Game 71 & 72 – Detroit vs Buffalo, Montreal – Close Finishes

My comments on the Buffalo game will be less prevalant here as the cable box got unplugged so the DVR didn’t catch the game, I’m just going off the highlights.

The Good

The Buffalo game was pretty solid from the highlights, we got a loss but it looked to really be a high pressure game from us with some good chances. Wings led shots 35-30. Sometimes you just get a hot goalie.

Speaking of hot, holy shit Anthony Mantha’s overtime winner was so good. What a move to deke through the defender off your own skate and then bury it top corner. It felt like a goal that was a long time coming for him, he looked good all night so glad to see him bury one it rally counts (and especially after Montoya stonewalled the crap out of AA’s wraparound. The kick save on that was insane.)

Abby got a goal against the Canadiens on the PowerPlay, which I think we’re not quite a pissed off at as we used to. It’s been scoring a bit more reliably than it used to so now we can focus on how bad Abby’s contract is.

Look I’m just glad he can at least get things done in front of the net on the PP. He’s doing better than Sheahan. And if we can get a solid playmaker guy then just maybe we can see Abby return to form like he was with Datsyuk.

The PK was really solid against Montreal, there were a couple chances there where it looked like they were definitely going to get scored on but Howard was able to make saves (sometimes without his damn stick!) and the defense got the puck out. It was nice to see after the PK failed twice against the Sabres the night before.

Howard was very good, backstopping the team to almost a shutout for about 57 minutes of the game. He looks just as good now as he did pre injury and I’m just sad that he got hurt because this team might be in a playoff spot if he had (that’s a joke, they still can’t seem to give him any fucking goal support and so we would have still lost a bunch of games). Statistic wise, Mrazek was good against Buffalo as well, so it’s nice again to see our goaltenders are keeping us in games. I really don’t think it’s a category Wings fans need to worry about.

The Bad

The PK was 0% against Buffalo so that’s pretty fucking bad. Obviously I can only say what I saw in the highlights but you really need your special teams to, you know, play.

The 2nd period against Montreal was awful and we’re fucking lucky to have gotten out of that one without giving up a goal. Shots were 7-1 for the first half of the period and after we looked so together in the first it was infuriating. How can you come out so strong and then step off that much? It’s insane the way this team can’t just be consistent for more than like 20 minutes at a time.

Otherwise, this was a good back to back. This team is playing pretty competent hockey right now, and I am actually having fun watching them at the moment.

The WTF?

Where has this version of Tomas Tatar been this season? The dude has been unstoppable lately. After the Buffalo game, when he had the only goal, he had 10 points in the last 10 games unless I suck at counting. He’s comfortably taken the goal lead on the team with 21, which also matches last season’s goal total in 10 less games.

If Tatar had played at this level all season, the Wings may just be in a playoff spot. It’s just the kind of thing I think about when I see the players on this team playing at the level we expect them to, this is not as bad of a team as we got to see. I still think this could be a bubble playoff team if everyone can get going at the same time. When they don’t, that’s when you gotta start asking questions. What the fuck happened this season? What caused the luck to run out? I don’t think it’s any one team, but at least it’s fun to watch a guy who really seems to be putting it together.



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