We get word that Jonathan Drouin won’t play tonight, which is helpful for the Wings. Obviously Detroit has to play much better tonight than two nights ago, but having Drouin back in the lineup would make that harder.
Frk is back tonight, and is reportedly slotted in on the top line. I like Frk, and I’m glad he’s back, but the last person who was playing in that roster spot is a healthy scratch tonight. Hopefully, that isn’t in the future for Frk.
Also, this is the 22nd anniversary of the game that drove Patrick Roy out of Montreal. I mean, that’s not going to repeat itself tonight, but maybe we can chase Price from the crease? Or score 9? Or...like...3?
I know the team has been playing poorly of late, but I am trying to be positive. So let’s be positive! It’s game time!
It’s been a roller coaster, and the game hasn’t even started. Xavier Oullet was a late scratch, then he was actually in the lineup. It was a journey.
Shea Weber is back in the lineup for Montreal, but Drouin is still out.
Four minutes in and each time has made some nice plays, but no major chances yet. Detroit is working hard in the puck battles, so the lethargy we saw in Period 3 last game is not evident tonight.
Montreal gets the first great chance of the game, putting a rebound off the glass back towards Mrazek, but the Detroit goalie makes the save.
The puck pops loose to Paul Byron at center ice, and he blows past a flat-footed Nick Jensen and breaks in on Mrazek. He rips one over Mrazek’s left shoulder for a 1-0 Montreal lead.
Paul Byron burns the Detroit D and gets his 7th of the year pic.twitter.com/foi0vrrAuB— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 3, 2017
As I was looking on Twitter for a gif, Montreal socred again. Glendening and Ouellet lost a board battle, then Green can’t get goalside on Nicolas Deslauriers, and it’s 2-0.
Two goals in under a minute for the Habs, Nic Deslauriers gets his first of the year and celebrates accordingly pic.twitter.com/130XnQhI7F— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 3, 2017
OK, let’s see how Detroit reacts here. Two goals in about 30 seconds against is #notgood.
Good eye by Prashanth on Athanasiou making a mistake that he was guilty of last season.
Going back to the Habs goal - watch Athanasiou start to fly the zone as the puck comes around the boards. As a result, he's late coming back to cover Deslauries pic.twitter.com/ekZAYfFSpe— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 3, 2017
I’ve seen AA make more good defensive plays than bad since he came back to the team, but he’s gotta be better than that.
At this point, I need something to make me laugh, so I’m going to share this here. It actually did look pretty similar to Byron blowing past our defense:
Paul Byron as a dog at the beach. pic.twitter.com/v83oZivgOA— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) March 13, 2017
Frk did some good work on a shift to create a chance and keep the puck in the zone. It looked like he was going to draw a penalty. He didn’t though, and Nyquist takes a penalty. Typically Nyquist only takes penalties after Detroit is eliminated from the playoffs, so he's stepping up early here.
Trevor Daley breaks up on a shorthanded chance with Dylan Larkin. He makes a nice pass 2 on 1 to Larkin’s backhand, but a tired Larkin can’t lift the puck. With 8:36 left in the first, that was really Detroit’s first good chance of the game.
Anthony Mantha nearly cut the lead to 1, breaking in on Price, but the Montreal goalie made the stop on Mantha from in between the faceoff dots.
Carey Price says "Bonjour-Hi" to Anthony Mantha with a glove save pic.twitter.com/ufDGrFlU22— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 3, 2017
With 4 minutes left in the first, shots are 11 Montreal to 4 for Detroit. It feels like the rest of the game is pretty much that lopsided so far.
This is certainly not the first period Detroit had in mind tonight. Montreal is winning most of the one-on-one battles and is controlling play.
While no goals have come from it, Martin Frk has been involved in most of Detroit’s chances tonights.
Phew. Mrazek makes a huge save on a 2 on 1 as the period expires. If that had gone in, I would have had a hard time finding the motivation to continue this recap.
I was going to look for this chart from Natural Stat Trick, but it was so lopsided that they just tweeted it out. I’m going to pretend they did it for me:
So the period mercifully ends. Are we looking good so far?
So, how's this Detroit game going so far? pic.twitter.com/p8sZrxLFDr— Peter WIIM - Numbers Surgeon, Analytics Nerd (@pflynnhockey) December 3, 2017
As the second period starts, my dog continues to chew on a marrow bone that we got her today at a dog rescue expo. If Montreal scores a few more goals, I may just switch to live-blogging that, since it would be more entertaining.
I am an eternal optimist though, so I’m hoping for a Detroit resurgence.
Martin Frk stole a puck and broke in on Price, but Weber kept him from getting a clean shot. Frk continues to be involved in most Detroit scoring chances.
Well, never mind. Paul Byron blows by Kronwall (I know, I know, shocking) and Jensen, who appeared to toe-pick, and cuts in alone on Mrazek. Byron makes it 3-0 and it’s beginning to look insurmountable the way Detroit is playing.
Welp. Kronwall's footspeed gets exposed and Jensen falls down. 3-0 MTL pic.twitter.com/KRKhkh0Yd5— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 3, 2017
Detroit goes to a power play, their first of the night. Phillip Denault for interference. They desperately need a goal here to stop the bleeding.
Instead of stopping the bleeding, Detroit appears to have struck an artery as Montreal scores shorthanded. Jacob De La Rose has an easy tap in on a 2 on 1 after Deslauriers puts a pass by Mike Green.
Jacob de la Rose scores shorthanded for his first of the year.— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 3, 2017
Habs up 4-0 early in the second pic.twitter.com/srn5LeR9LI
As bad as Detroit has played to give up these chances, Mrazek has been completely hung out to dry. At least so far, it’s hard to blame him for any of these goals.
If the second half of the recap tonight is incoherent, this is why. pic.twitter.com/xpsseFF4XQ— Peter WIIM - Numbers Surgeon, Analytics Nerd (@pflynnhockey) December 3, 2017
OK, I’m joking, but if I was serious, could you really blame me?
Tatar and Athanasiou nearly combined to get Detroit on the board, but they couldn’t get the puck on goal.
After a post-whistle scrum, Nyquist and Pacioretty end up in the box for matching minors.
Trevor Daley takes a penalty for interference to make it a 4 on 3 for Montreal.
5. Five goals. Charlie Hudon has all day to set up on the 4 on 3, and he rips one short side. 5-0 and Howard is coming in.
6-0. It’s six. Paul Byron scores again. That’s three. I think there’s a name for that, but the part of me that cares about hockey has been beaten to a pulp tonight. Fortunately I found a gif of the goal.
6-0 Montreal. pic.twitter.com/HZheNcRKh7— Peter WIIM - Numbers Surgeon, Analytics Nerd (@pflynnhockey) December 3, 2017
The second period is over, and I’m looking up “mercy rule” in the NHL rule book.
Nope. I still have to write about another period.
Realizing that there is still another period that I have to write about tonight. pic.twitter.com/SHUuASHQ81— Peter WIIM - Numbers Surgeon, Analytics Nerd (@pflynnhockey) December 3, 2017
Let’s see if Detroit can come back in this game. Maybe they can emerge from the locker room full of vim and vigor and come barreling back to life.