1. The Wings have allowed a power play goal in every one of their last 9 games. The Penguins power play operates at 20%, good for 8th in the league. No surprise than this game had a heavy special teams presence.
2. I’m really glad that Quincey is angry. He started getting rough on the very first shift and it’s clear that he’s not having fun losing. Abdelkader, Smith… Everyone is stepping up their aggressiveness. That’s something that needs to happen when you lose 7-2 the night previous.
3. Marek Zidlicky would not have been my first choice as a trade deadline pickup, but boy, has he been good for Detroit. Sure, he has looked silly a once or twice in the defensive zone, but he has added a big offensive punch to the blue line that the Wings needed. 6 points in 7 games with Detroit now. Z the 2nd had 4 shots and 3:15 power play time, most on the team.
4. Pulkkinen-Sheahan-Jurco is a line that really intrigues me. They had a fair amount of scoring chances and their youth and quickness should be a great accelerant for this team. Sheahan digs, Jurco dangles and Pulkkinen fires. Solid line from these 3 youngsters.
5. Peter Mrazek looks so calm in net. He makes very Tukka Rask-esque movements, but he never seems to get rattled like Tukka does. Mrazek is a consummate professional and keeps a steady demeanour in net. That’s something the Wings needed today.
6. Interesting look on the power play today. Datsyuk and Sheahan both at the goal mouth go pick up any rebound from Zetterberg. Having Zidlicky drop down to the top of the circle to crush that shot was a great call too. When you’re not at the top of your game, you keep it simple. Slap shots and rebounds.
7. Brutal giveaway by Smith in the 2nd. From a guy who has recently come under fire a little bit, you’d think that he would try to keep his clears simple, rather than trying to dance around someone.
8. Nyquist has 2 goals in his last 17 games, and his frustration has started to show as he has started shooting from everywhere in an attempt to turn his luck around. However, Nyquist showed great patience and vision on Detroit’s 4th goal. Gus could have shot as soon as he had the puck, and he could have shot after he walked around a defenceman at the front of the net; he had the idea to toss it over to Zetterberg for a sure goal rather than being greedy and trying for his own. Fantastic job.
9. Peter Mrazek was wonderful this afternoon. While his rebound control may not be elite, his reactions are. Now the question becomes, does Mrazek start Thursday against the Panthers?
10. I never thought I would say this, but Sidney Crosby wasn’t much of a threat to the Wings tonight. I saw more of his line mates tonight than I did of him. Gotta wonder if his 1 point was because Kronwall was shadowing him all afternoon. Crosby didn’t break this game open like he normally does.
11. I’m a big fan of the penalty kill play that the Wings utilize when they win the faceoff. The winger bolts behind the net, recieves a pass from the defenceman and immediately fires it down the middle of the ice. Very effective, but easily broken up if opposing teams want to. Detroit can’t rely on that every kill, but it doing them well so far.
12. 23 year old Riley Sheahan is doing a great job on the penalty kill for the Wings. Young guys stepping up has been the story of the year in Detroit, and Sheahan eating up minutes on the PK allows for some of the older guys to get a little extra rest. Let’s hope that pays off come playoff time.
13. Pulkkinen being involved in another goal for is nothing but good news for his confidence. He seems to have 3 or 4 scoring chances per game, which helps out the team big time. He had 4 shots and 2 goals in under 10 minutes of ice time. The kid is making the most of his chances.
14. A bit of a breakdown defensively for the Penguins goal, and not much Mrazek can do about it. He was screened quite well by Hornqvist and Perron blasted it home after a great pass by Crosby, his only real offensive chance of the afternoon.
15. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mrazek stay with the Wings even if he doesn’t play on Thursday and Monster is healthy. The Griffins don’t play until Friday anyways, so Mrazek may as well stay with and practice with the big club until they find out the extent of Gustavsson’s injury.
I’m Osgood’s Bucket; keep your stick on the ice.