Certainly the story of the first 20 minutes of tonight’s game against the defending Western Conference Champions from Vancouver, was the brilliance of Jimmy Howard. The masked man made two point blank saves against the Sedins, and robbed Alex Burrows on a breakaway gone awry.
Howard kept Detroit in the game during a rather uneventful first period effort. Unimpressive starts haunted Detroit last season. Despite the win, coach Babcock will not be pleased about the Wings play in the first.
As soon as the puck was dropped for period 2, Detroit immediately looked as if they were in midseason form. The play of Todd Bertuzzi and Valtteri Filppula was particularly encouraging.
“Big Bert” moved around the rink with a purpose, playing the physical style the Wings require of him, while using those big, bomb-diffuser hands he has, to thread the needle over to Justin Abdelkader for the games first goal.
Abs’ confidence is already growing; shooting from everywhere, seemingly.
Wings fans who were on the fence about the value of Filppula, should be very glad he was not dealt in exchange for Zach Bogosian, which was a possibility.
Not only has Val’s speed been hastened, he has finally gotten the memorandum, that borders on a mandate, to shoot first and ask no questions.
On a pretty give and go with Johan Franzen, who has developed a fine chemistry with #51, Filppula one timed a feed from the mule over the shoulder of the Vancouver net-minder, Cory Schneider.
The fine Finn’s shot has improved. I had to do a double take when he let a slapper loose in the third. I’d wager he’s attempted no more than ten of those blasts since joining Detroit.
Ian White continues to impress and appear as if he’s played three seasons for the Wings, let alone three games.
The Ericcson-Kindl tandem continues to play sound hockey. I may lose a one dollar gamble when I’m prompted to say at the middle of the season, that I’m pleased Ericsson remained a Red Wing.
Although we were not treated to Pav’s silly, new, euro-techno goal song, we were treated to some magic, per usual. I counted one spino-rama, multiple shake and bakes, numerous steals, and a beautiful hit on Kevin Bieksa, knocking him on his can. Cooly uttering “showtime”, was Mickey Redmond’s apt response.
Detroit now has a hat trick. Let’s keep it up. Go Wings.
Topics: Alex Burrows, Cory Schneider, Daniel Sedin, Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Sedin, Ian White, Jakub Kindl, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Kevin Bieksa, Mickey Redmond, New Datsyuk Goal Song, Todd Bertuzzi, Valtteri Filppula, Vancouver Canucks