The Red Wings are currently mired in a 7 game slump which was punctuated most recently by the 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Canadiens (the Wings most lopsided loss in 32 years). Something’s got to give, right?
Jimmy Howard is back between the pipes tonight, he has allowed less than four goals only twice during the current losing streak and boasts a save percentage of .797 over that span... again, something’s got to give, right!?
The Jets currently sit atop the NHL standings with 38 points and are 7-2-1 in their last ten coming into the contest, including Sunday’s 5-0 blanking of the Senators. So far they’ve been propelled by the scoring duo of Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler who are both top five among league scoring leaders.
Patrik Laine has been hot of late, the Finnish sophomore has recorded two goals and four points over the last two games.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
DETROIT: A strong start
The Jets lead the league in first period goals with 36 (Scheifele and Laine have combined for 11).
WINNIPEG: An early lead.
Coming off of an embarrassing defeat the Wings should come out of the gate hard. If the Jets defense can weather the early storm, then get get the Wings down and potentially in their own heads it could be another long night.
FIRST PERIOD THOUGHTS/OBSERVATIONS:
Very quick in the early goings with turnovers and long range shots prominent on both sides.
Lots of free flowing, fluid hockey; not many whistles.
Winnipeg gets away with a potential too many man penalty, the result of a sloppy line change five minutes in.
First good scoring chance of the game went to the Wings. Anthony Mantha forces a turnover in the neutral zone and turns it into a quick 2-on-1 he elects to shoot, a wrist shot that Connor Hellebyuck just gets enough of to send wide.
Scheifele sends a back door one timer wide on a sprawling Jimmy Howard who was down and out on the PP. Wings eventually killed the man advantage without giving up too many further high quality scoring chances.
Justin Abdelkader scores first on scrambled up broken play cleaning up the garbage on Winnipeg’s doorstep, 1-0 Wings.
Jets Josh Morrissey takes a phantom holding call on Andreas Athansiou for the Wings first power play.
Just seconds later Tyler Myers is pressured and sends the puck into the crowd on his clearing attempt, two man advantage Detroit for 1:58.
On the two man advantage the Jets kept everything to the perimeter, Marty Frk missed a couple of one timers and was denied on a gutsy block by Dmitri Kulikov.
Gus Nyquist scores as the second penalty expired on a big rebound.
Big start from Detroit limiting the Jets to just three shots on goal in the first period.
FIRST PERIOD LOOKING BACK:
The Wings and Jets both came out strong from the outset but, a solid penalty kill gave Detroit momentum and the play started to shift in their favour. They were rewarded with two goals and a lead heading into the second.
SECOND PERIOD THOUGHTS/OBSERVATIONS:
Pace picked back up to start the second but, the Wings perimeter defense was again solid as it was through 20 minutes.
The first chance of the period came as Dylan Larkin centered a feed to a streaking Tatar at the net front, he sent it just over the night as he was check by Tyler Myers. Myers took his second penalty of the game on the play, a hooking call. Wings back to the power play currently 0/3.
Zetterberg bumps quick pass low to Anthony Mantha who feeds Mike Green perfectly in the slot. His shot sent skyward off of Hellbyucks blocker, best chance for the home side on their fourth powerplay.
Make that 0/4. Powerplay ended as Larkin hauls down Andrew Copp on the near side boards in the offensive zone, two minutes for tripping.
5-on-3 the other way.... Abby two minutes for tripping in the neutral zone.
Laine didn’t take long from his office, the 50th of his young career. 2-1 Wings.
Jets’ first shot of the second period... cold goalie anyone?
Glendening and Larkin spark a bit of offense on a 2-on-2 short handed, Wings kill the second of two penalties.
Jets have a bit of renewed life after the mid second period TV timeout. The pace has picked back up.
Dmitri Kulikov robbed by Jimmy Howard who looked to be out of the play after stopping two shots.
Kulikov draws a tripping call as he fell after being stopped, a penalty was called on the play for tripping. Looking at the replay he stepped on the stick of Howard. Ouch...
Larkin playing solid defensively on PK. Staying on D-Side of his check while keeping him to the perimeter.
Frans Nielsen is caught with an errant high stick, no call on the play, he is bleeding on the bench...
Disaster averted Jets drop to 1⁄4 on the power play.
Jets dominating possession following their latest powerplay. Establishing zone presence, working the puck around well.
Nielsen dumped at center ice as the party gathers, Knee on knee by Morrissey, a dangerous play but Nielsen would be okay.
The ensuing scrum saw Wheeler and Trevor Daley square off, however in an act of respect Wheeler didn’t throw any punches knowing that Daley isn’t a regular fighter; a class act play following some questionable content.
Great back door pass to Nyquist driving to the net, he couldn’t convert.
Another delay of game call to the Jets sends the Wings to their second 5-on-3!
Wings can’t make a decision when they get set-up, sloppy 5-on-3.
Big opportunity missed... 0/5.
SECOND PERIOD LOOKING BACK:
A few questionable calls in the second and a Patrik Laine one timer closed the gap not only on the score board but by dominating stretches of play. The Wings inability to take advantage while up a man could come back to haunt them. However, Jimmy Howard looked solid in the second when he was called upon.
THIRD PERIOD THOUGHTS/OBSERVATIONS:
For the third out of three opportunities the period starts quick, with great pace.
A huge hit draws a crowd, Darren Helm was dumped by Byfgulien he then returns the favour later in the shift leveling Chris Tanev.
However, it cost Helm and the Wings two minutes for interference.
The PK does a good job limiting all shots from the perimeter or giving Howard an opportunity to see them, PENALTY KILLED.
Wings score but Nyquist is laying on Hellebuyck. Johnathan Ericsson fires a high wrister from the point which ricocheted off of Nyquist’s elbow, to Morrissey’s helmet and into the opposite side of the net passed Hellebuyck who was crashed into by Nyquist who was escorted (plowed) into the goalie by Morrissey.
Original over look on the call from Toronto was for a high stick which it was deemed there was no high sticking on the play.
Then of course... Paul Maurice challenged goalie interference on the play...
The goal is awarded initially to Ericsson, regardless... 3-1 WINGS!
Bounce back shift for the Jets.. Wheeler fires a pass through the crease to no one.
This play inspires the Jets with just under seven gone in the third.. their desperation and willingness to take chances has increased greatly.
Helm steals on a lapse in the neutral zone by Blake Wheeler and goes in alone... top cheese 4-1.
Another speedster catches a break on a puck that squirts out. What. A. Read. AA the hands and patience, Booth with the finish. 5-1.
Ericsson lays out some lumber and takes two for cross-checking.
Again the Wings keep the puck movement to the outside and when an attempt to the slot is made it’s quickly cleared.
Kronner just cranked Armia... shades of 11’
Jets PP drops to 1/6
Armia heads to the box for Interference on Nick Jensen
Lackluster powerplay from the home side good movement and possession just nothing driven to the hard areas.
Another chance for Booth with 30 seconds remaining Hellebuyck bests him this time.
Henrik Zetterberg drives the zone heading to the left side of the mid slot, centers to Gus Nyquist in the high slot who one-times the puck into a mass of bodies. The pucks eventually roles right out to Justin Abdelkader who puts home his fifth of the year for a 1-0 lead.
Abdelkader finds a loose puck and buries it to put the Wings up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/69w5NoO9Vs— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 6, 2017
The Red Wings kept offensive zone pressure as the Tyler Myers returned to the ice to even up the skaters five aside. Nyquist curled in the left corner and fired a pass to Niklas Kronwall at the point who tossed a pass to Tomas Tatar whose shot was stopped by the left pad of Hellbyuck. Nyquist umped on the rebound firing it into the gaping cage. 2-0 Red Wings.
Nyquist digs the puck out of the corner and then finishes off the play with a rebound goal pic.twitter.com/qbT25AeNky— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 6, 2017
Please scroll up to see an adequate live updated description of the 3-1 goal and the call as it happened.
Nyquist gets run into the WPG goalie...under review pic.twitter.com/icQUp3N91A— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 6, 2017
Patrik Laine played pitch and catch with Dustin Byfuglien to begin the powerplay. Big Buff then slides down the right side and flips a pass back to the high slot to Wheeler, he in turn dishes down to top of the left circle where Laine he absolutely hammers this puck from his wheel house. 2-1 Detroit.
PATRIK LAINE WHAT A RIPPER, OH MY! THIS KID'S SHOT IS UNBELIEVABLE! pic.twitter.com/jxJZhOwVqs— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) December 6, 2017
Blake Wheeler was caught with the puck in his feet off of a quick play and the puck squirts out of his reach right onto the stick of Darren Helm one of the NHL’s quickest. Helm burns in alone and labels this one over the arm and under the bar extending the lead to three, 4-1.
Darren Helm scores on a breakaway.— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 6, 2017
Might be the 2nd time I've ever typed that sentence pic.twitter.com/Q1X4adEGWD
Andreas Athanasiou creeps in on a 2-on-1 with Marty Frk but waits out everyone including the popcorn guy for David Booth to reach the slot. He slams this one home 5-1 Wings.
Oh man, what patient from Athanasiou to wait for Booth to come as the trailer pic.twitter.com/ekmnlIYX4l— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 6, 2017
The Red Wings played a great bounce back game ending their seven game win-less drought knocking off the Jets 5-1. Gus Nyquist lead the Wings offense with one goal and three points. The team also received goals from Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson*, Darren Helm and Andreas Athanasiou.
Dylan Larkin may not have bulged the twine but he played an exceptional two-way game. Winning faceoffs, using his speed and playing tough face up defence both at even strength and short handed.
Jimmy Howard stood tall for Detroit when called upon and is really the games unsung hero. He went through long stretches of the contest without any action and was then called upon to make a flurry of saves in succession. A solid bounce back performance.