Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings Spoil Hasek’s Party

The Detroit Red Wings picked up a much-needed 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Dominik Hasek had his No. 39 raised to the rafters of First Niagara Center, but the Sabres fans had little else to cheer about after the ceremony.

  • The Hasek ceremony seemed a bit lackluster when you compare it to the Teemu Selanne ceremony Sunday night. Hasek had no family with him, and the entire ceremony seemed rushed. It’s possible FSD missed some of the ceremony while doing pregame analysis, but to me, the timing is unfortunate being two days after Selanne’s. Selanne got all the hype and no one even seemed to notice when it was Hasek’s turn.
  • Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek coming out to congratulate Hasek after the ceremony was a great moment. Mrazek idolized Hasek as a child, and his first time meeting him was during a ceremony celebrating his career. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  • As for the actual game, the Red Wings played a perfect road game. They didn’t let the excitement of the night take the focus off the task at hand, which was getting two points against a team they should get two points against.
  • Gustav Nyquist scored and tied Tomas Tatar for the team goal lead, but Tatar notched a goal later in the second period to regain the lead with 17 goals. Nyquist and Tatar have 30 and 28 points, respectively, third and fourth behind Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
  • Petr Mrazek started his first game as the No. 1 goalie now that Jimmy Howard is out for 2-4 weeks. He had the biggest reason to be unfocused given the opportunity to meet his boyhood idol, but he was solid. He faced 26 shots, didn’t have to bail the team out, but he made the key saves when he had to.

  • Darren Helm scored the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season — it took 43 games to get that first one. After a turnover in the defensive zone, he used his speed to give himself time and space, used Joakim Andersson as a decoy and ripped a shot over the blocker of Michal Neuvirth that rang off the crossbar and into the net for a 10- lead midway through the first period.
  • I like seeing Helm take that shot rather than attempt a pass. Later in the game, Tatar attempted a pass when he should have shot, and it led to the Sabres’ only goal. Too many passes tend to lead to scoring chances the other way. Take the shot, and you create a scoring chance for your team rather than the opposing team.
  • The Red Wings have a tough matchup on Thursday, as they travel to St. Louis to face the Blues, who are on a five-game winning streak. They have scored 24 goals in those five games.
  • Mrazek beat the Blues last year 3-0 in last year’s season finale, and he’ll get a chance to replicate that win Thursday.

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Tom Mitsos is a Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter @tom_mitsos.