clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recap: Well, that sucked: Detroit 1, Florida 4

New, comments
Detroit Red Wings v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images


After Detroit’s opening game loss to Tampa Bay, fans hoped for a better game tonight. Then, yesterday, the impossible happened. Steve Ott is not playing tonight. Andreas Athanasiou is, and he’s on the top line.

Will AA use his play tonight to metaphorically slap Jeff Blashill in the face and prove he belongs?

Will Steve Ott literally slap Jeff Blashill in the face?

Will the shuffled D-pairs be an improvement?

How long until AA is on the fourth line playing every tenth shift?

These questions—and many others—will be answered in the next episode of....The Red Wings season!

First Period:

A live look-in on the locker room shows Steve Ott cutting up orange slices for the first intermission.

30 seconds in, AA misses a wide open one-timer in the slot. Jeff Blashill looks to see if it’s possible to scratch a player after a game starts.

Shortly after, Vincent Trocheck beats Marchenko to the outside, and banks a wrap around shot off Dylan Larkin’s skate. Red Wings fans switch from beer to hard liquor. Florida 1-0 (1:10)

We’re five minutes in, and the Panthers have had at least three great chances out of their four shots. The Wings are still shotless, unlike the majority of WIIM readers at this point.

Dekeyser draws a penalty, and the Wings go to their first power play. Nyquist and Larkin have a nice give-and-go, but Nyquist can’t get a shot off.

The power play ends without a goal. The first half was pretty rough-looking, but they got more chances in the second minute. Larkin had several chances, but the team’s ability to hold the puck in is severely lacking.

Mrazek barely keeps a puck from crossing the line after Florida got a series of great chances. Florida has way too much time and space when they get the puck.

Larkin continues to be the Wings best player so far, as he creates a chance just before Colton Sceviour makes it 2-0 on a two-on-one. Brendan Smith got caught up-ice and couldn’t get back in time. Florida 2-0 (10:01)

One time I accidentally hit a badger with my car. I’m not sure if it was a badger, but it was cute. It didn’t die, and I had to watch it limp into the woods, probably to die a protracted, painful death. Tonight’s game has been harder to watch than that.

Until now. GOAL! Vanek refused to give up on a puck, forcing it behind the net. Nyquist quickly put it to the front of the net and Darren Helm slammed it home, cutting Florida’s lead to 2-1. (13:07)

Athanasiou nearly had a breakaway, but the puck was a little too deep by the time he got to it.

The first period ends 2-1 Florida, and Detroit is lucky it’s not 5-1. Shots are 16-9 Florida.

Good Period: Larkin, Vanek, Helm, Mrazek

Bad Period: Marchenko, Smith, WIIM readers’ livers.

Second Period:

The Nielsen line starts the second period. Athanasiou had 5:16 of ice time in the first, if you’re keeping track. Marchenko and Ericcson are playing together now. Ouellet / Smith, and DeKeyser is still with Green.

The fourth line for the Wings had a strong shift of sustained offensive pressure. Abdelkader got himself open, but couldn’t beat Luongo.

It’s starting to get really chippy now. Several big hits in a row, including Ouellet hitting Trocheck behind the net, which could have been called interference, then Trocheck takes down Smith, but neither is called. Eventually, Vanek and Yandle end up in the box for roughing, so we go to four-on-four.

Tatar steals the puck and leads a break up ice, but his spinning pass doesn’t find the trailer.

Mrazek has been playing well tonight, and he stops two Panthers from point blank range, one after another.

The officials have apparently forgotten how to call a penalty.

In case you had forgotten in the last ten minutes, Riley and Brendan Smith are brothers.

After so many uncalled penalties, Alexei Marchenko is called for a pretty weak holding the stick penalty. Tatar, Larkin, Ericsson, and Sheahan start the PK.

Wings kill the penalty, but almost give up a goal shortly after. On a two-on-two, Trocheck blew by Smith and Mrazek had to make a solid save to keep the deficit at only one goal.

Fun fact: In addition to discounts at restaurants and other establishments nationwide, Jagr’s AARP card entitles him to ten free holds per game.

Additional fun fact: Jagr’s AARP benefits can be used by Aaron Ekblad.

And it begins: Larkin is now playing with Nyquist and Abdelkader.

Mrazek saves Detroit yet again when a puck bounces over Green’s stick. He has 26 saves so far, and it’s not an exaggeration to say this game could easily be 8-1 at this point.

Luke do I say this....gets a two-on-one with Abdelkader. Glendening ummm.....passes it to Luongo? It seems that he was trying to set up Abdelkader with a rebound, but it was pretty bad.

Ericsson gets two minutes for “we just realized we haven’t called a penalty in, like, a long time.” The officiating is dreadful tonight. I’m not blaming our deficit on the officiating, but a ton of penalties go uncalled, then the officials call something seemingly at random.

Athanasiou has almost as much ice time through two periods as he averaged in a full game last year.

Through two, shots are 28 to 13 Florida. Larkin leads the forwards with 12:18 of ice time, and with Vanek and Miller the only two forwards under 9 minutes. Blashill seems to be trying to roll four lines for the most part.

My father told me there is an old combat adage that war was endless stretches of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of pure terror. That was how I felt watching the second period.

Good period: Mrazek. He’s not been the only positive, but he’s been so good that he should be highlighted here.

Bad period: Smith, Green, Marchenko.

Third Period:

My computer froze, but I didn’t realize it until six minutes had been played. I’ve been told that the game is still boring, and based on the last period, it seems likely they are telling me the truth.

According to a clip from Blashill coming back from the commercial break, he says our young players need to be able to “put their line on their shoulders and carry them for a game or stretches of a game.” That strikes me as excessive, especially when the entire team can’t string three passes together.

It’s still early in the season, and a good amount of players didn’t play together in pre-season because of the World Cup of Hockey, but it’s discouraging to see the team not getting anything going for most of the game.

The frozen screen I had for the first six minutes of the third period was only slightly less exciting than the six minutes I’ve been back for. A whole bunch of icing. The good news is that Mrazek hasn’t had to stand on his head nearly as much this period.

Larkin - Athanasiou - Sheahan is now a line. Nielsen - Tatar - Abdelkader is the next line out of the blender, followed by Helm - Zetterberg - Nyquist.

Dekeyser becomes the latest defenseman to have a player blow by him. It’s been a really concerning pattern. Larkin has made some really bad decisions with the puck the second half of the game.

Abdelkader draws a penalty with 5:08 left in the third period.

Florida killed it with the Wings barely getting set up during the entire two minutes. Nothing is clicking.

I know this is going to be a shock, but a bad defensive play leads to a Florida chance, which they convert. Jagr ties up Dekeyser and Green misses the puck, allowing Barkov to walk in all alone. Mrazek had no chance. 3-1...hold on...4-1. Marchessault puts it into the empty net.

Good period: Mrazek, me when I didn’t realize the computer was frozen

Bad period: Pretty much everyone with Green being at the head of the pack, me because I had to watch the third period to write this recap.

Ugh. I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s really hard having just watched our performance tonight. Mrazek was great, so that’s a positive.