This match against Boston was the best game I’ve seen all season. The tilt was dripping with all of the electric plasma of a playoff game.
It was a joy to watch, and it being played at the Joe is the only thing that could have made it better.
Defeating the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and a team that had won an astonishing 10 games in a row, was a huge step for the Wings to take in turning these puzzling first 21 games into a success story.
This win puts Detroit two points out of a tie for first place in the conference. Here are some things to think about after this game.
Datsyuk, the ultimate warlock of hockey, has returned to form. His play these past four games has been pure voodoo.
I expect him to continue this play and see his name begin to rise on the points leaders sheet.
Datsyuk’s goal in regulation was a beauty, deftly kicking the puck up to his stick to put it past Tuuka Rask.
Pav also, almost automatically, buried his chance in the shootout, with his go-to move that has become impossible for goalies to stop.
When Pavel uses this move, he will either bury it, or it will go wide. It cannot be stopped.
Doc Emrick, one of my favorite announcers, was wailing in the third period as Datsyuk pulled a caper on the Boston defense, nearly putting the game to bed.
This game reminded me of why I have a red “13” whittled into my arm.
Ok, I’m done worshipping. Thanks for indulging me. Let’s talk about Jimmy Howard.
This guy is approaching superstar status. He is consistently engaging in the most spectacular puck larceny. He is also displaying the confidence and swagger that is endemic (in a good way) amongst the finest puck stoppers.
I chatted with a fan the other day, and mentioned that spectacular saves are not appreciated enough in fandom. Well, they are by me, and I hope by you as well, because this kid from New York has it in him to be one of the best.
Not since Hasek have we had a game stealing net-minder. Howard is homegrown, and a relative youngster.
This is cause for celebration.
Valtteri Filppula, is quietly having the season of his career, and I knew he would.
I wrote before of Fil, that he is a player with stockpiled ability, who would simply take longer than we would like to manifest it.
Well, it is manifesting now.
Fil had his fifth goal of the season today on a slick give and go with Hank.
#51 is fearless, and determined. He is generating scoring chances every other shift. This man is Red Wing, and is here to stay. We have our own Finnish Flash now.
Hank is about where Pav was a week ago. His struggles are there, but when watching him, you get the sense that they are numbered and a return to excellence is imminent. He is too committed, hard working and gifted for this to not happen.
Todd Bertuzzi has found a great chemistry with Homer and Pav. He moves very well, still has those soft mits, is a fine set up man and draws attention.
His value in shootouts is well documented. Talk about some mesmerizing goals. Big Bert owns the puck, and he owned Rask to seal the victory for Detroit.
I have to give some props to Boston. This is one good team. Their balanced attack and emphasis on team play certainly makes a return to the finals plausible. And, oh yeah, they also have the best goalie in the world in Tim Thomas, who did not play today.
Things could have turned out differently if he did, even though Tuuka Rask is an excellent goalie and has one of the coolest last names ever. Raaaaaask.
I’m tempted to harp on Ericsson, but I’ve been more than critical of him in the past, so I’m gonna pass this time.
The Wings are now playing like Wings. The team has gone from a pitiful state of affairs to playing hockey at its finest. This is the nature of the beast.
Imagine, the Wings playing like this and adding a coveted forward, which I believe still needs to be done. The team then becomes absolutely lethal.
The Wings were reborn out west. Let’s watch them return to Stanley Cup form.
And as always, go wings