The Detroit Red Wings won their second preseason game tonight crushing the Boston Bruins 8 to 2. That moves their preseason record to 2-1 with five scrimmages left to play. Five games too many if you ask me. The Wings are ready for the start of the season right now. Playing wise that is, the roster isn’t quite there yet.
I’ll start by saying I’m throwing out the loss to Chicago that happened on Tuesday. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, and few other regular starters were scratches while the Blackhawks played a majority of their starters so it wasn’t a fair fight for me to judge anything.
So, let’s move on to my thoughts about the demolition of the Bruins.
The Red Wings basically did everything right. Two of the three points I brought up after their opener win against the Pittsburgh Penguins showed up once again: special teams and Pavel Datsyuk. The power play goal scored by Justin Abdelkader five minutes into the game set the tone early, while the penalty kill has yet to give up a goal this preseason going 15 for 15. Datsyuk continued his mid-season form with a goal and two assists. The first assist on the Abdelkader goal and then later on a no-look pass to set-up the Captain Zetterberg.
Impressive offensive performance from the first line. Datsyuk. Zetterberg, and Abdelkader all scored a goal. (Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski / US PRESSWIRE)
Other highlights included Jimmy Howard, who had a relatively easy two periods in net but made his presence felt with a couple of great saves early in the game. The only goal he gave up was off a skate in front of the net, nothing he could have done to stop it. I was impressed at the puck control the Wings had when playing 5 on 5 hockey in the Bruins’ zone. At times it looked like shooting practice. Everybody was involved as 8 different players scored!
Not everything was as positive as the scoreboard suggests. The defense made a few careless turnovers in their own zone; luckily it didn’t cost them as Howard bailed them out. Also, Tomas Tatar looked uncomfortable for the entire game. Ken Holland even assured Tatar isn’t going anywhere in a broadcast interview during the game, but it looked like Tomas didn’t receive that message. He was given more playing time on the second line as both Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzan sat out with lower-body injuries. Tatar looked panicked when trying to make a pass and got caught looking down way too often. Hopefully, it was just a bad game and he can bounce back because I really like the kid.
The Tatar situation leads me to the Wings’ biggest problem right now; the roster. Big decisions have to be made soon, September 30th to be exact. The team needs to cut down from 17 forwards to 14 and the performance tonight only makes that decision harder. It’s going to be tough but having depth is a great problem to have.
The team doesn’t have much more to prove after tonight’s win. So, let’s sit back and wait to see how Ken Holland decides to trim down the roster as we inch closer and closer to opening night on October 2nd.