Wings Win Despite Inconsistent Effort
I thought this would be a recap that highlighted what the heck is wrong with the Detroit Red Wings. It still will be, but more importantly, they still control their own fate after a 3-2 shootout win in St. Louis tonight. Johan Franzen showed up for his last two shifts and scored twice and Todd Bertuzzi won it in the shootout. David Perron and Andy McDonald scored for the Blues.
The Wings now sit 4th in the West with 101 points, one up on Nashville. Noth teams have two games left.
The game was a chess match until the third period, where things got weird. Jimmy Howard and Brian Elliott were both spectacular in net, but in the third, both were solved twice.
Ryan Reaves got a five minute major for boarding Brad Stuart and the powerplay should have gave the Wings all they needed to go up by at least a goal. Not so. Perron stole a Jakub Kindl drop pass and scored on a breakaway. A few minutes after the non-existent advantage expired, McDonald walked right out in front off of another bad Kindl giveaway to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.
Detroit looked brutal on the powerplay and are now in the bottom third in the league even with all of their scorers back. For some reason Gustav Nyquist was taken off the top line with Datsyuk and Franzen, even though he was playing well. He isn't a checker, so why he was put with Miller and Abdelkader doesn't make sense to me.
After a thrilling overtime, Bertuzzi netted the only goal to seal the win for Detroit.
That being said, the Wings were lackluster and have their fair share of problems. Here's a brief list of things that need to change for them to even compete in the playoffs.
1. Brendan Smith needs to play over Kindl and possibly Quincey/Ericsson. He was so good with the Wings there is no reason not to play him.
2. Gustav Nyquist is good enough to play on the top two lines. He has sick hands and he's smart with the puck. The only knock is his size. That'll come in time.
3. Dan Cleary should not be counted on in overtime like tonight. He's old and beat up and isn't a scorer anymore. Put him on the checking line, he'll be more effective.
4. Move around on the powerplay. Their man advantage breakout is the same EVERY time; Lidstrom makes a drop pass to Datsyuk. And that's it. That's how Kindl got screwed for the shorthanded goal.
5. Shoot the puck! Especially Valtteri Filppula. He has a good shot but for some reason doesn't shoot it.
6. Don't shoot the puck! Ian White needs to tone down the slapshots. He shoots every time; doesn't even look. Half his shots are either blocked or are just child's play for goaltenders.
7. Light a fire under Franzen. Sure he scored a couple tonight, but don't kid yourselves; he was bad until his last two shifts. He was a ghost and he needs to play likea $5 million man.
8. Stop the turnovers. Both Blues goals are directly from giveaways. Howard can't bail them out every time.
9. Crash the net. The Wings haven't had any luck lately with making fancy passes, so get to the net and go hard!
10. Killer instinct. This is crunch time and every team they play will be out to get them. Detroit is a measuring stick and no opponent will let up, even if they aren't in the playoffs.
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