Home = Win: Apparently. It was their 18th home win in a row and came in spite of the fact that they blew a two goal lead. The Wings just have their wits about them at the Joe in a way that they rarely seem to on the road. A similar sequence of events with the blown lead might have led to overtime at least. Yet at home, it’s no problem. They’ll just score more.
MacDonald: Barely tested in terms of shot totals, but stopped a few strong chances, which was great. He’s looking solid. And if the Wings can hold opponents to 17 shots every night he’s in, he’ll be okay. Yes, that’s a tall order. But they looked solid defensively in front of a goalie not named Jimmy Howard, which is something.
Zetterberg: That goal, I hope, is the start of something for him. He’s been solid lately and a good center for that second line, but it’s time for him to start putting the puck in the net himself. Now that he’s crossed the double-digit barrier, it’d be sweet if he at least made it to 20.
The First Gagner Goal: Ben Eager’s hit on Cleary had the effect of causing just about everyone in red to forget what they were supposed to be doing. They’d gotten the puck deep, but the Oilers didn’t just let it sit there. Rather, they quickly moved it back up ice while Kindl was busy stepping off, Jonny was busy staring down Eager and the forwards were busy doing I don’t know what.
Meanwhile, Ian White took his sweet time getting on the ice for Kindl. By the time the puck was fired up to Gagner, White was on and starting to chase, but it was too late. MacDonald was completely hung out to dry because everybody was distracted by Cleary getting sent into bench door.
I guess what gets me is the indecisiveness: everybody wanted to do something to Eager, especially Jonny, but no one did anything but stand there. Presumably, they were aware the Oilers were moving up ice and had a couple moments of indecision. It cost them. I’m not saying instigating a fight with Eager would have been the route to go. Instead, I would have preferred it if the guys on the ice had covered the play and if the Kindl/White change could have gone more smoothly.
Just another addition to the Wings’ changing troubles log this season.
Cleary: Did leave the game with a lower body injury during the second intermission, apparently Â because his knee flared up, not because of that hit. He’ll be out for a few games, which means Jan Mursak will get some playing time.
Emmerton: Speaking of Mursak, Emmerton’s penalty in the first earned this response:
Cory Emmerton thinks Jan Mursak deserves more ice time.
— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) February 9, 2012
Pretty much. But then he scored and it was all better.
Miller: Continued his little hot streak he’s got going, scoring his fourth goal in five games. I can live with that.
Holmstrom: Got jobbed by the officials on the goaltender interference penalty. He was rubbed out of the play by Whitney into Khabibulin and he’s the one getting called. Pretty lame. That was part of a span in the game where the refs seemed to be more interested in making the game their own than letting the teams play.
The Race: The win gave the Wings 74 points, which leads the League and put them five points up on the Blues and Predators. Both of them were idle last night and both play tonight: STL in NJ and NSH in OTT. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are at 65 points and don’t play until Friday, in San Jose.