Hot Start: Detroit Red Wings Use Balance, Goaltending to Start 3-0


Last Week:  3-0-0, 10 GF, 3 GA, 1st in the Central 

Friday, October 7:  Ottawa 3, Detroit 5

This had the “Tale of Two Games” feeling to it. Ottawa played Detroit very tough the first 15 minutes of the game and the last 15 minutes of the game.  In the time between, Detroit scored 5 goals and coasted to the 5-3 win.  The Wings did give up 32 shots to a team low on the talent end, but a lot can be forgiven on opening night when you end up with the win.

Saturday, October 8:  Detroit 3, Colorado 0

The Avs came out flying on their season opener at home on Peter Forsberg Night.  Eventually talent will outlast energy.  Ty Conklin made several big saves in the first, but faced only 18 shots in the final two periods, while the Wings had 29.  The second goal by Zetterberg was highlight material, and Franzen’s goal was hard enough to go through the net.  This was a much better defensive night forDetroit.

Thursday, October 13: Vancouver 0, Detroit 2

Jimmy Howard didn’t want to be outdone by the back-up, so he decided a shut out was in order too.  Howard stopped all 25 Canuck shots, as the Wings took advantage of a Canuck team without Mason Raymond and Ryan Kessler. Detroit owned period two, scoring 2, and out-shooting Vancouver 24-8.  It seemed as if the puck was following the Wings all night, and Pavel Datsyuk was in mid-season form.

 This Week

Saturday, October 15: Detroit at Minnesota
Wild are 2-1-1, 10 GF, 9 GA, 2nd in the Northwest

What I like

1. Balance – The Wings have scored ten goals on the season.  All 10 have been scored by different players.  One of the trademarks of this team is the balance of being able to roll four lines.  It doesn’t appear this year will be any different.

2. The bounce back years – There was a lot of talk before the season about how Jiri Hudler, Johan Franzen, and Valtteri Filppula needed to have bounce back years.  Mike Babcock specifically called these three out.  Through three games, we have to like what we are seeing.  The three forwards have combined for 3 goals, 3 assists, and 6 points.  It looks like they will have plenty of chances to improve on those numbers, as they are now on the same line.

3.  Ty Conklin – This may surprise some, but his first outing served as piece of mind.  I don’t think was lost to San Jose last year in round 2 because of goalie fatigue.  Having said that, it would definitely be nice to be able to give Jimmy Howard days off, while still believing we can win the game.  If the Ty Conklin in Colorado is what we have to look forward too, Howard can have a few extra nights off.

What I don’t

1. The Schedule – The Wings started by playing back-to-back in Detroit, then Colorado.  They get 4 days off before the next game.  That’s followed up with the Minnesota game Saturday and are then off until the following Friday.  That Friday game starts a stretch of 5 games in 9 days.  Luckily, all five games are close to or at home.  We can do better than that NHL.

2. The power play – Actually, what power play?  The Wings are 0-13 with the man advantage thus far this season.  Oddly enough, they are 3-0.  You know what that means don’t you?  They will go 3-5 on the power play in Minnesota but lose 6-4.  All kidding aside, there is way too much talent for this team to not be clicking at a 20% rate.  They need to get going.

Who’s Hot

Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler each have a goal and two assists to lead the team with three points.

Jimmy Howard’s shutout Thursday lowered his GAA to 1.5 and raised his SV% to .947.  I know…I know…it’s just two games.

Who’s Not

When 16 players get at least a point in three games, I’d say everyone is doing well at least to get started.  Only surprise among the non-point getters is Tomas Holmstrom.  Don’t be surprised if that turns once the power play does.