Two points is two points.
Yeah, this is where I'm at right now. The Red Wings absolutely shelled the Sabres for 40 minutes of the game this evening. They held them to single-digit 5v5 shots for crying out loud. That's domination. That's a pitiful performance from the Sabres, a team who committed an entire season(s) to rebuilding their organization with top draft picks, coaching changes, and trades.
And yet, the Red Wings found a way to make it a close game.
As I said before, two points is two points. Let's just be happy for that. I'm not interested in grabbing a pitchfork, or a torch. I just want to enjoy winning. I don't care about the playoffs, and I don't care about the streak. Let me enjoy my favorite team in peace.
Here we go.
The game started, and I could have sworn that the Joe Louis Arena was hosting a funeral. Energy seemed extremely low from the fans, and the team somewhat matched it. Not saying they performed bad out of the gate, but they were certainly a little, I don't know, cautious? Perhaps it's just me. They looked like a team that just had a touchdown dropped on them. Oh wait. They did!
If you didn't have access to the feed on Fox Sports Detroit, I'm sorry. You missed a great tribute to Gordie Howe for his 88th birthday which included a Happy Birthday singalong from the entire arena. It was a pretty awesome thing to listen to. Even Mickey Redmond was fighting back some tears, as you could tell by the sound of his voice.
The Red Wings looked a bit off on the power-play in the first two attempts, but the third time is the charm. Dylan Larkin potted his 22nd goal of the season on a wonderful play by Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg's decision to toe-drag the puck was one that could have ended ugly for the team, but the rebound found itself right near D-Boss and he made no mistake from there:
At the end of 20 minutes, Detroit leads 1-0. Shots are all Detroit (12-4), as well for 5v5 shot attempts (13-4).
Same as the first started. A lot of "safe" plays from both teams. The Red Wings generated some decent looks but did not make much of it. Riley Sheahan put the Wings up by two on an end-to-end play which was completed with a nasty wrister past Chad Johnson:
I really love it when Sheahan shoots the puck. His wrist-shot is unbelievably underrated. I wish the team would give him the opportunity to shoot more.
After Sheahan's goal, the game seemed to get a bit more chippy. Marcus Foligno tried playing tough-guy, and paid for it by sitting for two minutes. The Wings were unable to capitalize on the power-play chance, but the good news is that they own the 2-0 lead.
After forty minutes, Wings lead 2-0. Shots are 20-9, while 5v5 shot attempts are 29-12. NOTE: The Sabres have only five shots at even strength thus far in the game. That is very bad.
There wasn't much to write home about this period aside from two things:
Luke Glendening scored an empty-net goal.
The Sabres managed to make it a close game with two late goals from Zemgus Girgensons, and Sam Reinhart.
It should be no surprise that American Hero Luke Glendening scores more goals in this game than Jack Eichel, but the alarming thing is that the team didn't win this game comfortably despite demolishing the opposition for most of the game. We held the Sabres to only NINE (9) even-strength shot attempts. That is tied for 5th-fewest by a team this season. That is awful. The point I'm making is that while I want the team to make the playoffs, if they do, I really don't expect any sort of splash.
If the Red Wings are going to make the playoffs, I want to play the Capitals in the first round. Call me crazy, but the whole Presidents Trophy curse, and recent slump of their play really makes me like that matchup. You know what, yeah, I am crazy. Shut up!
We got two points. So did the Flyers. This season remains to be exhausting on multiple levels. Whatever. Winning is good.