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Red Wings Game Recap: Red Wings Offense so Toothless that Dreamworks is Thinking of Filing a Lawsuit

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Wings went into a Monday night matchup with the division-leading Montreal Canadiens looking to make up some of their four-point deficit without spending their game in hand on the Habs yet. Unfortunately, Detroit got 57 and a half minutes into a tightly contested game they should have won and then blew it with the game's ugliest defensive miscue, turning Dale Weise into some sort of puck-dishing folk hero. One empty-netter later and the Habs take the game 2-0.

1st Period

The game started out with both teams feeling each other out for a bit while keeping each other to the outside and featured a delay caused by a broken pane of glass, but boy did it sure go by quickly. There were no goals, but the Wings got a power play when Alexei Emelin cross-checked Tomas Tatar awkwardly into the boards after Tatar just missed dancing him at the circle. Tats wasn't done taking punishment in the first half of the period either, as Dale Weise tagged him at the Habs' blue line on an offsides a few minutes after the expiration of the power play.

After the first ten minutes passed, things really settled into a groove. The Wings had some downright dominating shifts while the Habs kept getting pretty good looks on rushes. The switch of Tatar & Nyquist started looking good as Z fed Tatar a couple times and Nyquist made a sick little saucer pass to get Helm a break-in scoring chance as well.

SHOTS
Montreal: 7
Detroit: 6

FACEOFFS
Montreal: 3
Detroit: 11

BLOCKED SHOTS
Montreal: 7
Detroit: 2

SHOT ATTEMPTS (Even-Strength Only)
Montreal: 11
Detroit:  15

2nd Period

The 2nd ends the same as the first, as neither team can solve their opponent. Detroit gets an ugly power play to start the period after Markov hooks Datsyuk where they spend more time trying to get in the zone than trying to get in the net. Detroit carried a big portion of the 2nd, but the closest thing to a goal happens when Howard has a puck go off the glass and then the back of his leg, but it goes just wide and the danger is cleared.

The refs let a few things go, but when it came time to actually blowing whistles, they tended to let two guys go after each other for about two or three penalties apiece before taking both. It happened first with Quincey and Gallagher, then later with Nyquist and Markov. Montreal finally got a real power play later as Riley Sheahan takes a bad offensive zone hooking call.

Overall, outside of bad turnovers by Smith and Ericsson, the defense was pretty solid.

SHOTS
Montreal: 14
Detroit: 12

FACEOFFS
Montreal: 11
Detroit: 12

BLOCKED SHOTS
Montreal: 5
Detroit: 3

SHOT ATTEMPTS (Even-Strength Only)
Montreal: 10
Detroit:  13

3rd Period

The third period was just about as tight as the first two. You could feel that about 10 minutes in, the teams started playing a bit to avoid mistakes. Naturally, this leads to mistakes. Tomas Plekanec was the beneficiary of a decent number of those errors as he was able to get an open look in the slot to blast home a slapper past a screened Jimmy Howard (thanks Kronwall!). Detroit pulled the goalie soon after that, but by then, they were gripping their sticks tight enough to squeeze the carbon out of them. Max Pacioretty got to be the beneficiary of this bad play as he slid a puck into the open net from the right side of center.

SHOTS
Montreal: 8
Detroit: 7

FACEOFFS
Montreal: 9
Detroit: 16

BLOCKED SHOTS
Montreal: 7
Detroit: 3

SHOT ATTEMPTS (Even-Strength Only)
Montreal: 11
Detroit:  19

The Bullets

  • Hey it sucks to lose games like this. Maybe the Red Wings should try figuring out how to score even-strength goals before the time of year where they're not going to be able to rely on getting as many power plays?
  • We've been wondering for weeks why Pavel Datsyuk has a falling-down problem. If you hadn't seen it before this game, you can see it now in its full glory on display on the game-winning goal.
  • I was more impressed with Alexey Marchenko than I had been in the previous few games. I thought he had a very smart game in this one. I was also impressed with how well both Quincey and DeKeyser adjusted to the "let them play" reffing standard by getting meaner with players around the Detroit net than they traditionally do. Against different refs, that's going to lead to penalties, but that stuff wasn't getting called tonight and everybody in the Joe knew it.
  • Among the forwards, I liked the results of switching Tatar and Nyquist overall, except the part where not a single asshole on the Red Wings could find the back of the net. Nyquist looks like he's alternating between trying too hard to make a difference and not having enough confidence. Tomas Jurco continues to be wasted potential on lower lines while the confidence we saw in Luke Glendening's game a couple weeks ago has all but evaporated.
  • Jimmy Howard deserved better than this, but deserved has nothing to do with it.

Next game is in Chicago. Things just keep getting easier on a team struggling to stick with its identity right now.