Wings 5, Avalanche 2

Still On the Horse: This was a solid effort overall. An excellent one through the Avs’ first goal, though after that it wasn’t quite as great. Maybe not as complete a game as Saturday’s, though without that gifted goal, I expect it would have been. They do need to be able to react better to opposition goals, however. The Avs got right back in it despite being down by two at that point.

Jimmy: Continues his strong play. He’s looking reliably strong so far, which is a great sign.

Nick: If he keeps this up for the full season, he’s going to be hard pressed to justify walking away from the game. Certainly, his usual basis for considering it, a decline in play, won’t apply. He’s playing great right now.

Cleary: I’ve seen a few down comments from fans on Twitter about Cleary and while a single goal in one game isn’t going to change any minds, 100 goals in a Red-and-White does mean something. The guy belongs here.

Mule: Barely got anything on that Filppula shot, but the hat trick stands. All I want is for him to not consider his monthly goal quota met. More please, Johan. Don’t slow down.

That Goal: … by the way, was awesome. Great set up started by Hank to end up on Fil’s stick for the actual scoring shot. Pretty slick.

The Avs’ First: Couple things: I’m shocked the ref didn’t lose sight of it there and it’s a little annoying that Jimmy being pushed into the net didn’t mean anything. Oh well.

Brunnstrom: Barely played, but he’s looking better in this stint than before he went to GR. Guess that provided a little motivation.

Next: The Wings have Edmonton on Friday. The Oilers are 9-3-2 with 20 points and second in the West. That likely won’t last forever, but it’s a definite sign that things have changed in Edmonton. The Wings can’t skate into that one expecting to walk over them. A complete game would be a great thing to bring to the ice.

Filed under: 2011-2012, Game Reports



  1. Garth says:

    On Cleary, I'm not sure what the comments on twitter are, but I like him a lot. My only problem is that he shouldn't be in the top six, frankly. The problem with the Wings in their quest for a long playoff run is that there's too much bottom six and not enough top sex. We really have 3-4 top six and the rest of our forwards are bottom six. Z, Datsyuk and Franzen are absolute top six and Filppula is a sometimes top six, while Holmstrom could qualify as top six if the rest of the line consists of some combo of Z, Datsyuk and/or Franzen. Cleary, Bertuzzi & Hudler are solid third liners but shouldn't be relied on to be in the top six because they don't really belong there. They have flashes sometimes, but would all be at home and in a more appropriate role if they were third liners. Really, Cleary & Hudler with Abdelkader or Helm could be a terrific third line.

  2. Garth says:

    To me, this is pretty evident, and it's been this way since Hossa and Samuelsson left. As the Wings have gotten younger and promoted from GR, guys have been promoted to the top six simply by default rather than because of merit. With Hudler and Bert's contracts up this summer and with the available cap space it would be great to pick up an actual, bonafide top sixer to fill that gap.

  3. Matt Saler says:

    I'm fairly convinced of Cleary's top six bona fides. He's capable of producing at that level. Bertuzzi, Hudler? Maybe not. It may be a blind spot with me (I own a Cleary jersey and really like the guy), but I can live with him in the top six on the Wings.

    That said, an off-season or trade deadline acquisition could be a welcome event. We'll see.

  4. Alex says:

    On that first goal by the Avs, yeah it definitely hurt to see that one happen, but had Jimmy actually covered it, it would have been a different story.

  5. Alex says:

    Zach Parise has been all the buzz recently. I wouldn't mind seeing him play with Datsyuk. Get him at the deadline and then either re-sign Lidas or sign an elite defenseman (Sutter). I'd rather Lidstrom stay of course, he's playing more than amazingly. Last night he had a god awful turn over (I think mostly due to the recipient of his pass not paying attention) but that is literally the only mistake I can recall him making ever because they are so rare.

  6. Alex says:

    Also I believe in Cleary too. He could be a 30 goal scorer, would have been last year if not for injury. Right now he's not playing 100%, he looks like he's got some sort of lingering injury or something. Datsyuk doesn't seem to be 100% either. Add in Holmstrom as a defensive liability and I think our 1st line struggles are understandable.

  7. Matt Saler says:

    Yeah, I don't know how much of the Parise talk is wishful thinking or likely. I tend to think it's more wishful thinking. But we'll see.

    If Nick leaves, even with Kronwall on the upswing, the Wings are sure to gun for a big defenseman on the market, I'd think. But given how Nick's playing now, that may not be a real immediate concern.

  8. Garth says:

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Cleary. I'm also a huge fan of Helm, but that doesn't mean I think he should be in the top 6.

    I think that a few years of getting people like Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen to easily transition from younger lower-line players into bona fide top six players has set up unreal expectations in Detroit. It's now just expected that you'll come onto the team, play a few years and then naturally move up to the first or second line, and it's not a fair expectation.

    Cleary's a great heart guy and has settled into being a solid 40-50 point guy, which is nothing to sneeze at, and it was great to be getting that kind of production from him especially when the Wings were pressed up against the cap, but when you have the cap space Detroit has there's little reason to be relying on a guy like Cleary to be producing on a top line, he should be free to simply play his role.

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