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Three Questions: Wings-Canucks

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 25th game

Thursday, 12.4.2008 / 10:08 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Canucks
Who was the hero in Thursday’s game?

It took Derek Meech 50 career games, but he sure did make his first goal in the NHL count.  Three minutes into the third period, Meech grabbed Kirk Maltby’s backhand pass at the top of the right circle.  He cut to the net, but had nowhere to go with the puck.  Instead of shooting, Meech made a quick deke, pulled the puck back in, and cut around the back of the net.  The move froze Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider, and Meech beat him to the other side of the cage.  With a quick flick of the wrists, Meech’s shot hit the back of the net, giving the Wings a 4-3 lead.  It was a great goal, and well deserved – Meech deserves a great deal of recognition for stepping up and playing forward for a Detroit team hampered by injures.

But Meech did more than just acquire a goal for the trophy case – he jumpstarted the Wings’ offense, which exploded soon after.  Fifty seconds after Meech’s goal, captain Nicklas Lidstrom took a cross-ice feed from a falling Marian Hossa, and slowly walked in on Schneider until he found a hole short-side.  Then, less than two minutes later, Dan Cleary scored his second of the night, roofing a rebound off a slapshot from Lidstrom.

It was quite the explosion on the scoreboard, and Meech deserves most of the credit.

What was the play of the night?

I have to go with Jiri Hudler’s second goal of the contest – it was a thing of beauty.  Hudler took the feed from defenseman Andreas Lilja, and really turned on the jets.  He broke away from both Vancouver defenseman, beating both of them to the net.  And, with both of them harassing him with their sticks, Hudler managed to control the puck, then roof top shelf on Schneider’s left shoulder.  The 24-year-old was being hooked so aggressively that he had drawn a penalty, yet it wasn’t enough to stop him, as he fought his way through for his second goal of the night, and 11th on the season.

Who got his nose dirty?

He works hard every night, and he is not afraid of the physical part of the game, but I was surprised by how aggressive Pavel Datsyuk was tonight, in regards to face washes and not-so-nice discussions.  He got into it early in the first period with defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who apparently didn’t like how Datsyuk cut past the Vancouver goal and let him know by giving him a whack.  Datsyuk exchanged pleasantries with him, as did Marian Hossa.  Soon after, Datsyuk threw an impressive check on Lawrence Nycholat.  For the rest of the game, he was mixing it up, throwing around the body and doing a bit of chirping.  It’s always nice to see (and fun to watch) a team’s superstars play the physical side of the game, and Datsyuk proved Thursday night that he won’t ever shy away from the rough stuff.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89