Game 17 – Detroit Red Wings @ Calgary Flames – Saddle Up in the Saddledome

I’d prefer my games to not be such rollercoasters of emotions. I get nauseous easily.

The Good

Well it started good, then it got bad really quick, then kind of good, then bad, then good. Every time it seemed like we got a good chance to build momentum the Flames immediately scored again.

Let’s get something straight here. Anthony Mantha is, right now, the best player on the Red Wings bar none. He is playing a complete game. His defense looks good. He works had every shift. He’s passing the puck phenomenally. He is burying it from far away and right on the doorstep. He looks like the most home run first round pick the Red Wings have had in recent memory, even over Larkin (who has also been good but not as good).

Every goal tonight was thanks to Anthony Mantha.

 

I like the Frk goal a lot. It’s his 3rd in the past 3 games. He’s really turning into a much more complete player that I thought he would. He plays a grindy game on the fourth line with a dangerous weapon, and then you can deploy him on the powerplay where he can open up more and bury it. It’s exactly what we want in a player like him and he has earned his place up top.

The Mantha goal invigorated the Wings and they dominated the 3rd period. I thought it was one of the best periods they’ve played all season. 42 total shots on goal is a lot and Mike Smith had to play out of his mind to stop a lot of them. It’s a tough loss to swallow because for much of the game, I really thought we looked the better team.

The Bad

The again, there were all the moments when we DIDN’T look like the better team. Namely, any time Jonathan Ericcsson is on the ice.

HOLY SHIT I get mad at my team for making clears like this in BEER LEAGUE. What are you doing Ericsson? A no pressure soft clear straight up the board are you kidding me? Of course Calgary scored there. I’d be mad if they didn’t score there. They’re a professional hockey team. You better score when we gift wrap it for you.

He fails utterly to stop the puck on this two on one that led to Jagr’s first goal as a Flame (congrats you old GOAT)

Look at that. Jagr actually gives Mrazek a pity head shake after he scores. It’s like he knows. “You gotta play behind Big E. That’s rough buddy.”

There were some real unlucky goals tonight too. Some screens, a borderline high stick deflection also went in. The one that screams the most as “come on, really?” is Jankowski getting a goal off his pant leg to open the scoring.

A few less turnovers, a few more fortunate bounces, and a few less 4+ million dollar pylons and the Red Wings win this game.

The WTF?

Why do we like Abby? Is it because of grit, of toughness? He’s a physical guy and he plays that grinder role that everyone in Detroit loves since Darren McCarty. So why is it that he never seems to be doing any of that stuff that we’re supposed to like him for? He had a fight tonight, and to say he did poorly is an understatement.

I’m pulling my hair out with this guy. He’s not egregiously bad like Ericsson but honestly at some point I think he’s worse because we gotta figure out how to balance his contract for the next decade basically. Whatever good things he brought to the table are starting to flicker out and I really don’t want to hate Abby forever.

At the very least, can he at least win fights so I can cheer for something?

Next Game

Saturday 9pm against the Blue Jackets.

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