Red Wings Explode and Score Six Unanswered Goals

Photo Credit: AP Photo

It’s funny how things go in sports. The Detroit Red Wings had a little slip-up before the Christmas break. They went 2-3-1 from December 13th through the 23rd. Included in that record was a 5-0 blowout loss against the LA Kings and a 4-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings were being talked about as the elite team in the NHL, but with those 4 losses the talk went away. It’s clear that the Red Wings are going to be one of the top teams in the NHL by season’s end, but when judging teams the media tends to go with the motto: “what have you done for me lately.”, and now with a 3 game winning streak, the Red Wings have the second best record in the NHL and are yet again being talked about as the elite team this season and the team to beat.

Last night the Red Wings defeated the Dallas Stars by a score of 7-3. By just looking at the score it would be hard to believe, but the win was a comeback win thanks to a 6 goal explosion.

Things started off just great for the Wings. Steve Ott took a tripping penalty 1:24 into the game. Ott is one of the league’s biggest pests, and when you can get him in the penalty box, you know your team is playing smart hockey and not letting him get under your skin. Just 12 seconds into the power play the Red Wings capitalized. Jiri Hudler scored his second goal in two games. It’s safe to say that he is a VERY happy Hudler now. That goal was all the scoring in the first period.

In the second period, the Stars came out charging. The Stars scored 3 goals in just 1 minute and 14 seconds. Just like that the Stars were on top 3-1. But they would fail to keep the lead. Those three goals would be all the offense Dallas could produce.

When your team is losing who do you expect to rally the troops and get things going? On most cases it’s the captain. He doesn’t have to score goals, but leading on the ice by example can turn a game around. Nick Lidstrom showed why he is not only one of the best captains in the league but one of the best players as well. Two minutes after Dallas scored to make it 3-1, Lidstrom scored on a beautiful slapshot goal to cut the lead in half. And late in the period Patrick Eaves scored to tie the game at 3 on a power play goal. You wouldn’t expect it at that moment, but Eaves would go on to become the biggest story of the night.

The third period was a bit bizarre in a way. The shot totals were low for both teams. And despite only having 7 shots on goal, the Red Wings scored 4 goals. The first two goals came from Brad Stuart and Kris Draper. It was great to see both of those guys score.

The last two goals were both scored by Patrick Eaves (one an empty-netter.) Eaves completed the hat trick. It was his first career NHL hat trick. He’s not known for being the most prominent goal scorer, but with 14 goals already, something is working for him this season.

With the win and the two points the Wings now have 52 points. That’s the best in the West by 3 points. In the east the Penguins have 53 points. The Wings are one point behind, but have 2 games in hand. With their depth and winning ways, how can you argue against the Red Wings being the best team in the NHL (even when you don’t judge specifically on points)?