The Detroit Red Wings opened their 2012-13 season in embarrassing fashion when they were demoralized by the St Louis Blues 6-0. It was not the type of start the Wings had in mind when they traveled to St. Louis, and it has stuck with the players since. This may be why Detroit’s left wing Henrik Zetterberg seemed to be a man on a mission Friday night when the Blues came to town.
Zetterberg, who had been ill and unable to practice leading up to Friday’s game, scored back-to-back goals in the first period to open up the night’s scoring. At this point, the fans within Joe Lewis Arena were rocking and the revenge game was in full swing.
“We weren’t happy about our effort in their building and we had a chance to kind of bounce back today,” Zetterberg said after the game, but it was not as easy as it should have been. Three straight goals from the Blues had the Detroit Red Wings on their heels and they entered the third period in danger of letting a two goal lead at home dissolve into another route.
Giving up a two goal advantage on your home ice can be extremely disheartening, not only for the fans, but for the players on the ice as well. To lose the advantage and then fall behind by a goal makes it even worse, and when it is to the team that pulled your pants down and spanked your bottom to start the season, it is completely unacceptable.
This may have been what spurred the Red Wings on in the third period. In a situation where so many teams may have just given in to the sinking feeling, the Wings dug deep and found a way to get back in the game.
It took Jonathan Ericsson to score his first goal of the season to tie the game up and break the floodgate. Pavil Datsyuk shot in the go-ahead goal and then Zetterberg fought off two Blues players to shoot in his third goal of the night…while laying on his stomach.
The win was huge in terms of showing that they could come out and compete with anyone and in any circumstances. They Blues had manhandled them in the first game and had been a hot team since. The Wings had given up an early lead and trailed in the third. Zetterberg had been sick and missed a day of practice. The odds were against them, and yet, they fought till the end and they found a way to get a victory. It was the exact kind of win the Red Wings needed to get the confidence level in Detroit back up to where it belongs.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.