One of three games on in the NHL tonight features your .500 Detroit Red Wings. At 8-8-2 the Red Wings are currently 3 points out of both the 2nd WC spot and 3rd in the Atlantic Division. Tonight, they welcomed in the Calgary Flames to the Joe... I mean Little Caesars arena, a team they faced just six days ago. The Red Wings played maybe the best hockey I’ve ever seen from a team that lost 6-3 in that game, but they just couldn’t get the bounces to go their way. Flames goalie, Mike Smith, was a big reason for that and he sat out tonight’s game. Let’s get to it.
Red Wings generated a chance 10 seconds in after Abdelkader found Nielsen open in the slot. To the surprise of many, he missed. AA-Larkin-Tatar line with a nice start offensively as they almost bury one past Eddie Lack. The ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr danced around Kronwall a minute later and almost buried one five-hole on Jimmy Howard. Good start to the game 4 minutes in. AA-Larkin-Tatar line struck again, this time for a goal. A beautiful steal from AA at the Red Wings blue line leads to a 3-on-1. AA’s pass attempt deflects off a diving TJ Brodie’s stick and goes in. 1-0 Good guys.
Right out of the 1st TV timeout, Nyquist buried one perfectly past Lack. Z’s pass made it through after a nice stick lift from Mantha in front of the net. Easy pickings from Nyquist after that. 2-0 Wings. Nyquist followed up on his next shift with a high-sticking penalty. 24 seconds into the PP, the puck squirted past Jimmy Howard and rolled toward the goal line before Jonathan Ericsson looked like he stopped it. A review ensued and determined the puck crossed the line, so much for a good start as Michael Ferland gets the goal. 2-1 Red Wings.
Game slowed down after the 2nd TV timeout as both teams seemed to tighten up. The Red Wings also missed a few passes that could have resulted in good chances. Tkachuk guilty of an interference call which resulted in the 2nd PP of the game for Detroit (The first one sucked which is why I didn’t write about it). This one was better, as Mantha had a beautiful tip-in in the slot off a Athanasiou pass which made it 3-1 Red Wings.
Detroit became shorthanded with 3 minutes to go in the period and boy wonder Dylan Larkin decided to make it 4-1 Wings. After D-Boss stole it at the blue line, a 2-on-1 with Glendening ensued and Larkin toe dragged around a diving Brodie (again) and sniped one top cheddar for an absolute beauty of a goal. Early Red Wings goal of the year candidate too. The Flames found a few chances toward the end of the frame, but no luck. Great 1st Period from the Red Wings.
Score: 4-1 DET
Shots: 12-11 DET
The 2nd Period started with possibly the most empty seats so far at Little Caesars arena this year, definitely not a good look for the home team. First chance of the period went to the Red Wings as David Booth almost picked up his first point as a Red Wing, but Glendening’s tip attempt went right into the Flames logo on Eddie Lack. Another PP came for the Red Wings after a Mikael Backlund tripping call. Right away, Anthony Mantha AGAIN on a tip-in in front, this time off a Nielsen pass. 5-1 Red Wings.
Jon Gillies, who was just called up today, hopped in goal for the Flames after that. Don’t want to jinx anything, but the Red Wings can almost put it in cruise control at this point. 2nd Period was pretty slow after the Mantha goal until Athanasiou (these kids are fun man) blew past everyone for a breakaway in front only to be denied by Gillies. If you had to bet on someone to score for the Flames, who would it be? Yep, Johnny Hockey scored after just a lackadaisical defensive series gives Gaudreau a wide open wrist shot opportunity that he didn’t miss. 5-2 Red Wings.
Pretty vanilla 2nd Period the rest of the way. A few chances here, a few chances there. The Flames got their 3rd PP of the game with a little over 4 minutes left in the 2nd Period. Gaudreau almost buried another one, but a good save by Howard kept it at 5-2. Dylan Larkin is incredible. D-Boss passed one from his dungeon (approx. 140 feet away) off the boards behind Gillies and it bounced off perfectly to an open Abdelkader who buried it. 6-2 Detroit. Best game I have seen from this team in years.
Score: 6-2 DET
Shots: 21-20 CGY (Haha)
This has been fun, I wouldn’t even mind seeing a few more goals here. Red Wings came out hot again thanks to Larkin and AA looking fantastic as they have all game. Pretty back-and-forth 3rd for the first 5 minutes, you could tell both teams knew this one was over. Jimmy Howard got involved in a good way after Tkachuk came crashing into the goal for a rebound. A nice little scrum ensued and Howard didn’t hold back on a few Flames players, particularly Tkachuk. However, it resulted in a Calgary PP.
Pretty boring middle stage of the 3rd. Red Wings still controlled tempo and had good zone time in the Flames territory. Overall just a really strong game from the Red Wings. Now we got some fun late in the 3rd Period. Luke Witkowski just beat the snot out of Brett Kulak, who got up and wanted more. This game had a little bit of everything, good time. Holy jumpin’! Fox Sports Detroit came back quick from break and we got a full out line brawl on our hands. This has been awesome!!!
After seeing the replay, Witkowski was headed to the locker room and got in a verbal argument with the Flames bench. All of a sudden, everyone got into it and Witkowski came back out. Mantha beat the heck out of Hamonic through the Red Wings bench door and Howard and Gillies got into it grabbing and swinging at guys. What a fight, what a night. However, I am worried about suspensions possibly to Howard, Mantha and Witkowski. Fines will definitely happen.
The aftermath of it all was a Red Wings 5-minute PP after Tkachuk got the major penalty for spearing. A little over a minute into the PP and the Flames took a unsportsmanlike penalty. So 5-on-3 for a full two minutes. And just like that, the kids did it again. Larkin found Athanasiou open in the low circle and he buried it for his 2nd goal of the night. 7-2 Red Wings.
This is now the first time the Red Wings have scored 7 in a game since February 21, 2015 in a 7-7 OT win vs. Dallas (The Datsyuk winner). Hahaha so guess what happened next? LUKE GLENDENING ON THE POWERPLAY. 8-2 Red Wings! First time with 8 goals now since February 24, 2013 vs. Vancouver. Four of the goals were on the PP as well tonight. Seriously, this had to have been the most satisfying Red Wings win in years. What a game. What a win. Let’s. Go. Red. Wings!!! Oh and Ericsson tried fighting Sam Bennett to end the game.
Score: 8-2 DET
Shots: 28-27 CGY (Hahaha)