Point Salvaged, Conklin Sucks
The Detroit Red Wings were fortunate to escape Rexall Place with a point last night, as they fell behind 3-1 early and had a terrible second period as well. They ultimately fell 5-4 in a shootout.
Remarkably, they tied the game in the third and actually went ahead 4-3 on Todd Bertuzzi's second goal of the period. only to have Jordan Eberle score with 49 seconds left to tie. It was a classic Red Wings loss.
What have we learned from last night's game? Right of the hop; Jimmy Howard is awesome. He was out with a broken finger, leading to the mess that is the guy that replaced him. Which leads to the next point; Ty Conklin is a total pile of worthless goaltending equipment. Do you know those hockey trees that players use to air out their gear? Detroit might as well take his stuff and put it on one of those and stick it in the net. It'll probably have a better save percentage.
Conklin let is some timely goals yesterday and probably thought he still played for Edmonton. Edmonton fans love him too, right? Oh, yeah, never mind. Three goals on nine shots. Letting in a terrible lone range goal from who else: Sam Gagner again. One with 0.1 seconds left in the first when your team literally just scored 36 seconds before and seemed to be lucky to go into the break only down by one. But, nice going Ty, you blew it again.
Joey MacDonald came in for the second period. Deep down I screamed, "YES!" J-Mac was fantastic early, as Detroit was sloppy and carefree with the puck. He robbed Taylor Hall twice and was solid on every shot.
There were some bad goals for the Wings, too. Valtteri Filppula's shorthanded goal was hilarious. He fanned on a shot in the slot, it hit Ryan Whitney's skate and went as slow as rush hour traffic past Devan Dubnyk. Then Conklin took over and let in Gagner's second of the period.
The third period was different, with Detroit buzzing and getting some actual opportunities. Bertuzzi went to the dirty areas and was rewarded, jamming in a rebound for a 3-2 Edmonton lead. Drew Miller scored his third goal in as many games on a one timer from Darren Helm and Dan Cleary. Suddenly it was tied 3-3. Bertuzzi then dazzled with a nifty move around Andy Sutton and buried a wrist shot past Dubnyk. The Wings were leading a game that they didn't have any business in for the first two periods.
Eberle eventually solved MacDonald with under a minute to go. If it sounds familiar, it is. Detroit seems to give up goals in the final minute a lot. They salvaged a point, and after overtime settled nothing, the shootout loomed. Detroit was undefeated in the shootout this year until last night. Gagner and Bertuzzi scored, so it needed extra shooters. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on MacDonald, and Cleary made a half-hearted backhand effort to seal an Edmonton win. The Oilers picked up nine out of a possible 10 points in their past five games.
Sam Gagner has a miraculous 11 POINTS in 52 minutes of hockey, which is an NHL record, but isn't officially kept. Add in his shootout goal and that guy had an interesting last 24 hours.
We also learned that Todd Bertuzzi is for real. When he plays nasty he's at his best. Drew Miller seems to have the scoring touch, and Jonathan Ericsson sucks.
Detroit travels to Phoenix on Monday to face the Coyotes. Let's hope MacDonald is in net and actually plays well like he did last night. That way it might be time to say goodbye to Conklin.
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