Wings make history in near-perfect fashion
The Red Wings can downplay it all they want, but last night was one for the ages.
The Wings did, what nobody has been able to accomplish in NHL, win 21 consecutive games on home ice.
"We're thrilled this has happened for our team," coach Mike Babcock said. "I think it's really good for our logo, it's really good for our ownership, our team. I'm proud of the guys. They've worked hard and now let's get on with it."
What originally seemed to look like a potentially close match up, was handled with a bit of dominance on the part of the Wings. The first stat to look at is the penalties, where the Wings only had three of ten total in the game. Those penalties hurt Dallas early as Henrik Zetterberg scored the first goal of the night with an assist from Pavel Datsyuk.
The Wings also did great at keeping Dallas off the board, until the end of the game. With less than a minute left in regulation, Adam Burish tipped the puck in with assists from Ryder and Eriksson. Although this dampered the mood for a few seconds, it was clear the Wings had it in the bag. This goal also didn't take away from the strong effort from Joey MacDonald, who has won four straight since filling in for Jimmy Howard (finger).
With a streak like this, it is clear that MacDonald is able to hold his own in high pressure situations, and that should provide a bit of comfort as the Wings fight to hold on to home advantage in the playoffs. Speaking of the post-season....
The Red Wings victory makes them the first team to 80 points this season, which keeps them on top of the Central division, Western conference and NHL. The race for that spot is a lot closer now that New York is only a point behind them. Wings fans can at least be comforted in the fact that St. Louis is now more than two games behind after a loss last night to Columbus.
So now the question that matters most in the NHL: Will the Wings win the Cup?
It's entirely too early to call, but the way they are playing right now puts them at an advantage. They clearly play better at home, and right now they appear to be aiming to have that advantage going into the final third of the season.
They also have a semi-reliable back up goalie in MacDonald and a consistent offensive threat in Datsyuk.
Babcock will let the boys celebrate this win, but he will humble them in time for their next game. Sticking to business is what this team likes to do first and foremost.
But for now, Wings fans can exercise some well deserved bragging rights.