Thoughts on Game 21 (3-1 loss to Montreal)
-- What a tremendous hit by Brad Stuart on Alex Tanguay. Stuart missed a couple of shifts and Tanguay left the game with an undisclosed injury. What was deceptive to Tanguay is that Stuart was near another Hab as Tanguay dumped the puck in. But Stuart released his man and stepped up with perfect timing.
-- That was Niklas Kronwall's 200th career game. Because of injuries, it certainly took a lot longer than you'd think. By comparison, Brett Lebda played in his 216th game last night. Kronwall is one year older than Lebda. He was a first-round draft pick while Lebda went undrafted. Kronwall debuted in the NHL two years before Lebda.
-- Darren Helm was flying last night. No surprise. He's obviously one of the top 12 forwards in the organization. I suspect that Helm is slated to be a regular with the Wings in the playoffs with Helm getting loads of ice time in Grand Rapids in preparation. The question becomes: When do you pull Helm up for good to acclimate him to the NHL leading in to the playoffs. Does he need a month to be totally prepared or can he just step in during the post-season as he did last year.
-- Andreas Lilja had his four-game scoring streak stopped. You know, the guy is having a very good season. I know I'm leading with my chin on that one.