The Red Wings seem to be just the nicest team in the NHL these days. In two straight games, they’ve to put their own aspirations in the drawer. They stepped aside and allowed Washington to be the lone undefeated team. Last night they also decided that enough is enough, and Columbus should have a victory too. Remember your dinner table manners and that nobody can have seconds unless everybody has had some.
Of course I don’t mean to knock on the Wings like that, but it just looks that way given how they played last night against the Jackets. They were outshot, out-hustled, out-hit, and generally outplayed by the home team. I know Columbus fans will probably point to the return of James Wisniewski, and I will grant that to some extent, but it wasn’t all there. They didn’t play against the same team they played last Friday for sure.
High marks really go to the penalty killing units, keeping the Jackets to 1 for 7 that night. And for the most part, they managed to keep the Jackets from creating any sustained pressure with the man-advantage. The flip-side to that is, of course, why they had to kill 7 penalties in the first place. It’s pretty tough to gain traction in the offensive zone when you’re constantly getting dinged for holding, tripping, or hooking.
For his part, Ty Conklin didn’t do “as bad” as he did in Washington. So, despite the loss to the League’s last place team, it can be seen as a bit of improvement for him. The rest of his team hung him out to dry, so you can’t blame him completely.
It may be a little premature, but maybe this calls for one of Mike Babcock’s famous exhausting skating sessions. He did this a couple times last year where the next day’s practice was constant, never-ending skating. It’s hard on the players, but it works. They’ll need it when the Sharks come to town on Friday.
On another note…is it just me or are their some serious extremes going on the league right now. Again, it’s way early in the season but it’s just a little bit extraordinary that some interesting streaks are going…
• (Before Saturday) the Red Wings got off to the best start in 40 years.
• Washington is undefeated after 7 games, their best in franchise history
• Montreal is off to the worst start since the 1940’s
• Columbus is off to the worst start in franchise history
• Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is currently in the midst of a three-game shutout streak, the best in franchise history