Author: Christian Schwartz

Game 82 – New York Islanders @ Detroit Red Wings – The End

Here we are at the end of another season. No playoffs. Just hockey. Just Red Wings.

I don’t care how bad this team is. I love them, and I am always sad at the end of a season. But let’s enjoy one last game, huh?

The Good

Glad to see Zetterberg’s strategy of just slamming pucks into the low slot and hoping it bounces of a Red Wing/Defending player/goalie/ice divot is not just alive but flourishing. He’s been on such a tear this last stretch of games, and once again played 82 games this season at the age of 38. O Captain, my Captain indeed.

Justin Abdelkader has 100 career goals and his 13th of the season. I hate is contract but scoring 100 goals in the NHL is nothing to thumb your nose at. Good for him, and it was a perfect Abby style goal too: a deflection in the crease.

And of course, who else but the official best player on this team Dylan Larkin with a speedy goal where he just smacked it in through whatever gap he could find. Imagine if he was this hot all season. I mean, we still wouldn’t make the playoffs, but that’s still pretty awesome.

The Bad

Well even with the missed call on Larkin that lead to the goal in the last minute that tied the game the defense was pretty…

No, I’m not going to do this. This season has had more downs than ups. But let’s end on a positive note. We’ve got some real solid prospects that will push for this team next season. Larkin looks elite these days. 11 draft picks in the draft the summer with good odds for a top 3. Things are going to get better for this team. Let’s take the opportunity to enjoy some stress free playoffs, and get ready to throw it all behind this team again next season.

The WTF

This fucking goal is the Red Wings season in a nutshell. An almost no look top shelf back hand shot from around the goal line goes in? Jesus. Coreau’s positioning was not great but let’s be honest that’s a disgusting goal to score. Also Anders Lee has 40 goals? That’s insane. I barely knew who Anders Lee was before this season.

Game 81 – Montreal Canadiens @ Detroit Red Wings – Larked and Loaded

I miss the kids already. Hicketts and Svechnikov I think are both good enough to be on this team full time next season, and I hope we do get to see them here.

The Good

Tyler Bertuzzi is a much better hockey player than I expected him to be. Most importantly, he is a significant improvement playing with Zetterberg over Abdelkader. He functions in the same role with better play making abilities that Abby does. Once again here he is in good positioning to accept a pass from Zetterberg and bury it.

Larkin of course is the only true difference maker when the rest of the team is throwing odd man rushes around like candy on Halloween with a slick drop pass to elite finisher Darren “Danger Zone” Helm who snipes it through a Habs screen to put us back within one.

The Bad

The first period was painful. Maybe losing the kids dimmed the fire in the team, I’m not sure. I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose. But the powerplays were abysmal and I noticed a lot of our players diving for pucks in passes that were just not close to the mark. Lots of pucks in the feet. First powerplay didn’t even get a shot off. We got our first shot a minute in and the next almost 14 minutes later. It was a dark period.

Blashill made another of his classically bad challenges in the 2nd on a powerplay chance by Bertuzzi. The call on the ice was a clear no goal since you can’t push the goalie into the net to get the puck in, and that’s clearly what happened. But instead, we blow our timeout on a useless challenge. I swear, NO ONE makes the same level of bad challenges as Blashill does. It’s crazy.

The second also had two terrible odd man rushes. One was a complete blown play in the neutral zone leading to a 2 on 0 break in that Coreau had absolutely no chance on. The second was a play that he definitely should have had the shot and he completely blew the shot five hole. Good for the tank, bad for the team. That’s a save he’s got to have.

Then at the beginning of the third we still don’t have our shit together because we get a 3 on 1 and the Lehkonen scores again to put the Habs up 4-2. Thankfully Larkin once again gave us a bit of a bounce back, but then again we just crumpled in the third. Sank again by huge mistakes tonight.

The WTF

Here’s your reminder that Larkin can break the game if he wants.

https://twitter.com/DimFilipovic/status/982049063389442048

Look at those jets! He cuts through FOUR Habs and then scores a good ole Datsyuk backhander on Niemi. This is the best goal he’s scored all season, hands down, but it also shows again I think the leadership he has. Larkin is dragging this team forward tooth and nail, as hard as he can. He’s not on board for this tank nonsense. Larkin is going to do everything to get us into the playoffs next season and that is captain material right now.

Game 78 – Detroit Red Wings @ Buffalo Sabres – Floodgates Opened

Joe Hicketts lead all Detroit skaters in the first period which brought a tear to my eye. He’s gonna make the show, guys. I just want my Hicketts jersey, alright?

The Good

Dylan Larkin is filthy. He’s on quite a tear right now, finally finding the back of the net in the past couple games. His shooting percentage had to bounce back at some point. But look at this goal. Watch his leg as he comes in fast and snaps the shot off immediately. This goal was huge for the Wings, coming right after giving up a 2-0 lead on the PK the play before. It energized the team, and it’s things like this that I think make Larkin captain material.

Hicketts is still a point per game player, has as many points as Witkowski, and is only 8 points behind DeKeyser on the season now after this wonderful point blast that gives Mantha a tap in for his 24th of the season. Inject Joe Hicketts into my veins. Yeah he made a couple bad plays in the first but it’s his third game and he honestly looks like he brings more to the table than many of the defensemen on the team.

Athanasiou scored after a fantastic passing play set that was by…

*checks sheets*

Kronwall and Abdelkader?

DDK scored a goal too off of a rebound because apparently the Sabres give up rebounds like they’re tank destroying Ws. Or should they be called ripostes, not rebounds? Because Sabres? Errrr…never mind just watch the clip.

Svechnikov ends the scoring onslaught with the empty netter for his second career goal.

It’s hard to say that this is the team playing up to it’s potential when it’s the Sabres they’re playing against, but they definitely played better than normal here tonight.

The Bad

This is a rough way to start the game, letting Eichel score from way out here. It’s a weak defensive play and poor goaltending positioning that allows this shot in. I’m not even giving it a pass because Eichel.  Personally, I don’t think Eichel is quite as good as everyone said he was going to be, at least not yet. He’s had some injuries, sure, but I remember when it was the McEichel year, as if you can mention those guys in the same sentence.

And continuing a theme I’ve been seeing, the next goal was definitely caused by being soft in front of the net. We are not doing a good job of clearing the crease or tying up sticks when they’re in the goalies face. Clearing pucks from here is huge, and we’ve had a rough go of it. Ryan O’Reilly made us pay for sure.

 

The WTF?

*Alarm lights flash*

DARREN HELM SHORTHANDED BREAKAWAY ALERT

It’s easy to say “Why doesn’t Helm always try to make a move like that” but…why doesn’t he? He clearly has hands, so why do 80% of his breakaways end with him doing a nothing move or just snapping a shot wide?

The world may never know