More Like It: If you think my negativity during this stretch has been about the losing, let me set the record straight. It’s not the losing that bothers me so much as how games are lost. That’s not to say I like losing, but there are losses and there are losses.
This was one of those losses I can stomach: the Wings played a hard-fought game, kept their legs moving and pursued the puck. That’s really the base level requirement I have for them as a fan: that they put in the effort that it takes to pay attention to detail. Most nights, a healthy Red Wings team that does that will win. Last night, they did it and were not healthy. And they lost. That’s okay, relative to the other losses in this skid, where they did not put in that level of effort.
This is the one loss in the skid that can fairly be attributed to being so shorthanded. They matched a conference leader blow for blow, went to overtime and were overmatched in the end. The same game with a roster not consisting of so many minor leaguers probably ends differently.
D-zone: That’s not to say the Wings were perfect. They were strongest in the offensive zone, but had some trouble in their own end with getting the puck out. But there’s where a depleted defense really stands out.
The Richards goal was inexcusable, no matter how depleted the D is, though. Coast to coast goals shouldn’t happen.
Conklin: Looks like he found his game down in the AHL, which is good news. If MacDonald ends up being out for the season with this back stuff, Conklin seems to be ready to step in.
Power Play: Only had the one chance, so there’s not a lot to read in that. Three shots, which isn’t terrible.
Janik: Set a career record for scoring chances. Of course, he didn’t score. As JJ noted, “it’s awful seeing a pass get to a wide-open Red Wings’ defenseman and realizing that guy’s wearing #37.”
Anyway, he was sent down today, so we may be getting Kindl or Lidstrom back this weekend.
Datsyuk: An off night from Pavel, which was disconcerting. Fortunately, Zetterberg kept at it.
Smith: Still has some work to do on his own-zone game, but he’s really confident in the offensive zone, which I love. Seriously, guys, it’s night and day difference between AHL Smith and NHL Smith.
The Race: Back in fourth, by a point. The Blues are still at 100 and finally play again today.
Next: They face a hot Hurricanes team and need to bring this effort to the rink. Time to end the skid.