This is mostly due to the sensational play of Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard made 37 saves on the night and managed to carry his team to overtime.
The Wings are in quite a transition period this season. One of the coaching staff’s main goals for the season has been finding ways to have the team’s younger players contribute goals consistently. With veteran forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson out of the lineup, achieving this goal is vital to the team’s success.
Goal Number One
The younger players have answered the call in the first three games of the season. Tomas Tatar and Gustov Nyquist both scored goals in the 3-2 loss to Boston Tuesday.
The Wings younger players all have one thing in common, incredible speed. Guys like Luke Glendening, Nyquist and Tatar all used their speed affectively to create scoring chances and get into the shooting lanes. If they continue using their speed to their advantage more goals will come for the Wings this season. Nyquist and Tatar both had break out seasons for the Wings last year and are eager to build on that success this season.
The Wings are really hurting in the faceoff circle without Datsyuk. Early on in Tuesday’s game, the Wings really struggled and lost key faceoffs in the offensive and defensive zone.
Forward Darren Helm used to be the king of the faceoff circle for the Wings a few years back. Now he seems to be in a rapid decline. Helm ended Tuesday’s game with a faceoff percentage of just 40%. I hope Babcock gives centre forward Stephen Weiss a chance to play and help his team improve in the faceoff circle.
More Contribution from Defensemen
With so many key forwards out of the lineup, the Wings defensemen need to jump into the play more. So far this hasn’t happened. Guys like Brendan Smith, Danny Dekeyser and Kyle Quincey need to shoot the puck way more if this team hopes to tally some consistent points without Datsyuk.
If this doesn’t happen the Wings will end up losing games. Howard can’t be expected to carry his team every game. The Wings next two games are against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Babcock will need his players to be far more aggressive if this team hopes to avoid going into a slump. The bottom line is the Wings just need to keep things simple and shoot the puck more. I can’t wait to see if Nyquist and Tatar can continue scoring goals on Friday.