Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wings v. Blackhawks in review

The Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Thursday night at the Joe, earning themselves their first win of the young season. The game was a quality win as Detroit addressed a number of issues that plagued them in the first two games (and most of last year).

Perhaps the best news for the Red Wings is that their penalty kill unit made strides and managed to kill off a 5-3 that lasted almost two minutes.

The first period was largely controlled by the Hawks, and as a result Christ Osgood had to come up big a number of times.

In a reversal of the first two games of the year, the Wings played their best hockey in the second period. The Wings got a powerplay goal from Nick Lidstrom midway through the period, followed by goals from Kris Draper and a powerplay goal from Johan Franzen.

The Blackhawks responded in the third with a powerplay goal, but once again Osgood came up big to preserve the win. Of some concern was the number of shots the Hawks were able to get off in the third (15). The Wings were only able to get 4 shots on goal during the period.

This is not the Red Wings hockey we're used to seeing, as one of the most basic principles of the Wings game was violated here, that being puck possession. The Wings were badly outshot in total (34-23). This is obviously a concern going forward, especially with the offensively gifted Capitals coming to town. The Wings have been disappointingly streaky thus far, and their much discussed commitment to defense has been no exception to this.

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