Three Questions: Wings-Panthers
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 16th game
Johan Franzen recorded the game-winning goal (again) Friday night, but he owes a thank you to his teammate Pavel Datsyuk. Without Datsyuk’s play in the corner just moments before, the Wings wouldn’t have the powerplay that Franzen capitalized on. After fetching the puck in the Florida end, Datsyuk used his all-world stickhandling skills to toe-drag around Jassen Cullimore, then spin around him, which forced Cullimore into taking a hooking penalty. On the ensuing powerplay, Franzen tipped in a Niklas Kronwall slap shot, breaking the 2-2 tie, and the Wings preserved the lead.
Datsyuk showed yet again why he is such a force down low, with his hands and leg strength. Even if he doesn’t score, the impact he holds on a game is tremendous, as proven with the penalty he drew. Oh yes, and he drew another hooking call only 43 seconds after the Franzen goal, which helped the Wings keep their momentum rolling. His ability to draw penalties is just as important as how many times he finds himself on the score sheet.
Who was the player of the game?
And Marian Hossa steals the show once again. The Carhartt Trophy winner for hardest-working player of the month in October is continuing to roll in November. He scored two goals Friday, bumping his numbers up to ten goals and 23 points on the season. Hossa also ate up some minutes for the Detroit forwards, playing for 19:12 and killing penalties while he was at it.
What’s the best part of a road trip through Florida?
The Wings have a great fan base throughout North America, but it was impressive to see so many fans coming out to support the Winged Wheel this week. In the Tampa Bay game, Detroit fans could be heard on the television broadcast cheering ‘let’s go Red Wings’ before the puck even dropped, and they were just as loud Friday in Sunrise. It was also pretty impressive to see how many people in red and white jumped up when Brad Stuart flattened Richard Zednik in the third period.