10/13/11: Van 0 @ Det 2
After nearly a week off between the 2nd game of the year and 3rd, the Red Wings got back to work with a game against the high-flying Vancouver Canucks. The coaching staff used the time throughout the lay-off to re-work the second unit of the Power Play, hoping to ignite a slow 0/9 start. Unfortunately the changes didn't make any immediate impact.
The Wings went 0/7 on the PP last night and really need to figure out a way to get it clicking. On the flip side, the penalty kill and team defense in general are looking fantastic. Limiting shots on goal and scoring chances is a nice change of pace from the past 2 years and hopefully this is something we see throughout the season.
1. Nicklas Kronwall - This might be surprising to see him as the number one star as a few guys really stood out last night, but I was extremely happy with Kronwall's defensive play in particular. He made some top-notch stops on the back-end and looked to be flying all over. If this is the level we see from him throughout the season fans should be extremely happy to know we have our Rafalski replacement.
2. Jimmy Howard - Easily could have been the first star. Shut-outs don't usually come easy, especially against the high scoring Canucks. I do think he managed to have more luck on his side this night, with the Hodgson shot barely getting beat out by the clock, the ringing cross bar of Burrows one-timer, and D.Sedin's flubbed one-timer right into Howard's sprawling pads. He did play great throughout the night though and hopefully we see this level of play throughout the season.
3. Valtteri Filppula - The kid looked great again. He is all over the ice, making plays on the offensive end and swinging back to make goal saving defensive saves. If he can keep this level of intensity and play through the season he will surpass his previous career high without much trouble.