There was something ridiculously frustrating about the Red Wings' regular season-ending 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday: The question of "Where was this team on Friday?"
Two days after dropping a 2-1 decision to the lottery-bound Carolina Hurricanes, the Red Wings - minus the resting Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, and Danny DeKeyser and starting third-string goalie Petr Mrazek - smacked down the Blues in a game in which St. Louis could have claimed the Central Division..
As I said via Twitter tonight, it's good that the Red Wings had already clinched their playoff spot, as this game was one that was supposed to be two easy points and Detroit walks away with zero in a 2-1 loss.
Kind of hard to do postgame notes on a night when the lone point the Red Wings earned clinched the team's 23rd consecutive playoff appearance. In the end, that point is all that mattered. Two would have been nice and the Wings are now in a quick battle with the Blue Jackets for playoff seeding, but the team can drop the last two games and their season will still go beyond next Sunday..
It had to be exciting right down to the end, but the Red Wings moved to within a point of clinching a playoff spot tonight with their 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Okay, maybe exciting is the wrong word. Stressful? This was certainly not the most exciting game, certainly not the best game, but the two points that came out of it are all that matter..
Last night was a statistical curiosity in the NHL, as the Calgary Flames defeated the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, the Minnesota Wild downed the Winnipeg Jets, 1-0, and the Anaheim Ducks knocked off the Vancouver Canucks, 3-0. Three games, three shutouts.
Via Twitter today, Red Wings radio play-by-play voice Ken Kal mentioned that he didn't know the last time that had happened so I dug into it..
I was going to do a postgame post with all sorts of multimedia on why Montreal's final two goals were off bad calls but, while I do think that and will spend some time on it, that's not the biggest story of the night, just the part that makes me most angry.
There were really four parts to Detroit's 5-3 loss in Montreal on Friday..
Two points are two points but, man, that was uglier than it needed to be.
Playing against the worst team in the league who also played last night and didn't even get into Detroit until 4:00 AM, you could expect the Red Wings to take a 3-0 lead early. Unfortunately, given Detroit's penchant for giving up leads, you could also expect them to let the Sabres back in it, which they did as Buffalo cut it to 3-2 by the midway point of the third period.
I've said a lot of this via Twitter already but I'm going to collect my postgame thoughts here.
Detroit got outplayed for roughly 50 minutes tonight, but pulled it together in the last ten to rally from down 2-1 for a 3-2 win. After skating in circles in their own end for much of the night, as soon as they got the lead they suddenly were stronger on the boards and clogged up the middle better.
This game was at times awesome, infuriating, and terrifying.
They're all must-wins from here on out and Detroit played like it early, showing a lot of jump after playing less than 24 hours earlier. They controlled play for almost the first ten minutes and got the game's first six shots. Of course, former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula got Tampa on the board with just their second shot, so it looked like it was going to be one of those nights..
Misconduct is DH.N publisher Clark Rasmussen's personal blog. Originally named because I thought I'd complain a lot about refs in this space, I'm surprised at how little it happens. Now it gives me a place to ramble about hockey that's not DH.N's news section.
You can also follow me on Twitter through the official DetroitHockey.Net account, @detroithockey96.
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