Not a Good Start: This one did not start out well. The Wings gave up a goal 35 seconds into the game when Nick got caught flat-footed by the Jets turning the flow back in the direction of the Wings’ end. A little backhand shot by Bryan Little later, the Jets were up 1-0. It looked like things were going to follow an all-too-familiar script we’ve seen in recent Â years with the Wings and the Thrashers/Jets.
But: The Wings changed the script. Just over six minutes of play later, Todd Bertuzzi got things going for the Wings with a goal at 6:57. Eight minutes later, Zetterberg made it 2-1. And the Wings never looked back. They bombed the Jets with a four-goal second period and wrapped up the scoring at 1:12 of the third to complete the rout. Pretty sweet.
Jimmy: I didn’t think the Jets’ goal was the best one to allow, but he acquitted himself pretty well for the rest of the game in the few instances where the Jets showed life. The Wings didn’t need to lean on him so much tonight.
The Goals: The Bertuzzi goal came on a great bit of vision from Lidstrom, who spotted Franzen cherry-picking on the Jets’ line and sent the puck up ice. He missed the connection with Franzen at the line, but Mule’s jump in chasing down the puck set things up perfectly for a behind-the-net pass out front to a waiting Bertuzzi.
The Jets iced the puck before the Wings’ second, and managed to get it to center following the faceoff. They tried a quick change, but the Wings made them pay with a Kronwall’s quick thinking in firing the puck back up ice. Fil took it over the line and dropped it off to Zetterberg, who ripped in the go-ahead goal from the faceoff circle.
For the third, Franzen found Hudler coming off the bench for a snap shot from the faceoff dot. Pavelec was victimized by the obliviousness of his defense on that one.
Chris Conner made it 4-1 with some help from the Winnipeg defense, sending the puck in off a couple redirects from the right wing.
The fifth Red Wing goal came after Pavel Datsyuk blew it on a 2-on-1 with Lidstrom. He got another chance to make a play seconds later after regrouping at center. He took it down the right-wing and shoveled a perfect backhand pass to Filppula, who was coming off the bench like Hudler earlier. One of the prettier plays you’ll see.
Goal #6 came on another bit of Jets incompetence: Bertuzzi carried in but lost the puck. The Jets couldn’t get it out. So Stuart lobbed it on net. Pavelec made the save, but kicked the rebound right to Miller, who promptly put it in the net. That was the last we saw of Pavelec.
The seventh came on the prettiest play of the night: Byfuglien gave it away to Hudler, who sent it to Zetterberg out front. Zetterberg immediately sent it back to Hudler to school Chris Mason and make it 7-1. Just toying with the Jets at that point.
After All the Scoring: The Jets were either too demoralized to make anything of the game or incapable of doing so, and the Wings were just looking to play out the string on the game. So the rest of the third was kind of boring.
Ericsson: One of just four Wings without a point (Abdelkader, Kindl and Holmstrom were the others), but the only one of the four to take a penalty. He did manage to end up +2, but I can’t let the fact that he not only was pointless, but actively hurt the team with the penalty, no matter now slight the hurt was.
Scary Moment: Evander Kane drove to the net in the first period, helped by a Kronwall push. His knee caught Jimmy in the hip and evidently shook Howard up enough to cause him to skate to the bench. Fox Sports cut to commercial there, but by the time they came back, Jimmy was back in the net. That was a depressing commercial break, though. The Wings are in trouble if anything happens to Jimmy Howard. Red Wing defensemen have to stop pushing guys into him.
Next: Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Here’s hoping Sydney Crosby’s able to go for that one. Rival or not, I don’t want to see him missing time due to anything related to his concussion.