No sooner had I written that the previous game was utterly dull to watch, the Detroit Red Wings scored what felt like a million goals in a lean season of scoring in a 5-2 bounce back victory over Nashville last night.
It was great to watch.
Sam Gagner recorded a hat trick, while Adam Erne and Luke Glendening both recorded goals.
This is what they needed with secondary scoring. Think about it like this. In their last five games, they’ve scored a combined six goals. Six. Last night, they put in five.
It might have been against a poor Nashville team, but nonetheless at 2-2, it looked like another similar outcome: outshot and eventually losing the game. But it turned. And it was refreshing. Take a look at Erne’s reaction after getting the insurance goal.
— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) February 26, 2021
This is what a lot of Red Wings fans envisioned. This was the type of performance expected when they saw Steve Yzerman add Vladislav Namestnikov, Bobby Ryan, and Troy Stecher among others. It wasn’t as if the needle was going to move significantly, but few thought they would be 6-13-3 either. Some of that was the eight game winless streak, and having to get healthy again. Before that, hovering toward .500 seemed doable. Since then, they have been.
But maybe head coach Jeff Blashill’s words sunk in from the other night following the 2-0 loss to Nashville.
From the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James:
“I don’t think we were hungry enough,” Blashill said. “I think this team has been a pretty damn hungry team through lots of the year. We need to make sure we’re at 100% or close to it every night. I don’t think it’s a big issue through the season, but it was an issue tonight. The reality of life is that you’re not going to be perfect every night, whether you are a reporter or hockey player. But we need to be as close to perfect as possible to put ourselves in position to win. I think the urgency and the hunger has been there most nights to a large degree.”
The Red Wings have back to back games against Chicago this weekend. They might not get the same breaks and they certainly might not have the same success.
But just keep throwing those pucks on the net. It was a lot of fun to see a crooked number next to Detroit’s name.