8 Observations after the Red Wings 4-2 Win over St. Louis

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The Detroit Red Wings snapped its four game losing streak with a hard fought 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night. There was a little bit of everything for Red Wings fans, and it’s only right to start with the star of the show–Alex Nedeljkovic

1: As he stole yet another game, Nedeljkovic is showing the genius of Steve Yzerman. Swoop in, grab a guy on an expiring deal who the team doesn’t value as much as they maybe should, and give up little in return. Not every deal is going to work out but Nedeljkovic looks like another win for Red Wings general manager.

2: It’s not only his performance quantitatively (.914 save % and a quality start percentage of .600)  but it’s the type of saves he’s making. Two were outright robbery, and though I was asked by a family member if it’s his positioning or true skill that’s making it  look so good, it’s how the crowd reacts that’s maybe amped it up even more. Jonathan Bernier and Jimmy Howard certainly had their moments in Hockeytown. Perhaps it’s just been so long since the Red Wings have been this relevant through the end of November. But it sure feels like the crowd roars like a goal was scored by Detroit after a big save from Ned.

3: Filip Zadina was told by Jeff Blashill to concentrate on good hockey and not scoring goals. In the latest from Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen, the Red Wings head coach told Zadina that he “can’t put all of his self worth into scoring.” This is solid advice since Zadina is constantly having to measure up to that sixth overall pick which labeled him a goal scorer. So it doesn’t help when Zadina is robbed point blank in the game from scoring, which can’t help the shred of confidence that carried over from that conversation. It certainly seems like the goals will come at some point–but those sure bets that don’t in fact find the net don’t help matters, either.

4: Speaking of goals, it was fun to see Robby Fabbri’s reaction to icing the game with an empty netter. The forward had not registered a goal in eight games. Nothing sweeter than finishing off his former team and snapping a goal drought in one shot.

5:  Lucas Raymond continues to dazzle, getting his ninth goal of the season and 20th point in 21 games or less. He becomes the second teenager in Red Wings history to pull off such a feat. The other?  Free Press scribe Helene St. James writes it’s Yzerman. 

6: It’s been fun hearing the volume of Little Caesars Arena in close games. It’s probably based more on the excitement of seeing meaningful hockey late in the game–with the home team ahead. But it isn’t lost on those of us watching at home that the merriment that includes signing songs after they’re been vanquished due to play starting again underscores the happiness that comes with a relevant team again. Winning will presumably become old hat again, or maybe this will become a staple of the fanbase as things continue to look up.

7: The line shuffle Blashill provided did its job–shook things up just enough to move the needle. Though Joe Veleno would leave with injury, the Red Wings were able to keep things going and finished off a very good St. Louis team that controlled play for chunks of the game.

8: Veleno’s injury, should it be for a longer stretch, certainly makes for an interesting call up if it does happen. There’s a large contingent of the fan base hoping to see Jonatan Berggren in the Red Wings lineup. Might it happen? Though Blashill didn’t have any additional news regarding his status, conventional thinking figures that Carter Rowney will find his way into the lineup. The hope of course is that maybe Berggren would get some consideration, especially with how well he’s played in Grand Rapids. 

Would make for yet another reason to tune in Saturday against Buffalo.

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