Update: Kronwall’s fine, apparently. Wrote this before the news broke. Great, great news.Â - Matt
The Rut Deepens: Early in the game, Mickey Redmond said he would be surprised if the Wings didn’t explode in the form of a 4- or 5-goal night. Looking at the Wings’ play in the early going, that wasn’t such a far-fetched statement. But as time went on and the Wings’ efforts came up fruitless, it seemed they were headed for that worn-out template: the Wings storm out of the gates, run into a hot goalie and fizzle out. I thought the goal at 6:00 would help avoid falling completely into that mold, but immediately after that, they started getting into penalty trouble. Not a ton, and certainly not enough that a team playing well wouldn’t be able to overcome, but enough to derail what’s become a fragile mental state for the Wings.
By the end of the game, the Wild had had 8 power plays, some of which were from chintzy calls. Others were Red Wings stupidity. And none of them are an excuse for failing to score more than a goal in this game.
Jimmy: Came to play. And showed that even at his best, he can’t necessarily win a game for a team that doesn’t seem to want to. He had no chance on either goal and gave his teammates every chance to end their slide. They just didn’t take advantage of what he offered. Frustrating.
I hope he steps forward in a leadership role in calling out his teammates for their lack of support.
Harding: I don’t know what the Wild’s plan is for him, but if he ever ends up on the trading block, it wouldn’t shock me to see him go to a team that’s being built with a mind to beat the Wings. He apparently owns them. Played very well, obviously.
Kronwall: Really hoping he’s okay after the Koivu cheapshot. It’s extremely upsetting that the elbow wasn’t called and that would be true even if it didn’t lead directly to what amounted to a 4-on-2 goal. You can defend Â yourself from getting hit, but that does not include throwing your elbow into a guy’s face.
Holmstrom: Victim of yet another lame call. When you get bumped into the goalie by the defenseman, I’m not so sure it should be a penalty.
The Ending: Infuriating. But more so because the Wings let it get to that point. This game never should have gone to overtime. A team with this kind of firepower available on its roster should not be held to a single goal by a team like the Wild when the goal is to pull out of a 4-game slide.
Going Forward: If the team loses Kronwall for any length of time, that’s going to be a big blow, especially for the short-term goal of getting a simple win. But they need to pull one out Thursday against the Flames. They’ve got five home games ahead of them that offer a perfect opportunity to even this out and get the season back on track.