Wings 3, Stars 1

I caught the game last night, but didn’t take notes so all I have is a few brief comments.

… It was a pretty even game, I thought, with both teams getting good chances and being thwarted by stellar goaltending at both ends. Both Chris Osgood and Mike Smith looked great last night. Maybe Turco ought to be watching his back. Also, Osgood’s finger isn’t 100%, making his performance all the more impressive.

The Stars’ goal was off a great set up and was aided by the fact that Niklas Kronwall was taken out of the play when a shot went off his knee, causing him to collapse to the ice. Osgood was well out of position, but the play should have been covered by the defense.

… Henrik Zetterberg’s assist on Pavel Datsyuk was a thing of beauty. The Highlight Machine replay really doesn’t do it justice. A perfect pass through his legs and those of the defenseman, along the edge of the goal, right to Pavel. The best part, aside from the actual goal, was seeing Mike Smith totally faked out, only to turn his head at the last second and realize his mistake.

… It was good to see the #1 line show up on the radar in the third period after a pretty quiet first 40+ minutes. Somehow Pavel and Hank logged over 20 minutes each, but I hardly remember seeing them on the ice until some time in the third. Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Johan Franzen were much more visible, for whatever reason. Still, Hank and Pavel ended up with a goal each, so I guess I can’t say they had a bad night.

… One thing I thought the Stars did better than the Wings last night was forecheck. They were very dangerous in the Detroit end when forcing the puck carriers, often making it very difficult for the Wings to get it out of the zone.

… Overall, not a bad game. Very defensively oriented, but the Wings stacked up well, of course, and were able to make plays when it was needed. It was an important win, as they keep pace with Nashville, who beat San Jose 5-0 last night. The Wings have a couple days off before they play in Phoenix on Saturday.

Filed under: 2006-2007, Game Reports

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Comments

  1. Rick says:

    We really are looking like a one line team again. Our first line is great. Maybe Babcock should consider mixing up the other three lines?
    Throw Filp on a line with Lang?

  2. Matt Saler says:

    I agree, it does seem to be that way. They have had trouble winning lately when the first line is silent, and looked like they were on the way to that last night until Pavel and Hank hooked up.

    I'd like to see Filppula and Hudler both get more ice time, whether with Lang or perhaps with Cleary. They need to get things rolling with at least the second line, that's for sure. They have all the tools, but can't seem to stay consistent.

  3. Steph says:

    I missed the whole first 52 minutes of this game – I got home, turned it on, saw the score and worried for all of ten seconds before Hank and Pavel pulled off that move. I think my jaw dropped on the replay just seeing how perfectly pulled off that was.

    I agree about the lines, as well – when Filppula and Hudler play, they deliver, and given more time it only suggests they'd deliver more. One of our biggest strengths coming in to this part of the season was having four lines that could get it done for us if need be, and we really need to get that back – and who knows, mixing it up some could be the way to do that.

  4. Matt Saler says:

    Steph, my jaw dropped and I got that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you see an instant-highlight reel play. I could watch it over and over again, from any angle, and I'd still think it's great.

    The surprising thing about the situation with the Young Guns is Babcock's attitude. He's apparently not a veteran's coach, but this year, he hasn't exactly been a young guys' coach, either. It seems that Filppula has replaced Williams as the coach's pet, but it hasn't translated into a lot more ice time. He's not standing out as much as he used to, but he probably would if he was on the ice more.

    I understand Babcock's not Hudler's biggest fan, but it's hard to deny his contribution. I think it's pretty sad that it's come down to limiting his ice-time so much.

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