Follow me on Twitter
Detroit so far - 19-27-9
2 games remaining
My prediction from January - 19 wins
Current place - 28th
First round pick without lottery win - between 4 and 6 *Seattle will have a pick, possibly in the top 3. This could push Detroit back one more spot
Hockey is a game that hinges so much on goaltending and momentum. There’s this invisible shift in energy that just seems to tilt the ice when things come together. Detroit came to life in the second period tonight, and never looked back after they took the lead.
You can read my pregame thoughts here.
The game had a pedestrian enough start. Fairly even back and forth, CBJ up by 2 goals. Then, out of nowhere, Detroit came to life in the second. Veleno netted his first with a nice far side wrist shot on the power play. Dekeyser potted his third tally of the year with a quick hit on a backboard deflection. Those two goals were the result of some of the best cycle work Detroit has put on in weeks. The Wings hit the 30 shot plateau for just the second time in 16 games. Vrana netted an absolute beauty of a ripper after some nice give and go that saw Panik pick up an assist. All of a sudden, Detroit was clicking on all cylinders.
The team continued to stifle Columbus into the third period. Eventually, some scuffling and non-penalty fisticuffs broke out near the 10 minute mark. The teams both looked engaged, and Columbus looked frustrated as they struggled to get pucks to the net. At the 14 minute mark, Detroit was outshooting CBJ 31-23, with the jackets only getting 4 pucks on net in the final frame. It’s strange how a few goals can change the entire complexity of a contest. Detroit was coming in after a rough series and 4 days off. Columbus just played some beautiful games against Nashville. With less than 6 minutes to go, roles had reversed.Momentum was on Detroit’s side and they were skating hard. A Defensive zone faceoff saw Detroit keep the Jackets from registering a single shot, and getting the puck all the way down. It wasn’t until the Bertuzzi hour (4:44 left) that Columbus was able to get a shot in on Greiss.
The Red Wings continued to shut down any sort of pressure. Neutral zone play was tight. Columbus had to switch to dump and chase and still couldn’t get anything going. Detroit was intercepting passes, shutting down the rush, 3 men back killing any chance for Columbus to establish possession in the O zone. With 2:20 left, Columbus emptied the net and went for it. 18 seconds later Namestnikov made them pay for it. As far as empty net goals go, it was actually a pretty nice give and go with he and Gagner.
With 2 minutes left Detroit was outshooting CBJ 34-24, and the jackets pulled their goalie again. This time, they were able to get a stopped in Detroit’s zone (nearly a delay of game penalty too) and set up for a faceoff. Detroit won the draw and iced the puck. You could see the demeanor of the Jackets continuing to who’s frustration. A faceoff and a shot on goal were quickly turned away as the clock rolled down to the final minute. With 47 seconds left, Namestnikov netted his second empty net tally on a backhand from the right faceoff dot.
You can see the stress of the season and all the injuries just fading away on the Detroit players. They know this is their last couple games for a while. Some of the players won’t be back, and the guys want to enjoy this one. A big second period led to the Wings taking over in all three zones. A good night for the players and fans with just one more game left. Enjoy this one, it was a fun watch! Let me know what you think, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Check out my previous blogs:
Columbus vs Detroit pregame
Bobby Ryan not ready to retire
Svechnikov Mic’d up
The Final Stretch
Wings vs lightning post game
Wings vs Lightning Pregame