Another slow start, but a much better finish results in a nice 4-1 Red Wings win over the Dallas Stars. The power play still needs work, but the PK was good last night. Howard had to be big on the early kills, but the Wings were able to clear the puck when they had chances to do so.
A few players really stood out last night and we'll discuss them after the jump:
I liked Kindl tonight. I wasn't thrilled that Lashoff was sitting since he had proven himself capable to playing at this level, but Kindl didn't disappoint. He played aggressive tonight. He pinched in a couple times, hit guys and skated for loose pucks. In the past I felt he may have felt that his roster spot was safe because the Wings had no depth, but the emergence of Lashoff seems to have inspired Kindl to step up his game.
Quincey had a better game. I saw him make a few good plays in his own end. However, someone needs to convince him that tossing the puck towards the goal when there's no traffic will almost always result in a tired opponent being able to get a line change. He tends to do a good job of keeping the puck in the zone when Detroit is applying pressure, only to shoot it into the goalie's chest.
Kronwall seems intent on being the second best defenseman on this team whether Lidstrom is here or not. I don't know if he's trying to fill Nick's perfect shoes or what, but he hasn't had the greatest start to the year.
I thought Val was snake bit when his first good scoring chance didn't go in, but thanks to the best setup man in hockey he finished with 2 goals on the night. I think Brunner is getting more and more confident in his ability to beat NHL goaltenders. He has 3 goals in 6 games, meaning he would be on pace to score 40+ in a full season. Not bad for a rookie.
Are there still fans out there mad about the Tootoo signing? I can honestly tell you that last July when we first signed him, I was pissed. Then I saw that he killed seals and wore their skins and I thought, "Well, that's kind of awesome." And then I saw him finish check after check and fire up the team and I thought, "Well, that's really awesome." Then I saw him fight guys bigger than him and pretty much destroy them and I thought, "Well, that's undeniably awesome!" I like Jordin Tootoo.
Pavel Datsyuk is good at hockey.
Howard is making key saves now. It was pretty clear to me that he was rusty as can be early on, but now he's making big saves when we need him to. You know, like other goalies do to us all the time.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Datsyuk. Good on Val for finishing, but he doesn't even get a chance to score those goals without Datsyuk setting him up. Twice.
Second Star: Filppula. 2 goals and he was driving the net at every opportunity.
Third Star: Howard. Probably his best game so far. Really had no chance on that rebound goal against, though I suppose not giving up that big rebound would have helped matters. Still, a solid performance.
Sorry this post is so late. Sometimes life (or poor internet connections) gets in the way, but we'll do our best to keep you informed and entertained. Thanks for reading and as always: