Thoughts on Game 14 (7-6 overtime loss to Pittsburgh)
What does concern me about this game more than the freaky way the Wings lost it is that it adds to the pile of sub-Red Wing defensive efforts this season. What concerns me is 47 goals allowed through 14 games. Since 1994-95, the Red Wings allowed four or more goals in approximately 21 percent of their games, varying season-to-season from 16 to 27 percent. This year, the Red Wings have allowed four or more goals in 43 percent of their games.
At the same time, since 94-95 the Red Wings have limited opponents to two or fewer goals in roughly 58 percent of their games. This season, that's down to 29 percent. Cause for concern.
-- The Wings allowed their sixth 5-on-3 goal against. No other team has allowed more than three. Last season, the Wings allowed seven such goals all year. The season before that, eight allowed. Not sure why so many 5-on-3s against this year, but that's skewing the PK stats. Only seven 5-on-4 goals allowed this season.
-- Jiri Hudler had a very good game. Pavel Datsyuk did not.
-- Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi got hurt blocking a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot. So many times, you see players turn when blocking a shot. When they go down to block, you sometimes see players turn onto their stomachs instead of stacking their shin pads. I don't get it. Isn't the protection still mostly in the front? Why do players turn as Scuderi turned his legs?
-- Henrik Zetterberg clearly has a secondary role right now. It's an interesting dynamic to follow this season -- a contract year for Z. It's not that Zetterberg doesn't get plenty of opportunity or that he's not centering a scoring line. But Zetterberg is the No. 2 center behind Datsyuk. Would you rather have Hossa and Homer as your wings every night or a mix of Hudler, Samuelsson, Filppula or Cleary? When the Wings have a power play tonight that bridged two periods, the Datsyuk line was on the ice at the end of one period, then was put back out at the start of the next period, keeping Zetterberg on the bench.
I have a lot of respect for Zetterberg for doing this. But I still wonder if he'll do it all season long.