So after watching the last few games, management thinks that Tyler Bertuzzi hasn’t proven he’s more valuable in the lineup than Steve Ott, Drew Miller, or Luke Glendening.
Tonight we play a Tampa team that’s without Strahlman and Drouin, but that doesn’t make me feel much better.
Based on the way we played against Montreal, I think a victory is unlikely tonight. Of course, I hope I’m wrong. I’m by default a positive person, but this team likes to make it hard to find the positive. But, we’re going to try.
From the pre-game show, I’m getting tired of hearing Blashill say “slap in the face.”
Also on the pre-game show, the FSD crew is doing an admirable job of trying to sell Glendening being on the second line as a “good thing.” It doesn’t make sense, but they’re really trying.
Mrazek has to make a save in the first 16 seconds, which is not a good sign.
After a couple decent chances for the 4th line, the Wings got away with having at least one extra player on the ice. Fortunately, we stay at even strength.
Nyquist has a nice keep at the line, but the Wings can’t turn it into a good scoring chance.
Then........Petr Mrazek misplays a puck behind the net, leading to the easiest goal Kucherov will score this year. The replay makes it look like it was more of a bad bounce than a really bad play by Mrazek, but either way, it’s pretty deflating.
1-0 Tampa, less than 4 minutes in.
The good news is that the Larkin-Nielsen-LGD line had a good shift, leading to a shot in the slot. The bad news is that Larkin or Nielsen weren’t the players who took the shot.
Wings lose a faceoff, the puck goes over to Hedman, who takes a point shot that Mrazek saves. The problem is he puts the rebound right to Stamkos in the slot, whose jersey apparently smells really bad, since no Wing wants to get close to him, and he makes it 2-0.
I have opened this gif in another tab:
We are not even 10 minutes in. I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to channel the Lloyd Bridges character from “Airplane!” to get through this. Smoking. Drinking. Sniffing glue. I’ve never sniffed glue, but it doesn’t seem complicated.
Detroit is making it way too easy for Tampa Bay early on. Fortunately, the officials feel bad for us, and make the right call on an interference penalty.
Zetterberg puts a perfect slap pass to Abdelkader, who gets a great tip on it. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to beat Bishop.
Stamkos is hurt after an akward collision with Nyquist. He looks to be heavily favoring his left leg. Given that his injury history is with his right leg, it could be really bad news for him. While it’s good for us that he’s in the dressing room and not on the ice, you never want to see that.
Larkin’s power play unit gets some good chances, but can’t break down the Tampa pressure.
Glendening is still on the second line. Steve Ott throws a hit that looks at least borderline late, so it’s good to know that all is right with the world.
So far this reminds me of the Montreal game. We have almost no transition game and very little sustained offensive pressure.
Sproul wins a battle to spring Mantha and Nyquist on a 2 on 1. Mantha probably should have shot it there, but he tried to get it to Nyquist, and the pass was deflected. To be fair to Mantha, it was a great play by Hedman to deflect the pass.
Like I’ve been saying all along, Glendening is a major force on the team and putting him on the second line is a brilliant move. He gets to a loose puck in the corner and fires a pass to a wide-open Nielsen. Nielsen collects it and puts a backhand by a helpless Bishop to cut the score to 2-1.
We are lucky to get out of the period only down by a goal. Hopefully that late period boost will wake up the team for the second. If not, I might have to find some glue after all.
Stamkos is still in the locker room. Good for us, bad for hockey fans.
Ott and Brown get better acquainted. Tatar makes a nifty move to get the puck to Abdelkader, but he can’t get it from his skate to his stick quickly enough to get a shot off.
Later in the shift, Abdelkader begins to really throw his body around.
Wings buzzing now. Abdelkader has his second good shift in a row, leading to a great chance that Zetterberg can’t get a stick on. He then set up Nielsen for another great chance. Nielsen has been more offensively noticeable today than he has been in quite some time.
Action is fast and furious now at both ends, leading to a Detroit penalty. Tampa gets about an extra minute of a man advantage 6 on 5 when the Wings can’t touch the puck. Larkin finally does, and we head to a Tampa power play. Smith to the box for tripping with 13:32 left in the second.
Detroit does a nice job killing the penalty until Mike Green shoots the puck over the ice from his own zone, leading to a 5 on 3 for 19 seconds.
The Wings kill the first penalty, then a Hedman shot rides up Marchenko’s stick into the defenseman’s throat. Fortunately, he looks like he’ll be OK.
Sheahan and Helm get shorthanded scoring chances, with Helm getting a second one. Other than the whole “taking another penalty” part, Detroit’s PK has been much more effective than the first game of the season.
Coburn takes a shot off the inside of the knee, and he goes to the dressing room. Stamkos will not return tonight, so Detroit has to take advantage of the shorter Lightning bench.
Steve Ott destroys Paquette behind the net. In the first period, Paquette laid a borderline hit on Marchenko. It didn’t look like an illegal hit by Ott. Boyle comes in and starts a fight with Ott, who holds his own, especially considering that Boyle is about eight feet taller than he is.
Ott and Boyle get five for fighting, with Boyle getting a deserved 2 minutes for instigating and a ten minute misconduct.
Keep an eye on Paquette, as I would not be surprised if he decides to seek retribution later.
Detroit’s power play looks like last year, so needless to say there’s nothing to add here.
The Coyotes are reportedly getting a new arena for the 2019-20 season. I hope Shane Doan enjoys playing there.
Nyquist makes one too many moves on a 3 on 1. After the play, Anthony Mantha goes face-to-face with Callahan. He then rests his visor on Callahan’s forehead, to which the Lightning player takes offense. Mantha then heads down the tunnel to the dressing room with under two minutes left. I have no idea why that happened. No penalty on him. Strange.
The game is getting increasingly chippy, and the third could be a powder keg if the officials don’t get it under control. Abdelkader takes exception to a late hit after the second period ends. I can’t read lips, but I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t inviting the Lightning to his house for Thanksgiving. 2-1 Tampa at the end of the second.
Proving life isn’t fair, Abdelkader was given a penalty at the end of the second for his skirmish with Killorn. And of course, Tampa scores a power play goal to make it 3-1. Nesterov on an assist from Namestikov. Ov course.
If Koekkoek doesn’t have an endorsement deal with Cocoa Puffs, then something is wrong with the world.
Darren Helm looks to have been badly hurt. Nesterov hip checked him and Helm went over the top, landing extremely awkwardly. He went right to the room holding his left arm. The replay shows that his leg hit Nesterov awkwardly as well. Since he hurt his left shoulder last year, that’s likely the primary concern.
Point takes a hooking penalty, and Detroit goes back to the power play.
Sproul took a wrist shot from the circle off a clean faceoff win only six seconds into the power play. Abdelkader screened Bishop, but it didn’t look like he got anything on it, and Sproul gets the goal from Green and Nyquist.
I’ve seen some bad calls, but this is ridiculous. Hedman hits Abdelkader from behind, taking an interference penalty. Abdelkader is called for embellishment, which is an absolute joke. I really try not to complain about the officiating, but that is one of the worst calls I have seen in my thirty years of watching hockey.
Tyler Johnson nearly immediately takes a penalty, and the Wings go to a 4 on 3.
Sproul takes a huge one timer. Bishop makes the save, but Mantha makes a beautiful pass to a wide open Zetterberg for the tap-in.
Sproul is now only 8 points away from not getting scratched when Kronwall comes back next game.
Nyquist then nearly puts the Wings ahead, but he can’t put it home.
Well, the rules are out the window now. I lost track of the Lightning penalties on one shift. Boyle took at least three himself, but he’s still on the ice. Again, I hate to complain about the officials, but this is just getting ludicrous.
After the first two goals, Mrazek has played well. He had no chance on the third Lightning goal, and he’s made some good saves down the stretch.
And....everything is awful again. You’ve got to be kidding me. A seemingly harmless shot bounces off Miller and right to the stick of Kucherov. You know what happens next. With 1:10 left in the third period.
That’s your final. Ugh.