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Oil on the fire Thoughts on last nights 5-0 win


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  Wings beat the Oilers 5-0 last night in Edmonton. A few thoughts.


 The road trip concludes in Winnipeg in a few days. So far against Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton we are 3-0. I am so glad we are in the Eastern conference now so we don't have to play out in Western Canada again this year. Staying up late or DVRing and watching the games the next morning is not a favorite of mine, I wont miss it.

  Darren Helm. 5 minutes into his first game in almost 2 years he scores a goal on a breakaway like he never missed a beat. Wow is all I have. Just WOW. Miller and Abdelkader still did most of the heavy lifting on the PK but Helm was on the second unit, Huge lift having him out there and playing well.

  Brendan Smith was not horrible. Lashoff blocked a shot with his face and stayed in. Kindl, IMHO deserved to be first star, a goal, an assist and four blocked shots, he was everywhere, the injury to Ericsson has allowed him and Dekeyser to step up.

 Mrasek had the easiest shutout in memory, the Oilers had 14 shots, and of those I think maybe two were hard chances. Really poor effort on both ends from the Oilers tonight. Yakupov especially looked lost, he was credited with zero shots but fired at least three or more that missed the net wide, and not by a little. Gagner was another one who looked lousy, he was one for nine in the faceoff circle.

  Boyd Gordon was misused yesterday, playing against the Wings third line, he seems to always excel when out against the Wings top line, he is one of the few who regularly shuts down Datsyuk. I think the Oilers haven't figured out exactly what they have in him yet.

  Eberle and Nuge both played a solid game as well but both seemed content to pass the puck between them rather than shoot it, and the Wings with a nice lead seemed content to allow them to. This team really misses Hall. No finishers is the problem.

  Andersson a goal and an assist. Tatar a goal in his third straight game after spending most of the first month in the press box. Abdelkader playing with them seems to make them go. Great third line. Tatar is a simple player, get the puck, rush the net. makes a simple game simple by not overthinking things. Love his style of play.

 And as usual Alfredsson seems to make everyone stop and watch him play when he is on the ice. I never knew he was this much of an impact player, night in night out. 2 assists, plus 2 first star, all over the ice, a takeaway credited and a few more stops at the blue line not given credit for as well as ferocious back checking, EARNED the first star, only played thirteen minutes. Just one hell of an impressive performance as usual. If he had been with the Wings last year we would have gotten past Chicago in that memorable seven game series, and likely won the cup.


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  Yakupov is so tentative. I have watched him a half dozen times over the past two years, he NEVER crashes the net, he crosses the blue line on the wing and goes in a straight line down the wing, never zigging or sagging, the defender does not even have to challenge him, then finally when the angle is near impossible he finally shoots a ridiculous low percentage shot.

  Now I am not insinuating that I know more than an NHL coach or GM but the first thing I would do with Yakupov is tell him he would be fined or benched every single time that he goes past the faceoff dot with the puck still on his stick. Fire a damn shot, pass over the middle, or crash the net, none of this moving down your wing til you are at the goal line before finally trying to do something. He is almost afraid of screwing up, or he has so many options with the puck that his brain literally explodes and he chooses none of them, I am not sure what his problem is. But watch him, pay attention to him specifically if you ever get a chance, the opposition has learned to not bother challenging him because he has the speed to burn them if they do and wont do anything as long as they give him space. I don't think I have ever seen anything like it.

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