It was an aptly named night tonight at Joe Louis Arena. It was 'Michigan Dental Association Night.' Little did the sellout crowd of 20,066 know, they were going to be witness to major dental surgery being performed. As in the teeth of the Minnesota Wild literally being kicked out of them, by the Detroit Red Wings.
The Red Wings scored about every way you can, save from the press box, as they solidified their return to the playoffs with a 6-2 blowout victory Friday night, a victory which not only distanced the Red Wings from the Wild (their lead over Minnesota is back to double digits), but the other teams who thought they could keep up with the Wings (Calgary, St. Louis), and the rest of the pretenders (Anaheim, Dallas) who were all hoping for that eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. The Wild ended up the night back in what seems to be their accustomed spot for this season -- 13th place, 6 points ahead of 14th-place Columbus.
All your favorite Red Wings scored tonight -- Johan Franzen (twice), Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, all the reasons you really HATE the Red Wings for their continued success -- they all scored. So, they will just march on into the playoffs. As for the lowly Wild, however, there are still seven games (4 home, 3 away) to deal with. The fact of the matter is, that the Wild beat themselves -- again -- as much as the Red Wings did. The goaltending was poor (in fact, Josh Harding aggravated his hip problems again, he may need surgery in April) the defense was terrible (how many times were the Wild shorthanded, either by penalty or laziness, so as to allow the Wings to score a shorthanded goal?), and the offense, except for a brief period in the first half of the third period, was non-existent. There's nothing else to say.
Next Game: vs. Los Angeles, Monday, March 29, 8:00 PM Central (6:00 PM Pacific) Time, Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: FSNorth (includes FSWisconsin); Kings TV: FSWest (both feeds in HD); XM Radio, Ch. 207)