15 Drops in the Bucket: Feb 16th vs. Montreal

1. Helm has been on fire lately. So awesome to see this guy play as much as he is, and as well as he is after all his injury problems.
2. Babs threw Tatar on the top line with Zetterberg and Abdelkader. Tatar’s release should be well utilized on this line.
3. It’s so good to see the captain sticking up for his teammates. Emelin’s little cross check that threw Tatar into the boards could have been a lot worse, but Zetterberg made sure it didn’t go unnoticed.
4. Even though the first power play of the game looked a little disjointed, being 1st in the league in PP% is no fluke. The amount of skill that the Wings have on these two units is nearly unparalleled.
5. If Dekeyser quarterbacking the power play looks natural, it should. He had nearly half a point per game in 3 seasons in the CCHA, and he’s finally evolving into the offensive mainstay that the Wings imagined he would be when they signed him in 2013.
6. It’s sad to see Jurco drop to the 4th line. I’m not one to question Babcock, but in my eyes, Jurco’s offensive potential is way higher than Miller’s. If the idea is to add some grit to line 3 by adding Glendening and Miller, then it’s worth it. It’s just unfortunate to see Jurco take the demotion.
7. Weiss’ contract is starting to hurt a bit again now that he’s on the 4th line. 18 points in 31 games is decent, but his streakiness is hard to swallow. 1 point in his last 6 games coming into tonight.
8. Tatar is definitely not out of his element playing with Zetterberg and Abdelkader. Tats seems to be in the right place every time the puck is on Z’s stick. This should bode well for the future since the magic that Nyquist and Zetterberg had together has dwindled a little bit.
9. Helm’s breakaway chance in the 1st started at his own goal line. When that guy is healthy, he is straight fire. He had 5:22 TOI in the first period alone. It speaks volumes about him that he was on the ice during the last two minutes of the game (down 1-0) with Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
10. I’m not too surprised to see the power play go 0% tonight. The Wings were trying a dump and chase entrance against a fantastic puck handler in Carey Price. He’s too good to let opposing teams gain the zone that way.
11. Drew Miller’s speed is often forgotten. His speed alone is what got him his promotion to the 3rd line, and it’s what makes him such a good penalty killer. If Miler and Helm ever play together again, opposing teams will need to be very wary of the offence created by that line.
12. Marchenko is still a little green. He’s trying to force plays that aren’t there, and he’s a little slow reacting to the play; it’s resulting in some turnovers. Babcock is doing his best to give the 23 year old chances, as he’s averaged just over 15 minutes a game in 5 games this season, and had 14:33 tonight.
13. Kyle Quincey’s resurgence this season is something else. From being a prime trade target last season, to having 13 points and a +5 rating through 50 games this season. In this game alone, Quincey handled the puck behind the Montreal net, and was leading the rush down the wing. He had 7 (!) shots tonight alone. His offence has already matched what he had all of last season (in 82 games) and his defence has really been stepped up. Props to him. That contract extension doesn’t look so bad now.
14. Even though I watch him a lot, Riley Sheahan impresses me nearly every game. Normally, it’s his hands that dazzle. Tonight, he was using his body so well to protect the puck that he practically solo-cycled the puck in the Canadiens’ zone for 25 seconds without anyone being able to gain possession. I predicted that he’d score 20 goals this year, and with the way he’s been playing this year, he may just get there.
15. Howard wasn’t dazzling, by any means, but he sure as hell got the job done. Very unfortunate that Datsyuk blew a tire, and Kronwall screened Howard for the 1-0 goal.

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