According to stats, the eye test, the standings and the scoresheet, the Detroit Red Wings overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes was one of best wins of the season.
First, let’s consider the opponent. Carolina is one of the best teams in the NHL this season. With a stellar defense and a handful of dangerous forwards, the Hurricanes have the second most points in the entire league (as of March 2), just behind the Colorado Avalanche.
Now let’s look at the stats. Detroit outshot Carolina 41-30, and according to Evolving-Hockey, the Red Wings expected goals-for was 5.43, while the Hurricanes xGF was 2.73. Detroit did not just beat one of the best teams in the league – they outplayed them for nearly 60 minutes, controlling the pace of play and tilting the ice towards the offensive zone.
Finally, let’s head to the stat sheet. Of course, the first thing that jumps out is the game winning goal. Lucas Raymond, the forward that leads all rookies in points, found the back of the net for a That game-winning goal also kept rookie defenseman’s Moritz Seider current seven game point streak alive (12 points in that stretch). The streak has set a new franchise record for a rookie defenseman point streak. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Red Wings game without a great goal from Captain Dylan Larkin appearing in the box score.
Sure, there were some negatives. The special teams weren’t anything special (one of four on the power play, and the penalty kill gave up a goal in the first period). The defense looked soft at times. The team surrendered a goal late in the third, almost dooming the game.
But the Red Wings overcame it all.
If Detroit wants to make an improbable run at the postseason, they’ll have to string together a handful of these hard-fought battles. Is it going to be tough? Sure. But the Red Wings have defied the odds on multiple occasions in what has been a rollercoaster of a season.