Darryl Bootland celebrates his first career goal during the first period of the Wings 7-1 win over the Oilers
The Wings earned an easy win last night over Edmonton down at the Joe. They outshot the Oilers 43-16 and went 4-for-8 on the power play. The Oilers didn’t out up much of a fight, playing a very sloppy game and pretty much handing the win to the Wings. Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish had this to say about the game “I realized it was going to be a long night in the middle of the second shift.” Gee, that’s a great attitude to have for a whole game. The Wings pretty much dominated all three periods, though they did not have a perfect game by any means.
Manny Legace got the start but did not get much work and only had to make one or two tough saves. He looked like a fool on the one Oilers goal when he flubbed a centering shot from the corner. It was deflected a little but he still should have had it. The Wings were already up by three so it didn’t have much impact on the game.
Though they won 7-1, the Wings still looked a little sloppy on offense and somewhat iffy on defense. Still too many lazy passes and too much half-hearted puck pursuit. Defensively, they are still giving up chances though last night was a big improvement over other nights.
Bonehead play of the night: Tomas Holmstrom, after breaking his stick near the blueline on a shot, flew into the corner and attempted to lay a hit on an Oilers player. Of course, the Oiler saw it coming and side stepped the flying Holmstrom, who went flying into the boards shoulder first. Homer returned to the Red Wings bench and soon after, left for the locker room and never came back. Apparently, he separated his shoulder and will be evaluated in a couple days when the swelling goes down. Dave Lewis says “Homer is going to be out for a while. Weeks more than days.” Wonderful. Just what the Wings needed, another forward injury. They already have McCarty, Whitney and Zetterberg out. Now they have one of their key players on the power play gone. The Wings are thinking about bringing another player up from Grand Rapids but I think it’s time for a trade of some kind.
The Captain scored his 670th goal in his 1,400th game and it’s looking like he may be able to hit 700 goals after all.
Brett Hull scored his 726th goal and is now within five goals of Marcel Dionne for third place on the all-time list.
Steve Thomas scored a beautiful goal off an amazing feed from Pavel Datsyuk, who had just stolen the puck near the blue line, to make it 7-1. Datsyuk was down on the ice as he dished off the puck to Thomas who deked around Stephen Valiquette (who replaced Ty Conklin in the third period) and backhanded it into an open net. It was a beautiful thing.
Kris Draper had two goals last night and is having a career start. He demonstrated a rare set of hands on his second goal when he shot it into the top-left corner, threading the needle between Valiquette’s shoulder and the post. I never would have expected such a shot from Draper, who may have some of the worst hands in the league (he can’t score on a breakaway to save his life) but that was a goal-scorer’s goal, for sure. He’s had a great year so far and is a close second to Steve Yzerman for team MVP to this point. His nine goals are a reward for all the hard work he has put in.
Darryl Bootland scored his first NHL goal last night with 18.8 seconds remaining in the first period. Draper got the puck from Conklin, making up for cutting Bootland’s nose in the celebration. Congratulations, Booter! I’m wondering if Dave Lewis got to Bootland (either that or shaving off his tough guy goatee had an effect) because he had at least two opportunities to have a fight last night but he backed down and instead drew a penalty. That’s a good thing but I found myself feeling disappointed when there wasn’t a fight. Bootland restrained himself until the where period where he fought Steve Staios and drew another penalty in the process. He had a good game, in my opinion. He almost had a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight) but didn’t get an assist.
Brendan Shanahan scored the other Wings goal. He still seems to be AWOL, however, and only checks in with a goal every once and a while. Come on, Shanny, get it together.
Boyd Devereaux has got to go. I feel bad for him but he’s pretty much useless on the ice. He whiffs on slam-dunk chances and in the rare instances where he gets points it’s only because he was alive on the ice at the time. He has done very little to justify his existence on the team so far this season which is too bad because a couple years ago, he was pretty valuable. I wish the Wings could trade him somewhere and get someone who will do something on the ice in return. Sorry, Boyd.
It was a much needed win for the Wings and something they’ll need to build on for the next week or so. Hopefully, they’ll hold on to this momentum going into Friday and Saturday and pull off wins in those two games as well. They have to if they want to get out of the knot that is the Western Conference. They are now 12-9-2-0 and are trailing the Blues by 1 point.
Next up: vs. NYI, tomorrow, 7:30 EST
Freep | ESPN | Box Score
Maltby-Draper-Holmstrom(Holmstrom lost, shoulder injury)