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Putting the Stammer Down: Red Wings 2, Tampa Bay 3

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is that it sounds like Andreas Athanasiou will be playing in his first game of the season.

The bad news is...well, how much time do you have?

The Red Wings have been playing terribly. They are playing a team that has one of the best lines in the NHL right now. It’s also a team that usually eats our lunch. And our dinner. And forces us to order the entire dessert menu, eats it all, then makes us pay for it.

Fun Fact: I would pay a lot of money to get to sit with John Keating as he comes up with the ridiculously strange opening transition he writes for the pre-game show.

The logical part of me thinks that this game could really be a disaster for us, but the emotional part of me is excited to see Athanasiou again. So....

First Period

The pre-game lines have Abdelkader replacing Mantha on the top line. So, that’s a thing now.

Things almost started very poorly as Ericsson decided to step up on Kucherov at the blue line. He didn’t get the man, which led to a 2 on 1 with Kucherov and Stamkos.

Mike Green takes a penalty for slashing, and Tampa’s #1 in the league power play gets their first chance of the game. The Wings penalty kill starts off by putting very little pressure on the TB power play, and I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Helm steps up and intercepts a pass, leading to a break the other way, but nothing comes of it.

The Wings kill the penalty, but Tampa Bay looked very dangerous. That’s not surprising, of course.

At the five minute mark, it looks close to as bad as I feared, as the Wings look like they can’t get anything going. Detroit has no answer for the Tampa forecheck, and they are being completely dominated.

Detroit goes to the power play, and hopefully they can get some kind of momentum going because they have nothing going on right now. Victor Hedman goes off for slashing Nyquist 11 minutes into the period.

Niklas Kronwall is on the power play. That’s all I’m going to say.

After the power play, Andrei Vasilevskiy absolutely robbed Zetterberg.

At this point, my browser didn’t save what I was writing, so I’m hoping I’m correct about the next series of events.

Justin Abdelkader takes a slashing penalty, and it’s not looking good for the boys in white. Tampa’s power play is deadly, and they were very lucky not to give up a goal the first time.

Just like I predicted, Frans Nielsen scores shorthanded! He finishes off a two on one break by rifling it past Vasilevskiy to give Detroit the lead.

Dylan Larkin's speed allows him to poke the puck loose and take off the other way. Oullet follows up for a shorthanded chance, but it's a bad angle shot that's easily turned away.

The Red Wings take a penalty for too many men on the ice. They then allow Kucherov an open shot from the circle, and he scores, just as written in the prophecy. Kucherov now has a point in 11 straight games.

We are tied 1-1 with 3 minutes left.

The rest of the period goes by without any major scoring chances, and we end the period 1-1. Detroit should feel very lucky to be tied right now.

Alan (@loserpoints on Twitter) is creating charts for tonight’s game. Here is the one he made for the end of the first period:


Basically, the top line for the Red Wings had a good period. And that’s about it.

I’m really hoping they stop turning the puck over with Kucherov on the ice:

Second Period

Note: My decided to not work for almost the entirety of the second period. JJ gave me updates on what was happening, so I will do my best to make it flow well.

The Red Wings start the period with the type of power play that you teach young hockey players when you show them how not to run a power play. It took nearly the entire 2 minutes to generate a shot.

Kronwall takes a penalty for interference. Helm had a good rush shorthanded, in which he tried a spin-o-rama but shot the puck wide.

Namestnikov continues to be amazing and takes a puck out of midair to feed Kucherov for a dangerous chance. AA showed good aggression to get a chance but couldn’t put the puck through Coburn.

Mantha and Sergachev take penalties for “being jerks to each other” - JJ.

Since Mantha decided to wail on a Tampa player who was still wearing his helmet, will history repeat itself and have Sergachev in a Red Wings uniform next year?

Gustav Nyquist takes a penalty to make it 4 on 3. Detroit kills the entirety of the Nyquist penalty, including some good PK work from Ericsson. Even so, Detroit is still on the wrong side of the run of play.

Athanasiou nearly scores! That would have made everything feel a lot better.

If you are reading this and didn’t get to see the game, don’t worry. I got to see maybe 3 minutes of the second period. The feed is back, and hopefully the third period’s recap will feel more coherent.

Looks like I didn’t really miss much


Third Period

Nielsen takes a pretty touch pass to gain the zone and tries to feed Athanasiou, who is driving the net. It was a nice play, but the pass was behind AA. With AA being a left handed shot, there wasn’t really a pass that Nielsen could have made that wouldn’t have been cut off by Vasilevskiy.

Point breaks into the Red Wings zone, loses an edge, and still keeps control of the puck. That’s not great.

Nielsen takes a penalty for slashing, and Howard robs Kucherov with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker. With five minutes gone, Tampa has a good chance to take the lead here on the man advantage.

Howard comes up huge on back to back saves in close. Each shot seemed like a sure goal. But, the moment was short-lived as Kucherov faked a shot, then fed Stamkos at the other face-off dot. Howard had no chance as Stamkos one-timed it into a nearly open net. Stamkos has 21 points in 11 games. That’s ridiculous.

Mantha ruined Dotchin, and the Tampa fans wanted a penalty, but none was forthcoming. Kucherov gets away with hooking Ericsson, which sets up another scoring chance for Kucherov. Should have been a penalty.

Abdelkader makes a nice move to juke past a defender, then remembers who he is and sends the puck to nobody at the blue line.

This top line of Kucherov - Stamkos - Namestnikov would be so much fun to watch against another team.

Chris Kunitz takes a penalty. Bet you can’t guess what it is. Yep. Slashing. Detroit’s first attempt at gaining the offensive zone is embarrassing. Athanasiou can’t hold up and makes the play offside on a later zone entry attempt.

If you didn’t watch, you are likely wondering how Athanasiou has been playing. He’s been pretty good so far. He looks a little rusty, but not as much I thought he would. He has jump and is making things happen offensively. He also slipped and fell into the net because he was backchecking hard and lost control. That came on a play where he passed from behind the Tampa net just before the Lightning got the puck, meaning he had to go the length of the ice.

Mantha flew into the zone, but lost the puck at the Tampa blue line. Nyquist picked up the loose puck and wristed a shot on goal, but Vasilevskiy made the save.

Welp, cancel the comeback. Point is left all alone in front of the Red Wings net and Gourde finds him with a one-handed chip pass from behind the net. 3-1 Lightning, and that’s closer than it should be.

Detroit pulls their goalie and draw a penalty with 2:24 left. Sergachev for hooking. Detroit will have a 6 on 4 power play.

The power play looked like it was going to be another disappointing one, but Nyquist finds Nielsen in front for Frans’ second goal of the night. The lead is cut to 3-2. Detroit pulls the goalie. Then a crazy series of events. Kronwall interferes with a Lightning player and isn’t called. I hate to say it, but that should have been a penalty.

Kucherov chases Zetterberg and takes a penalty. He is rightfully upset because play should have been blown dead earlier. That being said, Kucherov definitely deserved the penalty.

Detroit keeps Howard on the bench. Zetterberg gets caught by Palat when the captain goes back to retrieve the puck. Nielsen rushes back to help out and keeps the puck in Detroit possession. Even so, the Wings run out of time and can’t get the tying goal. The game ends 3-2.

It’s sad that this was the Wings’ best effort in a while because it wasn’t very good. The team was lucky to not lose by more.


When will the Wings turn it around?