Mar. 25, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Damien Brunner (24) celebrates with center Joakim Andersson (63) after a goal by defenseman Ian White (18) during the first period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It's Like They're Sleepwalking; Detroit Red Wings: 3 - Phoenix Coyotes: 2

Yeah, the Wings were pretty bad on Monday night.

So what?

They picked up their 4th straight win, scored ANOTHER road powerplay goal (and then another), and outshot and generally outplayed the opposition. They did this all on the second half of a back to back and their third game in four nights, while 3000 miles away from home and three hours behind schedule. In Detroit time, they scored goals in the same game on two different days. They were really, really f****** tired. Sleepwalking, if you will. Just because they didn’t dominate the Coyotes, who are *far* from being the worst team in the conference, doesn’t mean they’re bad. They got a hard win against a solid team in an awful situation. Good on them.

Hoookay. My first Twitter-fueled rant. Onto the recap:

A rather slow (and by rather slow, I mean frustratingly awful) start to the game still saw the Wings getting on the board first with a slapshot from recent doghouse graduate Ian White. It was thought that Damien Brunner tipped it originally, but credit was given back to White a few minutes later. Poor Brunner. He was all over the ice and hounding the puck constantly – he deserved a goal for his efforts. Anyway, Detroit’s slow start eventually caught up to them and saw them give up a pair of goals in the middle of the period by Martin Hanzal and Rob Klinkhammer - both resulting from horrible defense in front of the net. Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of Holland acknowledging the need to add a sizeable, mean shutdown defenseman…Ladislav Smid, perhaps? Although with Douglass “He’s Swedish?” Murray costing two second round picks, I shudder to think what Smid will be worth at the deadline…

The first 19:00 of the second period consisted of bad hockey from both sides. The Wings were lax defensively and showed an inability to convert offensively…but the Coyotes showed the same. Detroit continued to heavily outshoot their opponents, despite looking like mini-mites. However, the powerplay at the end of the period was spectacular (ties in with my rant – the Wings were good, just tired. Extra time and space on the powerplay showed that), and culminated with a goal off a beautiful shot by Johan Franzen.

Detroit carried that momentum into the third period and played much better hockey to begin with, adding another powerplay goal from none other than the wizard himself, Pavel Datsyuk. After that, Phoenix came out on all cylinders, as was to be expected, and controlled the game from then on out. Strong play from backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson, including a save on a penalty shot from Phoenix’s Lauri Korpikoski and a game-saving…uhh, save with less than a minute remaining in the period let Detroit hold on and capture the W.

 

Yay, time for ramblings!

- What the hell was up with Valtteri Filppula? Giving the puck up everywhere, making dumb decisions both defensively and offensively…honestly though, I’ll take 20 more games of that and him at an affordable price long term over paying him 5 million per season. Or trading him. Or losing him to free agency. Oh, his powerplay line was ridiculously awful too…Cleary and Nyquist were brought down by him. Or maybe vice versa?

- I’d love to see Holland make a high-profile deadline move. Something earth-shattering. Not because it would be good for the team, just because I’m bored, and that would make things a *lot* more interesting. Filppula, Nyquist and a 1st for Bobby Ryan and a 2nd? Emmerton and Tatar for Jay Bouwmeester? A bag of pucks for Shawn Horcoff? (I kid on that one, we’d only have to give up half a bag)

Jarome Iginla is not coming to Detroit. Sorry guys, we weren’t on his list, and he’s the kind of player where if a good deal can’t be reached with a team he’s willing to go to, he’ll just stick it out in Calgary. I’d love to see him in a Wings uniform, but it just won’t happen.

 

Four straight wins followed by a three day break primes Detroit for success in the Western Conference standings. Next game is in San Jose at 10:30. Don’t worry folks, they’ll come home eventually, and I’ll be able to write with no danger of falling asleep on my keyboard.

Thanks for reading! You guys are why I do this thing. Follow me on Twitter: @dzkefalas, and feel free to ask me anything, tell me anything, rant at me, insult me, insult my mother, insult your own mother…whatever. I promise I’ll respond.

 

By the way, the title of this post is a reference to a new single from British ex-hardcore, now post-rock band Bring Me The Horizon. It’s called Sleepwalking, and if you like good music or British accents, you should check it out. Youtube it or something.

Tags: Damien Brunner Detroit Red Wings Jarome Iginla Johan Franzen Jonas Gustavsson Pavel Datsyuk Phoenix Coyotes Recap