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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 66th game

Sunday, 03.8.2009 / 1:11 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
What was the best part of the night?

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.


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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