Game 46 – Detroit Red Wings @ New Jersey Devils – Joe Hicketts Day

Happy National Joe Hicketts Day! I was so excited for this kid for a long time now. A 5’8″ 180lb undrafted defenseman making the NHL is such a phenomenal story and it helps that he’s been pretty good in his career so far. I want him to be a staple Red Wing for sure.

As it was, his first game was pretty solid for him. He’s a bit aggressive, a couple pinches led to bad chances that the Wings barely managed to negate, but he is fearless out there. He laid both the body and the shot in equal measure. I think if he keeps this up he makes the Red Wings next season.

The Good

If Bertuzzi-Larkin-AA is split up then I think it’s our duty to riot. This is our best line we’ve iced all season and is making chances happen every time they hit the ice. But we know it will be, as soon as Abby comes back, so let’s just enjoy it while we have it. Bertuzzi opened the scoring with his second career goal with a beautiful bury of a rebound. He is looking like a much more complete hockey player than I thought he was. Once again, I love it when I’m wrong about this stuff. What a great game by him.

Who else scored the third goal but yet again another member of that line but #1 player on the Red Wings Dylan Larkin assisted by current #2 player on the Red Wings Athanasiou. Refs waved this off at first but Larkin saw it the whole way. Players know when they’ve scored.

David Booth, because irony is a thing, was waived today and scores a goal on a slapshot from the Wing. It deflects off of Vatanen’s stick but man oh man what a rocket that Schneider just couldn’t track. After a terrible second period hemmed in on the PK for what felt like forever it was nice to go up 2-0

Petr Mrazek played probably his best game in recent memory, and his last game was a freaking shutout. Of course, this game was also a freaking shutout. CONSECUTIVE SHUTOUTS.He was our number one penalty killer (and there were a lot of penalties for us). I mean, he robbed Boyle almost as bad as he did in that playoff series against Tampa. Look at this!

Man I really hope he finds a home, since it’s obvious the Red Wings have no interest in him anymore. How is no one interested in this type of raw talent?

Howard will get the next start anyways.

The Bad

Um, so I don’t think our new powerplay lines are working. Just in general, based on the way that we spend 50% of them pinned into our own zone as if we were on the PK or struggling to sting together enough passes to leave the Neutral Zone. Kronwall in particular looked awful tonight, barely stringing passes together, unable to hold the puck in the zone. How many PP points does he have this season? Hockey Reference says 6, which is half of Mike Green’s 13. I just can’t help but feel like maybe Daley deserves a shot on it.

At least, when he comes back.

The WTF

This is the WTF where I have to acknowledge that holy shit some refs made a really correct call that I was initially outraged by.

Larking goes in the boards and Blake Coleman–I think he makes grills or stoves or something–comes in and gives him a whack with the stick and a cross check on the ice. Larking pops him and it looked like he was called 2 minutes for roughing. I was livid.

Turns out, Larkin that sneaky little hockey boy placed his hand on the puck and pulled it underneath himself, a clear violation of the “don’t close your hand on the puck you idiot” rule. That was actually a correct call.

Good job ref!

Next Game

Tomorrow against Philadelphia.

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