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Three Questions: Wings-Oilers

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 18th game

Thursday, 11.20.2008 / 11:41 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Oilers
How hard is it to fill Tomas Holmstrom’s big shoes (or skates)?

Tomas Kopecky had quite the game Thursday night, filling the spot of the big guy in front of the opposition’s net on the powerplay.  Tomas Holmstrom was a late scratch due to back spasms, so coach Mike Babcock tapped Kopecky as his replacement for the night.  The young forward saw time with superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa, and he wasted no time making his mark.  For the second goal of the game, Kopecky was parked right out in front of the Edmonton net, and was originally credited with the goal.  It was later given to Datsyuk, who took the initial shot, but the shot would have never made it to the back of the net without the screen from Kopecky.  So he lost one goal, but it didn’t really matter, because two minutes after the Datsyuk tally, he scored again.  This one was unmistakably Kopecky’s, due to his terrific (and Holmstrom-like) waist-high tip.

Kopecky was the star of the FSN first-intermission interview with John Keating, where he discussed his new powerplay role.  “It was great,” Kopecky said.  “Too bad Homer couldn’t go, but I learned from the best.”  He did learn from the best, and he sure did look like Holmstrom Thursday night.

Who was the Red Wings star of the game?

I’m going with Jiri Hudler, who scored the Wings’ first and fourth goal.  Hudler skated for 12:51 and fired four shots on goal, while finishing plus-one.  But his second goal of the game was what made him stand out.  With the Red Wings on a powerplay, Derek Meech fired a slapshot from the point.  The shot missed the net, but hit the glass and bounced back out in front of the Edmonton goal.  Hudler waited at the right post, and as the puck came down, he swatted it into the net, in an impressive display of his hand-eye coordination skills.

What won the game for the Red Wings?

The Red Wings won the special teams battle against the Oilers, especially late in the game.  Detroit went 3-5 on 4:40 worth of powerplay time.  Edmonton, on the other hand, went 1-6 on the man advantage, and most importantly, failed to convert in the final minutes.  The Wings defensive corps, led by goaltender Chris Osgood, showed their grit and determination by keeping the Oilers off the score sheet with Valtteri Filppula serving a four-minute penalty for high-sticking.  Teams win games by facing down adversity late in games, and the Wings did just that to hold on for the 4-3 win.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80