Life without Nicklas Lidstrom might be quite an adventure for the Detroit Red Wings.
They lost their first game without him 6-0 at St. Louis. The Blues outshot them 17-2 in the first period and kept skating circles around them all night.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed five goals (on 28 shots) before taking an early exit. “We really had nothing going, except for Howie in the net, he played unbelievable for us,” defenseman Nicklas Kronwall told the Detroit Free-Press. “Other than that, not a lot of good things to take from this.
“Hopefully we can learn and play a lot better on Monday.”
Here were some of particulars of this defeat:
- The Red Wings went 0 for 4 on the power play and allowed the Blues to score a shorthanded goal.
- Top Detroit forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg should not have been rusty. Both played in Europe and played well. But neither of this first-liners got a whiff against the Blues. (Swiss import Damien Brunner did generate a couple of scoring chances on their wing.)
- Second-line stalwarts Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson were similarly ineffective.
- Detroit allowed four power-play goals in five St. Louis opportunities.
- Defenseman Kyle Quincey got burned twice, badly, by rookie Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko for goals. On this night, anyway, he did not look up to his Top Four assignment.
- Forward Jan Mursak suffered upper-body injury in first period and didn’t return. He joins veteran power forward Todd Bertuzzi (mononucleosis) on the injured list.
On the plus side, coach Mike Babcock believed top prospect Brendan Smith looked the part of a Top Four defenseman. So the Red Wings have that going for them.