1. Nashville leads the league in points from their blue line, AND they recently traded for Cody Franson. With 4 right handed shots within their d-corps, Detroit’s wingers are going to need to be pressing the Predators defence to limit their chances.
2. Marchenko had a great headsy play that saw him toss the puck just wide of the net as Weiss was streaking in for the deflection. Having Marchenko develop the way that he has been a big help for the Wings as their defence has been a bit of a revolving door this season. Marchenko is in the NHL for more than his right handed shot; he’s adding some offensive flair to the Wings’ blue line.
3. I’ve been pretty harsh on Andersson this season, but his delay pass across the ice to Brendan Smith to set up the first goal was fantastic. Andersson showed great vision there; props to Weiss for drawing Wilson to the front of the net during that rush, too.
4. I’m a little confused about Jurco’s shot selection in the 1st. He comes flying down the wing by himself with a defenceman in the middle and decides to clap it on net, and misses. For a guy who has fallen down the depth chart and hasn’t seen the top two lines in a while, I would imagine he would attempt to (at the very least) drive the net with the puck. He’s got the hands to be able to make something happen. He got a tad more creative in the 2nd, but it still seems a little passive for a guy who has something to prove.
5. Even if it may have only been for a little while, maybe a Nyquist-Sheahan-Andersson line could work out. They have the size and skill on top of all being young and creative. It may even spark Andersson’s offensive game again. Something to consider. Andersson had a really good game tonight. He was chipping in offensively, which isn’t something we see much from him anymore, and he stepped up his physicality when the game got nasty
6. James Neal is really trying to disrupt the Wings. Every time that there’s a whistle, he makes sure to feed a cross check to someone. Good to see the Wings not backing down though. We don’t see many scrums in front of either net normally, but today Detroit is standing their ground and aren’t afraid to mix it up. Wouldn’t have surprised me to see a fight today, but the game started to open up later on and the skill started to take over.
7. Miller’s goal is what I wish Jurco would have tried to do. Miller takes it towards the net, comes in close and whips it under Rinne’s arm. Good to see Miller get rewarded for his good play this road trip.
8. Even though some of his calls were questionable, and he had 6 PIMs in this game, Brendan Smith had a good game. His physicality and defensive play was quite good.
9. No surprise that the Predators defence starts the offence for them. Wings tried to play tight to the point on that goal, but it was right off the face off; nice shot by Josi and great close play by Cullen.
10. If I’m honest, I was quite skeptical about Gustavsson started against the high powered offended of the Predators. Every time I doubt Monster, he does a good job of making me look stupid. He’s been a nice stop gap while Howard has been struggling.
11. Nashville’s second goal also comes from a point shot. Nyquist was there, trying to block the shot at the point, but the Franson shot it wide and got a very Joe Louis Arena-esque bounce of the boards where Mike Fisher’s stick was waiting. The Wings are doing the right things, but the bounces are getting to them.
12. Not much you can do against a Shea Weber slap shot from the high slot, but again, the Predators offence comes from Forsberg, and their defenceman. The Wings are aware of this, and are actively trying to stop it, but the Preds are obviously quite good at it.
13. What a laser by Marchenko. Some nice passing by the Wings finished off by Marchenko’s 1st career goal; that shot buzzed right by Rinne’s ear after a great placement pass by Abdelkader.
14. Easiest goal of Tatar’s career to put the Wings ahead 4-3. That puts him in a tie for 11th in goals in the league. What a season the kid is having. He’s 3rd in goals by players born in 1990 this season, and leading the way for the Wings’ offense.
15. What a road trip. 6 games, 9 out of a possible 12 points. Not bad at all. I’m sure they’re looking forward to 4 out of 5 at home. This win puts the Wings 12 points up on the Bruins, and 1 point behind the Lightning for 2nd in the Atlantic. Should be an exciting stretch.
I’m Osgood’s Bucket, keep your stick on the ice.