider). It's 2-2 and we've got ourselves a hockey game.
Tomas Jurco just destroyed John Gibson with this nasty goal. pic.twitter.com/D5Hc7VbDGL— Kyle (@KyleWIIM) January 24, 2016
To build the momentum, Ericsson immediately made a bad giveaway in his own zone and then took a hooking penalty to prevent the scoring chance. Awesome. The Wings survive that penalty kill but Green decides to flip the puck over the glass to spend more time on the PK! The Wings kill another and as an added bonus, the penalty kill actually looks better.
By the way, Anaheim has gotten away with a TON of crap. Playing the puck with a broken stick, Kesler's slash on Datsyuk, and then Howard got run by Vatanen. It's infuriating because I already despise the Ducks. OK sidebar over. As soon as Green gets out of the box, he gets sprung for a breakaway but gets robbed by the glove of Gibson. The Wings escaped a final frenetic minute to get to the end of the period.
Shots: 26-19 Anaheim
Standout Players: Jurco, Helm, Howard
Tough Periods: Datsyuk, Ericsson
Welp, you had a feeling this was coming based on the way the Wings played tonight. Just 2:28 into the 3rd, Perry deked around half the Wings team and scored to put the Ducks up 3-2. DeKeyser and Quincey are just caught staring as they get blown by on that play. The Wings tried to apply pressure but were getting obstructed in every manner possible by the Ducks tonight. Just look at one of the MANY examples of missed calls.
Meant to tweet this earlier but there was no call on this. Whatevs. pic.twitter.com/DMW0Htmhst— Kyle (@KyleWIIM) January 24, 2016
It takes a lot for me to rant about officiating, but tonight was some of the worst I've ever seen. Then, the refs decided to call Zetterberg for a penalty and on the delayed penalty, Kesler deked around the pylons that play in red and sent a wrister past Howard. 4-2 Ducks.
The rest of this period is horrendous. No sustained pressure, constant offensive and defensive miscues. It's absolutely infuriating to watch. The lines went into the scrambler and we even saw a Larkin-Glendening-Richards combo. Like that's going to produce offense. DeKeyser scores a garbage-time goal with 1:16 left to make it 4-3, but this wasn't going to be a comeback.
Score: 4-3 Anaheim
Shots: 35-27 Anaheim
Standout Period: No one
Tough Period: Everyone
Player of the Game: Tomas Jurco. He earned it. For the 2nd straight night, he was Detroit's best forward yet he's still barely seeing the ice.
- Special teams are absolutely awful. The Wings PK escaped unscathed but looked horrendous early. The powerplay zone entries were ABYSMAL. The Wings had five PP's and managed a whopping seven shot attempts and only four shots on goal. Not going to score like that
- WILL SOMEBODY GET TOMAS JURCO SOME ICE TIME?? Over his last 2 games, Jurco has been on the ice for 33 5v5 shot attempts for and only 15 against despite playing just 23 minutes. Think about that.
- Jimmy Howard was hung out to dry on this one. The first 3 goals were just horrendous defensive breakdowns and while the 4th goal was stoppable, you can't let a guy walk right in and rip a wrister from 30 feet. It's going to be damn near impossible to trade Howard if he keeps getting left for dead
- I don't know what's wrong with the Wings at the Joe, but it needs to stop. They simply cannot win a game at home right now. Thankfully for them, the majority of their remaining schedule is on the road, but it's ridiculous to watch the product they put on the ice at the Joe