Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 66th game
Forward Aaron Downey, in his second game since being called up from Grand Rapids, picked up his first career goal as a Red Wing. It wasn’t the prettiest goal, but it was fitting for the Red Wings’ tough guy. Camped out in front of the Columbus goal, Downey was able to get his stick on a wrist shot from Derek Meech. The deflection fooled goaltender Steve Mason, which gave Downey his eighth career goal. Coming into the contest, Downey had played in 59 games with the Red Wings through two seasons, and recorded four assists.
How has Jonathan Ericsson looked since being called up?
The Wings have been trying to evaluate their talent in Grand Rapids, and they have been taking a long look at defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. Ericsson was called up last week, and has played in three games with the Wings since. The former ninth round pick of the Wings has looked impressive in his opportunity. He’s big (coach Mike Babcock loved talking about how he is 6’5”), he’s strong, and he can skate. Ericsson has been lugging the puck up and down the ice, and he’s even looked impressive on the forecheck. He picked up one assist in his first two games. Due to cap restrictions, Ericsson won’t be able to stay up when Tomas Holmstrom returns to the line-up, but he will certainly be back for the playoffs and next season.
What went wrong?
The Wings fell behind early, and with one of the top goaltenders in the NHL standing guard at the other end, it was difficult for them to mount any sort of comeback. Detroit kept firing shots on goal, but Mason made 44 saves to get the victory. It was demoralizing for the Wings to go 0-6 on the power play.
The game revealed how the Wings are missing two of their top offensive weapons. Marian Hossa missed another game due to a knee injury, and Holmstrom is still healing from sports hernia surgery. Hossa’s quick release and Holmstrom’s big body in front of the goal are two weapons that the Wings would love to have against a goaltender like Mason. The good news for the Wings? They’re expecting both forwards back as early as next week.