Steve Yzerman's done a whole lot of good in his first year as general manager in Tampa Bay, but beating the Red Wings is something that even he couldn't handle. In his first matchup with the club that he was an integral part of for 26 years, Yzerman's club was smoked, 6-2.
Detroit proved even further that they don't need the trade deadline to boost their club. All they need is their own players back, and Pavel Datsyuk continued his hot pace since his return last week from injury. Datsyuk had two goals last night and now had seven points in his five games since returning.
Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos scored for the Lightning to even the score a 2-2 in the second period, but it almost seemed like Detroit was just toying with them a bit. Less than two minutes after the tying tally, Niklas Kronwall scored on the power play and the Wings never looked back. Three more goals, 6-2 win.
Winging It In Motown heaped most of the praise on one line in particular.
So, that line of Datsyuk, Cleary and Hudler is pretty good, eh? I'm going to call it and say that Hudler has officially turned his season around, and if you look at when it happened, it's eerie. When Chris Osgood finally got win number 400, Happy had 2 points in that game. Since then, he's had 18 points in 21 games. Maybe Hudler was so worried about Ozzie getting that milestone win that it was eating him up inside and affecting his play. Of course, it could also be because he's getting minutes with quality linemates that he has had time to adjust to. Either way, this is the Hudler we've been waiting for.
Jimmy Howard was brilliant in making 38 saves in this one. Dwayne Roloson couldn't match.