Jordan Oesterle grew up in Dearborn Heights dreaming someday that he might play for the Detroit Red Wings. He is living that dream this season and it keeps getting better.
Oesterle’s first goal as a member of the Red Wings was an overtime tally to give his boyhood team a 2-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena Monday.
It was redemption for Oesterle because his earlier turnover led to Anaheim’s only goal.
“Obviously, whenever you have a turnover like that or (are) a big part of a goal against, you want to kind of redeem yourself and erase that mistake,” Oesterle said. “Lucky enough I was able to.”
Here are five takeaways from the game.
One game after giving up five goals to the Maple Leafs in the third period, the Red Wings limited the Ducks to only 15 shots on net. It was one of the Red Wings’ finer defensive efforts of the season.
The Red Wings surrendered 26 goals in their last five games before holding Anaheim to a single tally.
“If you revisit Saturday, the one thing I’d say to you is we did lots of things really well, too,” Coach Jeff Blashill said. “It wasn’t like the game in total was a bad performance. At the end of the night, we outchanced them. We gave up a lead and that’s super frustrating. Do I like the way we reacted to it? Yes. I thought we came out and in the first period we played the way that we have to play, I think that most teams have to play to be successful.”
Jordan Oesterle Valuable Add
Even before scoring this goal, Oesterle had been a good offseason acquisition. He has been a dependable defenseman on a team that has struggled defensively. The turnover he made, leading to Anaheim’s goal, is not a regular occurence for him.
He didn’t get much playing time earlier in the season. But Blashill seems to have confidence in him now. After today’s game, his plus minus is even. He has played 24 games and produced more plus games this season than minus games.
“I think what allows him to be successful in the role that he’s in is that he’s been able to maintain his confidence,” Blashill said. “He hasn’t let my decisions at times to not play him shake his confidence. I think that’s a huge thing for these guys and especially for guys that aren’t getting top minutes or in the lineup every night. You gotta find ways to not let other people’s decisions affect you and keep your confidence up.”
Captain Leads Charge Again
Dylan Larkin not only is having the best season of his career, he’s having one of the most productive seasons in the NHL this season. With 23 goals, Larkin is now tied for eighth in the goal scoring race.
This season, Larkin has been far more assertive, driving the net with speed. Monday’s goal was a perfectly executed under the crossbar shot from in tight.
“I think Dylan’s done a really good job of skating with the puck, of being strong on the puck,” Blashill said, “of making less hope plays and more plays when sees them and when he doesn’t see them, hold on to it and use his skating to create space. If he gets sealed off, living another day. And when he does that, he’s a really effective player. ”
Was It Kicked In?
Detroit defenseman Filip Hronek appeared to a score a third period goal that deflected off his skate. After use of a replay, the goal was disallowed because it was ruled Hronek kicked it in.
“I haven’t gone back and looked,” Blashill said. “I saw it quick on the bench. Polled guys in the back room there and to me it’s one of those 50-50 calls.”
Detroit defenseman Nick Leddy didn’t play after the second period. The Red Wings didn’t release any details about his apparent injury.
If Leddy had not been hurt, he likely would have been on the ice instead of Jordan Oesterle on the game-winning faceoff.
Danny DeKeyser would likely return to the lineup on Wednesday if Leddy can’t play.