It’s Halloween, so let’s see if it’s a trick or treat. The Coyotes’ season has been a nightmare, regardless of if they are playing on Elm Street. They hadn’t won a game until last night, so they should be tired coming into this game.
As we know, unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Here’s hoping that Detroit sends its fans home happy from the LCA tonight.
I want to be optimistic, but I’ve done enough recaps when the team should win and we don’t that I’m going to be watching the game like this:
Wondering if we'll give the Coyotes their first 2 game win streak of the season. pic.twitter.com/FWKbJU0P7G— Peter Flay-n (@pflynnhockey) October 31, 2017
I was a little late getting to the game, as I had to go back and take a picture of the shot from the opening that had Jeff Blashill with a skull head superimposed over his head. It was worth it.
I got to the game just in time to see Nyquist score! Red Wings are up 1-0 1:29 into the game. Wow. Scott Wedgewood is really going to want to have that one back. It looked like maybe he had a player or two in his line of sight, but the shot wasn’t particularly hard, and he was pretty far out.
Nyquist reads the play up the boards and cuts to the middle to put the Wings up 1-0. Bad goal to give up by Wedgewood pic.twitter.com/jdG5Vr8Cat— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) October 31, 2017
I think they should just throw everything on net.
Luke Glendening does just that and it’s 2-0! It was a nice shot by Glendening, but man oh man, this is a terrible start for the Coyotes. But we care about the Red Wings, so it’s a tremendous start!
Y'all if you're letting Glendening beat you with 35-foot wrist shots, that's a problem pic.twitter.com/U1TgsheLdd— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) October 31, 2017
Niklas Kronwall levels Nick Cousins, then leads the rush into the zone. Yes, you read that right. Kronwall led the rush. I know, I know, dogs and cats living together, etc.
Andreas Athanasiou decides that he can’t let the score get too lopsided, and he takes a hooking penalty. Arizona goes to the game’s first power play.
Frans Nielsen gets the best chance of the power play, and Darren Helm gets a nice chance on the rebound, but the penalty ends with Detroit still up 2-0.
Trevor Daley carries the puck to the net from the point, and nearly sets up Tatar for the game’s third goal. Jordan Martinook cross-checks Mantha in the back and knocks him down. That’s something to keep an eye on for later.
With 11 minutes minutes left, Detroit is outshooting Arizona 10 to 1. It’s a combination of Detroit taking it to Arizona and the Coyotes looking awful.
Oh great, Adam Clendening is on Arizona. That won’t be confusing.
Tomas Tatar gets a stick in his face, and Detroit goes to its first power play. Arizona’s PK is at 69%, which is most assuredly not nice and ranks as last in the league.
Detroit doesn’t get a shot on the power play, but it wasn’t as bad as that sounds, although it wasn’t great.
Athanasiou has had a lot of jump so far. He’s had a couple chances, but nothing to show for it yet. If he keeps it up against this Coyotes team, he could have a big night.
A lot of Detroit fans got the Halloween memo and came to the arena dressed as red seats.
With 5 minutes left, Detroit is up 16-4 in shots.
In other strange news, Kronwall looks more mobile than I can remember seeing him be in quite some time.
Zetterberg is waved out of the faceoff circle. Tomas Tatar is waved out, which means a faceoff violation and a penalty. So unless Arizona scores here, Detroit will end the period down a man.
Howard makes a huge save with 7 seconds left to keep the score 2-0 at the end of the first period.
I wasn’t expecting to feel this way after 1, but here we are.
Wasn't expecting it, but feeling pretty good so far. Detroit up 2-0 after 1. pic.twitter.com/EdEg7fE7ng— Peter Flay-n (@pflynnhockey) November 1, 2017
Nyquist and Zetterberg fly up the ice on a two on one. Tatar floats a pass to Zetterberg, and it goes towards the net off of what looks like Z’s skate, but it won’t have to be reviewed because it doesn’t go past Wedgewood.
Nick Jensen ices the puck when he didn’t have to, following sustained pressure by Arizona on a sequence in which Kronwall lost his stick, then played with Mantha’s for a little bit. Jensen did need to clear the puck, but he just missed the outlet pass and it went for icing.
Arizona has picked it way up in the second period. Detroit has to be careful that they don’t start coasting with the lead. To be fair, it doesn’t look like they are so far, but it’s something to be on the lookout for.
The line of Athanasiou - Larkin - Mantha keeps the Coyotes hemmed in their zone for what feels like a minute. They are, however, playing with fire as their active sticks could easily lead to hooking or slashing calls the way this season has been called so far.
Luke Glendening gets several chances on a strong shift for the fourth line. Then on the next shift, Mantha nearly gets a breakaway. One defender comes back and forces Mantha to take a backhand, which Wedgewood easily stops.
Daley gets caught joining the rush, and Howard and Ericsson combine to keep it 2-0, but not for too long.
Jason Demers beats Howard with a slapper from the point. It doesn’t look like it was tipped at all, but Howard had two players in front of him. And just like that, Arizona is back in it.
Wings getting sloppy and the Coyotes make them pay. 2-1 pic.twitter.com/ZIdxgbF2dd— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) November 1, 2017
Luke Schenn nails Frk from behind into the boards, which is apparently legal now. Frk looks shaken up and is slow getting back to the bench.
Here's the hit by Luke Schenn on Frk. Seems a bit late pic.twitter.com/TkiWRsakDx— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) November 1, 2017
I was starting to ponder what to call this recap other than “F*** Everything” if Arizona comes back to win when the LAM line makes it 3-1. Larkin keeps the play alive, then gets it to Athanasiou who makes a perfect pass to Mantha for a relatively easy shot. I hope to see a lot of that in the future.
Larkin forces the turnover, dishes to Athanasiou who then makes the pretty pass to Mantha. The kids are pretty good pic.twitter.com/nhNIdbKNij— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) November 1, 2017
It seems like the LAM line is on the ice every other shift, which I’m ok with. They get another chance when Athanasiou comes down the middle. He looks for options to pass, then shoots himself. This line seems to get at least one good chance each shift.
Daley jumps into the play alongside the Zetterberg line. It doesn’t lead to a goal, but it does help create several good scoring chances.
Frk is back on the ice, which is good news. Nielsen’s line comes on and Frans makes a nice pass to Abdelkader, but the play dies there as Abby makes a poor pass to either Helm or Nielsen.
Larkin goal! He throws the puck towards Mantha from his backhand. Luke Schenn tries to block the pass, but deflects it past Wedgewood. That’s Frk’ing karma.
4-1 after two. It feels like the LAM line is on the ice all the time, but it’s just because they continue to make something happen each time they are out there.
Their line is amazing. It’s dynamic. It’s....well, as they themselves might say:
How good has this game been so far for Detroit? (other than like 5 or so minutes) pic.twitter.com/WKFPko5uSj— Peter Flay-n (@pflynnhockey) November 1, 2017
Kronwall blocks the first good chance of the period, keeping the game at 4-1.
Then, 30 seconds later, Nick Cousins cuts the lead to 4-2 as he backhands a puck through traffic off of Brendan Perlini. I’m guessing Perlini will get the goal.
Nick Cousins scores here to make it 4-2 pic.twitter.com/EFQGVj5nUi— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) November 1, 2017
Frans Nielsen looks to get the three goal lead back, but Fischer gets away with a penalty to keep Nielsen from getting a shot off on a semi-breakaway. Then, Helm is cross-checked into Wedgewood with no call on the play.
The period continues with neither team getting great scoring chances until Mantha protects the puck to the outside of the defender, then throws it in front to Larkin, whose shot is deflected up into the crowd.
Kronwall continues his good night, taking a pass from Mantha and putting a slap pass right on AA’s stick. Athanasiou looked like he might be able to beat Wedgewood short side, but no dice.
On their next shift, the LAM line nearly lights the lamp again, with AA feeding Mantha. If you missed tonight’s game, I can’t exaggerate how good they have been. Look, Arizona is bad. Us winning tonight is fun, don’t get me wrong, but we’re beating a bad team. We’re going to have many games that aren’t as much fun, but as long as this line stays together and keeps growing, they’ll be entertaining.
Also, the line blender has been nearly non-existent. There have been a couple instances where someone is out there with a line other than his normal one, but it’s been much less than in games past. This is what we expected last game.
Welp. Clayton Keller throws a puck at the net from the blue line. It hits off Howard’s stick and pops over him and into the net. Hopefully, Detroit won’t regret the chances they’ve missed. 4-3 Detroit
Clayton Keller wheels around the periphery and throws one to the net that finds its way in 4-3 DET pic.twitter.com/HTXt0YxjBg— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) November 1, 2017
Howard has to make one more save before Wedgewood goes to the bench. As that’s happening, Detroit ices the puck. Detroit clears the puck off the faceoff, then Abdelkader finds Helm wide open at center ice. Fortunately, it’s not a breakaway, and Helm fires it into the empty net. 5-3 Detroit.
Arizona pulls its goalie again, and Howard makes another big save. Detroit can’t score another into the empty net, but who cares? Detroit wins 5-3.
Like I said above, Detroit got off to a really good start, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the pain is over. They allowed a bad Coyotes team to get back into the game and came within a bounce of letting Arizona tie it.
Still, let’s enjoy this one. It turned out to be more for a treat than a trick.