Tonight the Wings face off against the Nashville Predators. The Wings are currently riding a one game winning streak. Here’s hoping they can win back-to-back games.
For those of you excited to get Jimmy Howard back soon (of which I am one)
With one second left in the period. Admirals score third time on Jimmy Howard. Six shots. three goals. 3-1 after 1st.— Pete Wallner (@petewallner) February 5, 2017
Well, tonight’s starting out great.
Riley Sheahan is filling in for the injured Frans Nielsen on a line with Nyquist and Larkin, and he is almost immediately hurt himself. James Neal pushed Sheahan into PK Subban, and Sheahan leaves the ice holding his shoulder. Hard to tell if it was on purpose, but Neal does not get any benefit of the doubt to me.
Green drives to the net to try to finish a feed from Jurco, and Nashville takes a penalty. Jurco had a nice stickhanding move through the Nashville defense, so that’s a good start for him.
Vanek gets his stick blatantly held when the Wings try to gain the zone, no call and the Predators send it down the ice.
Larkin nearly scores on the PP on a feed from Helm, but Rinne gets just enough on the puck.
Athanasiou and Vanek are spotted on the ice early, which is different from last night’s game where Blashill limited their ice time for “reasons.”
Cody McLeod tries to run Mrazek after the whistle and the Wings take exception to that. Assholes gonna asshole, I guess.
Riley Sheahan is back on the bench, so fortunately our PP lines are now complete and they don’t have to think about doing something crazy, like putting AA on the power play.
Nyquist gets the Wings best chance yet when he beats his man out wide and throws a backhand on net, but Rinne keeps it out.
Fox Sports Detroit points out that this is the first time in a LONG time that Detroit does not have a Russian on its roster, proving that they read our comment sections.
Mrazek makes a strong kick save off James Neal with about six minutes left for his best save of the first period.
Ryan Johansen grabs Nick Jensen, and he’ll go to the box where he sees his shadow, which means two more minutes of Detroit not gaining the zone and passing up shots.
I’m thinking of just watching two minutes of Puppy Bowl highlights and coming back after:
Tonight’s officials have seemingly not heard that you can call a second penalty on a team that’s shorthanded, as Nashville gets away with several clear penalties. Our PP is still ridiculously bad, so don’t think that’s me making excuses.
The Red Wings dodge a bullet as the entire Nashville team broke in on Mrazek and one Detroit defender. Fortunately Viktor Arvidsson put a backhand off the post. It looked like he was certain to score, but the Wings get really lucky.
In case you think I’m exaggerating about how ridiculous of a break this was:
Let's check in on the Wings...— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) February 5, 2017
Mike Green scores to finish off a series of great pressure from the Zetterberg line. Mantha started the play, then Zetterberg held the puck seemingly too long, but the Wings kept the puck. Mantha shot it off the boards, and Z passed to an open Green coming through the slot who put it by Rinne for a 1-0 lead with just over a minute left in the first period.
The period ends with no new scoring chances, and the Wings go to the locker room up 1-0.
Even though I’m still feeling nervous about what’s to come, I’m going to carpe diem and put this as my current mood:
Brendan Smith is coming back from a long absence, and he starts the second period off by making a strong offensive play to get the puck to Athanasiou, but nothing doing.
BTW, here’s the typical RW fan’s reaction when they looked at Athanasiou’s ice time from last game:
During the intermission I was checking in on other games throughout the league. Adam McQuaid destroyed Matt Martin with a punch in their fight, which means by the transitive property that Steve Ott risks serious bodily harm if he decides to fight McQuaid.
Scary moment as Darren Helm took a puck from Jensen, but he appears to be ok. Hopefully? Please?
Let’s check in and see if Howard is doing bett—
Jimmy Howard lets in a soft one. One timer from 15ft out at 4:29. Five goals allowed on 21 shots faced.— Pete Wallner (@petewallner) February 5, 2017
Oh. Cool. Wait. Is a one-timer from 15 feet soft? I guess I’d have to see it.
Oh wow. Jurco did everything right, but Rinne somehow got his glove on his shot, and it’s still 1-0.
(Stick tap to Prashanth for this gif.)
If you have NHL.tv like I do, you know that during the commercial breaks they show you highlight clips from great plays over the last year or so. They typically show the play once, then a replay. They showed the Athanasiou goal from the recent game against Pittsburgh FIVE times, then the actual shot again.
That is not an exaggeration. It’s that awesome.
This has been a relatively low event period, which serves Detroit well with the 1-0 lead, but at the same time, Nashville has the firepower to take over the game in a short period.
With just over 4 minutes left, Athanasiou burst down the wing and threw the puck to the net. Vanek nearly deflected it out of the air past Rinne, but he just missed.
With just over a minute left, Mantha just popped a shot over the crossbar off a great feed from Zetterberg and Nyquist. That line has been playing very well lately, and tonight is no exception.
The period ends with Detroit still up 1-0.
Current mood: (the cat = the Detroit PP)
If you were a fan of the ridiculous calls in last night’s game, you’ll love this call on Ericsson for holding 10 seconds in. Calling this a phantom call is an insult to spectral figures worldwide.
After several good saves by Mrazek, the Wings kill the penalty. Colin Wilson takes a penalty right after time expires, so it’s a good time to grab the beverage of your choice.
The difference between this power play, and the recently expired Predators power play is pretty simple. The Predators put shots on goal, while the Wings didn’t.
As the penalty was expiring, Larkin made a play that would have gotten Athanasiou benched for the next game. He lost the puck to Forsberg at the blue line and coasted back. This led to Brendan Smith having to clear Forsberg out of the crease, which led to a cross-checking penalty.
I like Larkin a lot, but that was a horrendous play by him. He fell down, but with his speed, he should have re-entered the play much earlier than he did.
Austin Watson takes a penalty for interfering with Mike Green with 13:11 left.
I’m pretty sure the Wings have scored a PP goal at least once in all of the recaps that I’ve written this year
Now the Wings will have a two-man advantage for over a minute, as Forsberg slashes Nyquist’s stick, breaking his own stick and getting called for a penalty.
This will likely hurt more than when we don’t convert a power play, but here’s hoping!
The draw is tied up, and the 3 Predators can get to the puck before the 5 Red Wings, and they clear.
The first penalty expires after a nice shot by Mantha and an all out scrum at the net, but no goals. The Predators clear the puck over the glass, but by the bench, so no additional penalty.
Honestly, this is embarrassing at this point. Detroit didn’t score on the two man advantage, or the one man advantage, and, wait for it, take a too many men penalty.
Not surprisingly, the Wings get a better chance on their PK than on their PP, as Athanasiou gets a shorthanded chance. Still 1-0.
With 4:30 left, Mrazek absolutely robs Ryan Johansen. Shortly after, Daniels said Larkin was interfered with with no call, but I was writing the previous sentence, so I didn’t see if he was correct.
Darren Helm was in alone on Rinne with all the time in the world, and couldn’t score.
Here’s the clip. He pretty much had enough time to explain all the problems with Suicide Squad.
DeKeyser is taken down at center ice as the Wings carry the puck up ice, which is apparently legal now.
Mrazek stops Forsberg on a scary looking chance. Rinne to the bench for an extra skater.
Mrazek makes two more solid saves.
One minute left.
Subban makes a move that I would love if he was a Wing to get the icing call. He could have played the puck, but he did a windmill move or something. Yeah, it was bullshit, but I like Subban so it’s hard to get too mad.
Smith clears the puck into the bench. 14.5 seconds left.
We win! We win! We’re on a two game winning streak. Put the tank in storage, but not long term storage. Maybe a week-to-week plan.
The Red Wings got outshot 42-19 and Brendan Smith was a +2 Corsi.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) February 5, 2017
The final is 1-0. Petr Mrazek had 42 saves and is, at least tonight, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
In keeping with my theme, here is my final mood for tonight: