Howard Shines, Wings Lose 5th Straight
Jimmy Howard played spectacular last night, turning aside 25 of the 27 shots he faced, but the Detroit Red Wings ultimately fell 2-1 in overtime. Howard was pitching a shutout until exactly a minute left in the third period when Mikko Koivu deflected a Justin Faulk shot behind him to tie the tie at one.
Detroit's losing streak is now at five games, offsetting the blistering five game winning streak to start the season.
Howard saved the Red Wings' bacon the entire game, making big save after big save, especially on the powerplay. Detroit took nine minor penalties last night, and as Mike Babcock pointed out on the bench last night (via Larry Murphy), "We aren't helping ourselves right now."
Clearly not. Even though Detroit's penalty kill was good, it was all Howard. He made some huge saves to keep the game at 1-0. Speaking of big saves, Josh Harding is becoming a Red Wings killer. Now you know why I wanted the Wings to sign him in the offseason. Harding was a beast, battling with Howard and stopping 36 of 37 shots, many of them game savers. One was a save on Nick Lidstrom, bringing back memories of 2009 when Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the captain in the exact same situation, except Harding made it look spectacular, dropping onto his back, his legs flailing and the puck hitting his glove.
Lidstrom scored Detroit's only goal on a deflection in front on the net (sounds weird doesn't it?), which is the new system assistant Jim Blashill incorporated into the powerplay.
Detroit killed themselves with penalties, and in return, Gustav Nyquist only played a bit over ten minutes during the game. They could not capitalize on his speed and youth to create a spark, and instead he sat on the bench while Todd Bertuzzi and Drew Miller took stupid penalties. Johan Franzen took a goaltender interference penalty in overtime, leading to a 4 on 3 powerplay, where Koivu gave Niklas Kronwall a head shot while going into the corner, stunning Kronwall and leaving him injured on the ice. Three seconds later Devin Setoguchi lifted a rebound over Howard to seal the win for Minnesota.
The Red Wings were incredulous that there was no call on the play. Even if there was, Detroit should not have been in this situation.
People that are saying that Detroit needs defence needs to give their head a shake. Their goals against is 5th in the league! So what can we turn to? Goal scoring! Put the damn puck in the net, and that's how you'll win the game. You play... to win the game!
So maybe we know what Ken Holland should be targeting at the trade deadline; a goal scoring forward who is a stud night in and night out. We can't wait for Johan Franzen and Valterri Filppula to smarten up, or Dan Cleary to stop being a plug, or Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to score 100 points each. Who else do you have? Jiri Hudler? Oh, right, he was a healthy scratch for Nyquist. be ballsy, go out and get Zach Parise at the deadline. Don't ask me how, just do it. Make it happen.
Did anyone see Jonathan Ericsson out there last night? Me neither, I was just checking.
I guess this article turned out to be a little bit of a rant, but this is unacceptable. Detroit is a goal scoring team that isn't scoring goals. Something needs to be done to solve the problem.