Going without hockey is really lame. The last time we got to watch these Red Wings play was on Saturday, and I felt like I was having withdrawals. Thankfully, we returned to action tonight to kick-off a three-game road trip in Edmonton, Alberta. What could the focal point of this game be? Hmmmm, I wonder. How about one of the most praised prospects in Connor McDavid against American Hero Dylan Larkin, perhaps? Two rising stars going head-to-head in battle. Excited? YOU BET.
Red Wings simply needed to come out and make a statement. They did not do that. They were outplayed, outshot (surprise, surprise), and seemed completely flat-footed. Because of that, the Oilers were able to score the first goal of the game from Mark Letestu on the power-play.
I don't know what it is about this team. They seem a step behind every other team. Slow, too much pass, no snarl, no threat. The only threat they have is what they put on themselves. It's worrisome, I'll tell you that much. If you ask me, the team needs to go back to basics. No more cute passing plays through the neutral/offensive zone. Pass once, shoot once. *Sigh.*
End of 20 the score is 1-0. Shots in favor of Oil Country 11-5.
- The first penalty of the game was too many men. Guess who it was called on, JUST GUESS.
- It took the Red Wings over eight minutes to register their first shot on goal.
The Red Wings came out with a bit more hop in their step, and managed to draw a penalty early. The power-play sustained decent time in the offensive zone, but didn't have much to show for it. They began the the period with a lot of momentum, but little mistakes ended up costing them greatly. After serious miscues, and the defense unable to defend - The Red Wings found themselves down 3-0. Connor McDavid the standout among these goals with a highlight reel play. He deke'd Petr Mrazek out of his pads, after being left wide open. Can't do that.
By the end of the period, the Wings had certainly turned the tides in terms of puck possession. The biggest concern is the performance on defense. Perhaps it's just me, but it doesn't seem like anything is clicking on the blue line.
At the end of 40, score is 3-0. Shots in favor of Oil Country 22-16.
- Oilers have 16 blocked shots up to this point, the Wings have 6.
- The Wings have edge in faceoffs won, 25-14.
Detroit came about a bit more hungry in the final 20 minutes, and managed to finally get a puck by Cam Talbot to make it 1-0. Goal came from Tomas Tatar, who cleaned up a juicy rebound made off of a shot from Gustav Nyquist. Unfortunately, that's all the Red Wings were able to muster up.
You can't win games when you don't score on the powerplay with as many chances that were given to the Red Wings. Even if the Oilers played the trap for many of the closing minutes of this tilt, you have to make a statement. You tried, but you failed.
- The Oilers blocked 24 shots, while the Wings blocked 7.
- Faceoffs in favor of Detroit, 33-23
- Dylan Larkin played 20:37 of ice time tonight, while Connor McDavid played 15:36
Well, that wasn't very much fun. The Wings drop their third game in a row, and are now sitting at .500 in this very young 2015-2016 season. Is it time to panic? Definitely not. Is it time to be concerned? I think so, maybe a little. Something just isn't clicking. The defense is a mess, the team is getting too cute, and it's costing them. Take a look at the goal by Tatar tonight - It needs to be a memo to the entire team. Keep it simple, shoot the puck, generate a rebound, and clean up the garbage. It's still early, but I expected this team to come out and make a statement in this game. Special teams are a serious concern, as they went 0 for 6. That is absolutely unacceptable for any team. While the Oilers did a great job at blocking shots, the Wings failed in the ultimate task of getting two points. Farewell, Rexall Place. It's been real. Next up is Calgary.