Don't Call It a Comeback.....Nevermind: Wings 4 - Penguins 3 (OT)
The Red Wings staged a stunning comeback to win a game against the Penguins. It was fun.
I have no words, which is probably not the way you want to start a written recap of a hockey game. But trying to put thoughts and feelings into words after that is harder, even though it was one of the best comebacks I've seen in some time from Detroit.
Just for fun, here's the first part of the recap that I was writing just as Niklas Kronwall scored to tie the Wings' game against the Penguins late in the third period:
Maybe it's just me, but I don't get as upset when the Red Wings lose to the Penguins as I know others do. It's not that I don't like the Pens, it's just that I'm at the point where who the Red Wings play is usually less relevant to my mood than how they play.
That's why it's hard to take any positives
In a game where the Red Wings were dominated in all aspects except when on the PK (another perfect night), they somehow found a way to score the same number of goals as their season average in less than 3 minutes to tie the game and send it to OT, where Justin Abdelkader (I know, I can't believe it either) played the hero and gave the Wings 2 points that might not have been totally earned, but are certainly ones that will be taken.
I had a bunch of things to say about this game, like how Darren Helm needs to either score or GTFO, Andrej Nestrasil is not earning a spot in the lineup, and the PP still stinks. But instead, I've decided to throw a few random thoughts out there and then just bask in the glory that is a great comeback and win.
Here's the funny thing about overtime: there's such a difference in emotions when your team has allowed a late tying goal versus scoring one. Tell me that you weren't excited for the Wings to get a point and get to OT and I'll call you a smelly liar to your face.
Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall both made defensive plays late in the third period and in OT, respectively, that won't get talked about enough but were crucial to the victory. DeKeyser's pass to Henrik Zetterberg for the 2nd goal was an example of why all 30 teams wanted him when he was coming out of college. He's got the type of vision that, if properly developed, could make him a two-way threat for Detroit.
I want to make out with the surgeon that performed Zetterberg's surgery, because he's loaded the entire team on his back and has shown no issues that it's too much of a burden.
Why advanced stats for one game don't always tell the whole story: Pavel Datsyuk was a -9 Corsi tonight. He wasn't great, but that pass to set up Kronwall for the game-tying goal makes it the first 59 minutes irrelevant.
The Wings are still in the midst of a brutal stretch to open the season, but are 4-1-2 with Johan Franzen still out and Datsyuk getting back to game shape. If Jimmy Howard continues his strong play, the Wings will be just fine.