So, I was awake for a long time last night, staring at the roof (I kind of have insomnia) and thinking about the game. So I'll write down a couple of the thoughts I had.
First of all, this is a game the Wings should have won. Really no excuse for losing it. The Wings were the best team, they dominated and if they hadn't shit their pants defensively a few times, they would have gotten 2 points out of this one.
Jimmy Howard had quite a good game. He was forced to stand up and be excellent several times. He could probably have been further out to cut the angle on the last goal, but none of the goals were his fault.
I guess the positive here is that the PK was perfect yet again. And that was thanks to good defensive play (actually by Janik a few times) and some defensive forward magic by guys like Miller and Eaves, sacrificing their bodies and playing good hockey. But honestly, those goals against were stupid. The first one was Stuart (!) blowing his coverage completely. The third one was okay (bad luck really) and the fourth one was thanks to fucking Lebda running around like a headless chicken, making ALL the wrong decisions. But the second one was the worst. I can't emphasise than one enough. Yes it was a bad bounce, but the whole situation shouldn't have happened. Look at the replay, watch Bertuzzi, it seems like he doesn't see that there's a Stars player behind him until he's quite close to the goal (or maybe he just didn't care) and that leads to him not getting the time to tie the guy up and move him out of the way. Look at the replay again, now watch Rafalski. He's pointing towards the Stars player and clearly shouting something. How could Bertuzzi miss that? Blows my mind.
I am not a big fan of Ken Hitchcock, but I agree with him on one point. Good puck decisions is the beginning of a good defense. The Wings didn't make those today, and they led to a lot of Dallas rushes and chances. Guys made turnovers in their own zone and the neutral zone. And several times the Wings failed to get it deep. Not good enough.
Well, let's start with the good things. Where Pasha has seemed to struggle a bit with the thought that he has to provide the offense because of the injuries earlier this season, he seemed to really take responsibility in this game. He was frickin' everywhere. He won the puck back time after time, dangled, created plays and were involved in all the three goals. And Bert seemed to work really well with him, scoring one (if not two, I am still not convinced that Pasha actually touched that). So that line was excellent.
But... The other lines didn't create much. Guys like Eaves and Miller didn't get their chances offensively, and seem to need creative players around them to produce. And with the likes of Z, Filps, Cleary and Mule out, that's kinda hard. Helm was great and got some chances, but he still fumbles the finishing. So, it looks like, until we get some guys back, this team is a one-line team offensively. And I don't like that thought. Detroit has always been dangerous because everyone could score on you. Now, with only one scoring line, I fear that they will be too easy to defend against and will have trouble if Pasha has an off game. Pavel is really the offensive catalyst all by himself now, and that worries me. I hope that someone else can start creating chances tonight, but I'm not really feeling confident about that. However, I would like to see how Miller and Eaves can do with Helm, maybe he can create something? I haven't seen any lines for tonight yet, so I'm gonna end this post with the lines I'd like to see:
Homer - Pav - Bert
Eaves - Helm - Miller
Drapes - Abbie - Leino
Maltby - Newbury - May
Thank fuck that it's only like six days to Val returns to the lineup.
3 weeks ago