The Red Wings are in rough shape, everyone.
They've dropped yet another game in embarrassing fashion. Jimmy Howard hasn't won a game since I was in preschool, and Dylan Larkin is trying to pull this team out of the trenches on bloody nubs.
Let's talk about it.
The Red Wings came out really sharp in the beginning of the game. They drew the first penalty, and of course didn't do a damn thing. At one point the shots were 7-0 in favor of Detroit, which was exciting. Naturally, they let the first goal go on a weird net-front deflection goal by Brandon Pirri. It was a silly bit of luck that I wish this team could come by. After that, the train came off the rails. Detroit gave up two unanswered goals from Aleksander Barkov, and Vincent Trocheck. Absolute lazy, non-give-a-shit hockey being player right now. Absolutely unreal. After the third goal, the Panthers controlled shots, and puck possession.
Thankfully, the entire period wasn't all doom-n-gloom. Dylan Larkin managed to snipe his 16th goal of the season on the power-play because Florida decided to leave him wide-open right in front of the net:
That made me feel better.
Score is 3-1 in favor of Florida. Shots owned by Detroit (18-13), and 5v5 shot attempts are knotted at 13-a-piece. Don't suck anymore.
I wasn't feeling great going into this period, and that's because we were down 3-1. Thankfully, we have Dylan Larkin who just continues to provide endless amounts of excitement. He scored his second of the night, and 17th of the season. Watch it, love it:
The Red Wings seemed to be playing and skating very well in the second period. Larkin undoubtedly ignited a flame that the team desperately needed. With a one-shot game at hand, the Red Wings found themselves on the raw end of their momentum when Derek MacKenzie put the Panthers up by two again. A strange bounce off MacKenzie goes in past Howard, and to be fair, Howard probably shouldn't have tried putting his stick in the way of the pass that setup the goal. The real bad part of it all was that the booth reviewed the goal for either kicking motion, or it going in off of his hand. They found the goal to be fair, and then Jeff Blashill decided to challenge it for goalie interference.
Okay, MacKenzie's stick did obstruct Howard's pad from coming over, but I don't understand why he challenged this. It's a poor call that cost his team a timeout which they are absolutely going to need later in the third period when they are trying to get this game back. Dumb call, Blashill should know better.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), the Red Wings drew a double-minor for Jaromir Jagr high-sticking Danny DeKeyser in the face. This sets up the Red Wings to have a sizable chance on the man advantage. If only the Red Wings could find some consistency there. I guess we'll see.
Score ends at 4-2, Panthers. Shots in favor of Detroit (27-23), Florida has edge in 5v5 shot attempts (26-25.)
Remember when I talked about we'll see if they could find some consistency on the power-play? Mark it down as another squandered chance. Such is life. It was all downhill from there.
Forgive me, but I don't have the stomach to provide you an analysis of what it all came down to in the final minutes. I'm going down a different path now.
You're in trouble, Red Wings. You've run out of lipstick, and the pig is fatter than ever. Nothing about you outside of an extremely talented rookie and a damn-near elite goaltender is convincing. You are playing subpar hockey, and that's putting it lightly.
How do we fix it? A trade? Nah, I don't think so. The team is so heavily built around an aged and spent core of players that the only kind of trade tactic that might work is to sell. Anyone with an expiring contract, or even someone with a little term should be playing for their jobs right now.
I don't know what else to say, folks. Something needs to change, and it begins with Jeff Blashill swallowing his pride and shaking these lines up. Do something. Show that you have a pulse. As of now, the Red Wings sit in the wild card. Who knows how long that lasts. If I was a betting man, I'd say it doesn't last much longer. The Devils have caught us, and have a better goal differential. The Wings are in the second wild card spot, and Pittsburgh is one point behind. Outside of Dylan Larkin, there's not much about this team to like right now. Sigh. Onward.
LGRW, or something.