I missed a chunk of the game recording a segment for TP:60, so this’ll mostly be thoughts on the first period and first half of the second.
1-3-1: The Lightning wasted no time falling into the 1-3-1, which quite frankly I find to be embarrassing for a team run by Steve Yzerman and consisting of such offensively skilled guy as Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier. A 1-3-1 to protect a lead is one thing. A 1-3-1 to kick off a game is another. For everybody’s sake, the Lightning should clearly start every game down a goal or two, because once the Wings got ahead, Tampa Bay started playing actual hockey. And the resultant product was a lot better.
Sure, they still lost, but at least it was entertaining. If I were a Lightning fan, I’d rather be entertained in a loss than bored in one.
The Wings’ Response To It: Anyway, I thought the Wings did a pretty good job of dealing with the 1-3-1. They had fairly good movement through center and most of the time I noticed the three Lightning stacked at the blueline, it wasn’t for very long as the Wings mostly managed to break through. So that was good. They mostly owned the first period.
No Flow: One thing that was bothersome about this one was the lack of flow early. It felt like there were constant whistles in the first. Things opened up in the second, thanks to the Lightning coming out of their shell, but that first period was frustrating.
Jimmy: Another very strong game from him. He looked especially good late in the game as the Lightning came on.
Ericsson: Scored a goal and set the world off kilter. Then took a penalty and put it back on.
Kronwall: Was active offensively. In the second, there was one power play where he had three separate scoring chances, though two were blocked.
Six: It’s the longest winning streak of the season and the Wings are playing pretty well. Friday’s matchup against the Sabres will be a good test of their focus against unfamiliar teams. If this game against Tampa was a preview, they should be in good shape.