19: So that was the Wings’ 19th straight win at home, which is one short of tying the NHL record. I wouldn’t call it their best of the streak, but there’s a sense which it was one of the more encouraging ones.
MacDonald: And that sense comes out of how well Joey MacDonald played, and how sold out his teammates were around the net for stopping the puck. The former indicates this guy can play, and the latter indicates that his teammates will play for him. Neither of those qualities have been showing up in Ty Conklin games this year.
Mac had the puck hit the iron on him a few times, needed a couple teammates to stop the puck for him, and had a few glorious Duck chances just plain blown by the shooter, but he still looked like the second best goalie we’ve seen in Red-and-White this year. He notched his second win and may have cemented a backup spotâ€”until the trade deadline, at least. I don’t know what happens then, but Joey’s eliminating the need to deal for a #2. If Holland finds a #1b for an affordable price, maybe Joey gets a pat on the head and sent back to GR.
But for now, he’s the guy. And it’s great to have confidence in your backup again.
Not Perfect: The Wings weren’t flawless in front of Joey, obviously. The most memorable case is the Parros goal, where 1) Franzen let a pass along the boards get by him and picked up by a Duck and 2) where Ericsson let Parros get between himself and the goal, leading to an easy redirect to make it 1-0 Ducks. Not a great sequence.
The Ducks: Kept it low tempo as much as they could for stretches of the game, which didn’t make for a lot of excitement. How far Anaheim has fallen.
Kindl: Looked pretty strong throughout the night and was especially involved from the offensive blueline, initially getting credit for Abdelkader’s goal, which was one of a few chances he created. Good to see.
Franzen: Gaffe on the Parros goal aside, I thought he looked more his positive self in this one, using his size well and creating chances. It didn’t pay off in terms of points, but maybe he’ll be on again tomorrow.
Holmstrom: Made it game #1,000 and had a pretty typical night around the net. Unfortunately, no goals or points, but there were a couple instances where he was very close to knocking it in.
If he can bear the abuse for another year, I hope he comes back. It’s going to be such a different team without him.
The Race: The Wings got their two points on a night that Chicago lost (again!), bringing them to 76 points and holding them in the League. They’re now five points up on St. Louis, seven up on Nashville and nine up on Chicago. The Blues do have three games in hand on them (while Chicago and Nashville only have one each), but the Wings have a pretty nice padding at the moment.
Nashville (in Boston), St. Louis (vs. Colorado), and Chicago (at Phoenix) are all active tonight.