The Wings won 5-4, we all know this, too.
But almost didn't.
I've been putting off writing this post for a number of different reasons, the biggest of which is because I didn't want to piss on anyone's parades. Yes, it was a big win. Yes, it was nice to finally smack down little brother on national television. Yes, those 2 points were huge, considering the lack of dearly needed help around the league to lock up that 8th (or higher) spot. So I decided to wait. Let everyone sing the praises of the Wings for a good day and a half.
But here it is: The Wings were way too close to another Phoenix to be too proud of that game. The Wings got downright lucky to win the game, but I'll tell you the only reason we won that game. First, however, I'll rule out the different reasons.
Yes, it helped. Especially giving up a hat trick to Ladd. You do that, and you need at least 4 goals to win. And technically speaking, scoring 5 goals IS the reason we won. But it's not WHY we won.
If I'm Chicago, and I'm playing any team BUT Detroit, that goal with 2.7 seconds left makes me want to just quit right there. But the Wings are just about as good at holding a lead this season as Patrick Kane is at making sound decisions in public transportation.
And that's not very good at all. And it showed.
If you're like me, you're thrilled that the Wings roared back from being down 2-0 to being up 4-2 with out a player named Datsyuk, Franzen, Holmstrom, or Zetterberg putting a puck in the net. And having 8 players notch points was nice, too. Again, it's a nice stepping stone on the way to a win, but is it WHY we won? No.
I'll tell you why we won.
According to the closed captioning in the gym today, it was some guy named Cromwell.
Towards the end of the third, with Chicago surging for the late, tying goal, Hossa slipped a puck behind Howard from the left side of the net. It went trickling back toward the front of the crease where Kopecky was waiting. Kronwall jumped in from his right defense position, smacking the puck out of the crease. However, Kopecky still got 2 whacks at it. Both shots blocked by Kronwall.
Kronwall made 2, if not 3 saves to save this game.
Kronwall is the only reason that the Wings played less than 20 minutes and walked away with a win.
Kronwall is the only reason that the Wings were not embarrassed on national television by little brother.
Kronwall is the only reason that the Wings are still in a playoff spot right now.
And the fuck of it is that he's getting nearly no recognition for it.
Only Ellen at Big Red Machine and Andy over at Fight Night at the Joe mentioned it. Well, besides me.
Don't worry, fellow bloggers, I'm not calling you out. Not even ESPN gave him credit for anything. Not even the first blocked shot, let alone the follow up.
I feel like I've ranted enough. All in all, what matters is what the scoreboard says at the end of the third period. Which apparently was 11 - 2:00 because, while ESPN was not giving Kronwall any credit for his (at least one) blocked shot(s), they did let me know that Cleary took a holding penalty after the final horn sounded. But the scoreboard also said 4-5. In the Wings' favor. They might have been ugly, undeserved 2 points, but they're our 2 points now.
And it's about damn time WE got the breaks.