Game 51 – Islanders @ Detroit – Winged Wheel Peels Out

When the referees for the game are Tim Peel and Dan O’Halloran, you know it’s going to be bad for the Wings. Peel is blind as a bat and makes consistently bad calls, O’Halloran always seems biased against Detroit (though he was shot here as a teenager so maybe that’s why).

The Good

Danny Dekeyser, I’ve said a lot of bad things, but I mean come on.

He’s a pinball wizard. I mean, there’s gotta be a trick. Look at the supple wrist shot.

The second period was one of the best periods of hockey I’ve seen the Wings play this season. They had good offensive pressure, and they scored three goals in about 5:30 to take a 4 goal lead by the end of it. They were beautiful goals. Tatar and Nyquist both looked really good tonight. Tatar with an incredibly patient, perfectly delivered pass to Darren Helm got the Wings tied for the first time.

I honestly think if Darren Helm isn’t protected, he stands a good chance of getting snagged. He is still bringing a lot of offense and speed even at 30, and his contract would help them reach the floor without being a complete anchor.

Tatar turns around, two minutes later, and after a fantastic poke check at the blue line by Mantha, passes it cross crease again to help Mantha with his 12th of the season. Mantha is now tied for team lead.

 

The Wings got outshot 36-12, but Mrazek was strong in the third and in the face of several bad penalties to keep them in it. He wasn’t spectacular, but he helped get the W and that’s all I care about at this point.

Finally, Zetterberg was unbelievable tonight. Didn’t look 36 at all. He got rocked by his own player and I don’t know, maybe that gave him a surge of adrenaline but he was everywhere tonight, great passes, strong on the puck in the corner, and he sniped a shot top cheese late in the 2nd. This is the kind of Z that the Red Wings need if they want to continue to be strong. His contract is huge and forever, but if he can somehow continue this fountain of youth that he has going then I’m not complaining. There was a time when I thought he looked too slow to keep up a couple season ago but man, he looks really good this year. Here’s hoping he stays that way.

The Bad

Another night with no PowerPlay goals. Not that we had much of a chance with this officiating crew, but we did have one that we didn’t score on.

The game tying goal by Chimera late in the third (because it’s his 1000th game so of course he scores a big goal) was a result of one simple thing: forced passing. Green puts it into Helm’s skate, bad bounce, and then it squeaks by the perfect puck size gap by the post. Immediately after a forced hard pass from Green bounced off Mantha and cause an odd man rush. I’m not blaming this on Green, but this team has a lot of trouble putting together passes out of the zone and it causes terrible bounces. There was another in the 1st period that caused a breakaway where thankfully Clutterbuck missed. It’s frustrating when your simple, small details get missed and cause very dangerous chances.

Mrazek looked rusty for the first half or so. He was very far out of his crease on one of the goals and was sliding around like a cat on a frozen pond for awhile there. He got it under control eventually, but I think it shows what I was saying. He needs play time to get back into his groove. I expect Coreau tomorrow but I do hope we can see more of Mrazek soon. Though Howard will probably overtake him when he comes back too.

The WTF?

The reffing was bad. Really bad. It was pretty bad when Kronwall made a clean hipcheck against I don’t remember after he touched the puck and it was interference. Now, I’m not an expert, but you are allowed to hit people when they play the puck! That’s how hitting works! That penalty was absolute garbage, and then I was like well it can’t get worst than that.

BUT THEN.

Nielsen gets trucked by Seidenberg into Greiss and the ref (I think O’Halloran) is literally 5 feet away, looking directly at it. Directly at it! I don’t think he could have been looking at it any closer unless he had taken a fucking picture. And then the arm goes up. Goaltender Interference.

I have no words. I do have video though.

Next Game

Tomorrow, against the Predators. Let’s hope it’s not as much of a nailbiter as tonight was.

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