Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 22nd game
Well this one is pretty simple. With just over two-minutes remaining, the Blue Jackets took a timeout, which gave the Wings’ line of Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary time to rest. They lined up for a face-off in the Columbus end, and Hossa decided it was time for the Wings to retake the lead. Datsyuk did his part, partially winning the face-off towards the slot. Hossa darted into the face-off dot, fielded the bouncing puck, and kicked it up to his stick. Then, while he was running out of real estate, he beat un-expecting goaltender Pascal Leclaire from just above the goal line for his second goal of the game, and most importantly, the game-winner.
How did Dan Cleary look in his first game back?
After missing eight games due to an eye infection, Cleary was back in action Friday night. He skated on a line with Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula, and didn’t look out of place one bit. Cleary made it clear he was back and ready to play with his down-low presence, mucking it up and fighting for the puck along the boards. He was able to control the puck in the trenches, which is one of the hardest things to do with an eye problem. Being able to play with the puck in his feet and using his peripheral vision showed that he’s seeing just fine. Babcock seemed to agree, as the rugged forward saw 14:53 worth of ice time, and was moved up to Datysuk and Hossa’s line late in the game, including on the power play. And Cleary made his promotion count, picking up an assist on Hossa’s first goal of the night, and finishing plus-one on the night.
Who stood up to the questionable Columbus’ hits?
The Blue Jackets were taking some liberties all game, throwing some questionable hits throughout the game. Defenseman Mike Commodore and winger Jared Boll were leading the charge, but Andreas Lilja decided that he had seen enough halfway through the second. After a previous attempt to exchange fisticuffs, Lilja found his dance partner in the form of Boll. The two went at it along the boards at center ice, and Lilja landed the early haymaker that knocked off Boll’s helmet. He got a couple licks in, but Lilja won the battle, and drove Boll to the ice before the linesmen broke it up. Needless to say, there weren’t as many hits thrown after Lilja took matters into his own hands – or fists.