On Red Wings

Just another Red Wings weblog (but it's mine)

Making a point

What an opposing goalie looks like after his first win.

What an opposing goalie looks like after his first win.

It’s a sports cliche: Some wins feel like a loss. And vice versa. This was a vice versa. The Oilers had the Wings beat for 59 minutes, 59.8 seconds Friday night in Edmonton. But it really is a 60-minute game (yet another cliche), as Brian Rafalski proved with .2 tenths of a second to play, tying the game at 2. Unfortunately for the Wings, 65-minute plus games are not their forte, and the Oilers won the game in a shootout, 2-1.

Score: Oilers 3, Wings 2 SO.

Game #70 (12 games to play, 24 points), 81 points, tied for 8th place, but with one game in hand on Calgary, which beat San Jose (drat!), 4-3. The Wings are 4 points behind Nashville (with a game in hand) and Los Angeles (they have a game in hand) and 5 behind Colorado (same number of games). But with a second game in two nights Saturday in Vancouver, the Wings immediate concern is pulling away from Calgary if they can. Time is running out.

What I liked about the game: In the final battle for the puck in the corner to the right of Edmonton rookie goalie Devan Dubnyk, Henrik Zetterberg dug out the puck to Pavel Datsyuk, who threaded the quick pass to Rafalski just in front to Dubnyk’s left. … Jimmy Howard‘s 60.2-minute shutout after a tough start.

What I didn’t like about the game: Terrible, terrible way to start the game against a bad team, down 2-0 5 minutes into the game. If the Wings squeak into the playoffs (and they haven’t missed since 1989), that may have been the point. Of course, if they miss the playoffs for the first time in three decades, they left the points on the table against the worst team in the league. The Wings are 6-12 in OT this year. Do the math: If Detroit is 12-6, golly, they’re in 5th place.
Also: NOTE to Gary Bettman, who I’m sure doesn’t read this blog: Why does an ET team have to play so many 9:30 and 10:30 MT and PT games as a member of the Western Conference?

The BIG question: Why are the Wings 0-2-1 against the Oilers this season?

Quote I: “It’s definitely a point gained the way it came. We couldn’t have waited any longer to score than we did.” — Brian Rafalski

Quote II: “I shot it in, looked up, and it said zero, zero, zero. I didn’t hear the horn, so I just had to wait.” — Rafalski

Quote III: “Huge point that we got, absolutely huge point, you feel real good about that, and on the other side, you feel like you left one out there.” — Mike Babcock

Mood meter: Relieved.

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