Month: December 2017

Game 36 – New York Rangers @ Detroit Red Wings – Henrik vs. Henrik

This is my last game recap for the year, as I am out of town on New Year’s Eve with family, and let me just say that overall this has not been a great year to be a Wings fan. We’ve seen a playoff streak broken, we’ve seen contract disputes, we’ve seen regression and bad coaching and the whirlpool of bad contracts bring us down to the bottom of the league. We’ve seen a lot of shit this year. I hope 2018 can be better.

At there very least we got a nice entertaining game here at the end of the year.

The Good

WELCOME TO THE NHL WINTER HENRIKSLAM featuring all the Henrik on Henrik action you need. Hank had a cold spell and was playing kind of bad for a bit there but once again he has exploded to be one of the most dominant players on the team. Nyquist sets him up for a fantastic individual effort against Lundqvist and ties our game. He also almost put the game away in the shootout with a nifty move that beat Lundqvist but he just barely sent it wide on the back hand. Thankfully Nielsen had already scored and the Wings took the game.

The ice is basically nothing more than Larkin’s play ground at this point. He looks dominant out there, in the forecheck and penalty kill particularly, but his playmaking has really stepped up this year. Pairing him with AA was a great move for the night because the two of them were the most dangerous pair of Red Wings by far. I would like to see line iced more moving forward, but I won’t hold my breath. At the very least we can take solace in the fact that AA registered his highest career TOI tonight at ~21 minutes.

Jimmy Howard played out of his mind tonight with several highlight reel saves and really bailed out the team for that chunk in the middle where we forgot how to play hockey that happens every game. He crushed the shootout and gave the team a well deserved win.

The Bad

More turnovers than a fucking Arby’s got served by the Red Wings tonight. Holy crap. The benefit of 11F/7D as it was explained to me on twitter was that you can double shift some young skilled forwards since you don’t have enough of the. The downside for the Red Wings is that all of our defense makes horrible no look passes in the defensive zone that cause terrible turnovers and goals against and now you have an extra one out there. Both goals tonight started from turnovers and escalated for there.

Tyler Bertuzzi had the most beautiful chance for his first NHL goal and just misses it. That’s nothing on him, it’s just the Red Wins way at this point. Just like a garbage powerplay is the Red Wings way (apparently). Still a beautiful play though.

LARKIN AND AA STILL DIDN’T START OT AFTER CHEWING UP THE RANGERS ALL NIGHT. What do they gotta do Blash? Offer you a tithe of gold and jewels?

The WTF

Ahahaha Athanasiou and LarkinĀ are so much damn fun holy crap

Larkin just flutters this think down the entire rink like it’s nothing and Athanasiou not only gets there but he muscles off Holden and snipes it far corner on Lundqvist who had a VERY good game as usual (he averages <1 GAA vs the Red Wings). AA has a lot of gaps in his game and he has been streaky and yeah he held out but damn it if he’s not one of the most fun players on the team and if you don’t want someone like him to play for your team then I just assume you don’t actually like hockey.

Next Game

New Year’s against the Penguins so hopefully we can ring in the New Year by ringing their bell.

Game 35 – Detroit Red Wings @ New Jersey Devils – First Overall Blues

If you’ll recall, the Red Wings were one number off of winning the first overall pick in last years Entry Draft by one number. That pick, of course, ended up being used on Nico Hischier by the team who did win it, the New Jersey Devils. Pretty frustrating situation, and even more frustrating when he scores two goals to help defeat your team.

The Good

Justin Abdelkader scored a really nice goal, and has at the very least upped his production offensively over the last few games. I doubt he’ll ever live up to that contract but you know at least he’s doing alright. He even got another good look that almost tied the game if not for a ridiculous save by Schneider (who looks as good as I’ve always believed him to be, unfortunately for us).

Another positive from the Abby goal is that it was off of a nice pass from Tyler Bertuzzi picking up his first NHL point. He was again a standout player but I don’t know if that’s because he was really that good or if the rest of the team was really that bad.

After a terrible first period the Wings gave as good as they got against the New Jersey Devils and Jimmy Howard was solid if unremarkable in net for most of the game.

The Bad

Another game where they couldn’t start on time. No shots on goal throughout at least six minutes, if not longer. Defense made bad mistakes like Jensen rifling a puck directly into a Devils shins and causing an odd man rush, or Abby pinching up while covering and causing an odd man rush, or Darren Helm’s absolutely unforgivable turnover on the second Hischier goal that ended up as the game winner.

I’m gonna really try to pretend that it’s just the post holiday food bloating making our team play bad.

The WTF?

You cannot go 0/5 on the PowerPlay against a good team like New Jersey and expect to win. Especially not when pretty much the only strength of your team is that it has a pretty good offensive special team and literally nothing else. None of the PPs even looked remotely threatening to me, and you gotta do better than that.

Next Game

Thursday against the Rangers

Game 34 – Detroit Red Wings @ Boston Bruins – Merry Christmas Eve Eve

I’m sick just in time for Christmas, but at least I have the Wings to watch on a lazy saturday.

The Good

Would you believe me if I told you that Tyler Bertuzzi looked like one of our best players this afternoon? He did. Good forecheck, smart play, and tons of hustle. I’m very happy with him as a replacement for Luke Glendening if he keeps this level of play up. The downside to this is that he did not manage to score a goal or anything, but if he continues to play well things will fall into place. Just, no more stumbles that almost give up a breakaway alright Bert?

Nielsen and Helm worked together to score a short handed goal which firmly puts the Red Wings in the lead for short handed goals in the NHL this season. I like that our PK is accomplishing things, it’s just funny that we can manage something difficult like scoring short handed but we can’t score a single goal at 3v3 this year.

The Bad

Well the ice quality looked like shit today and I’ve seen some bad ice in my day. Everyone was falling down. Frk lost an edge and I thought he accidentally concussed himself or something, but thankfully he returned later. The puck was bouncing like it was an inflatable castle. I’m going to use that as my excuse for why we could barely score tonight.

The first goal was a 5 on 3 which I just automatically assume will always be a goal, but the Bergeron goal was almost entirely do to a bad line change and a poor backcheck by Larkin. When your team is barely scoring, you can’t let up bad goals like that. Just a reminder that at a fundamental level this team just makes mistakes that lead to a goal almost every game. It’s not that we’re that much worse than other teams, it’s that we make mistakes like we are.

The WTF?

How the hell did Abby lose a tooth while wear a full face shield? That is insanely bad luck for the stick to (I assume) go through the holes to pop you in the mouth. I think I found who got Riley Sheahan’s bad luck. Of course, it could also be Nyquist, who had a trickled of a goal stolen by Zdeno Chara’s perfect stick work to jam the puck back under Tuukka Rask’s ass.

Next Game

Post Christmas against the Devils next wednesday. Enjoy your holidays everyone!