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Game Recap: Avalanche 3, Red Wings 1

Red Wings can’t put together 60 minutes against the league’s worst team.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings are back on the road in Colorado tonight taking on the incredibly futile Avalanche.

This team is bad. Really bad. Seemingly historically bad. So bad they weren’t even able to move assets at the deadline, bad.

So bad, the Red Wings should win this game tonight, bad!

Jimmy Howard is back in net after another disappointing start by Petr Mrazek. Oh and Anthony Mantha isn’t grounded anymore. Hopefully he learned his lesson, you know, that he shouldn’t have pulled himself off Zetterberg’s line.

Put on some coffee. Not because it’s a late game but because this probably wont be good hockey.

Let’s go.

First Period

Other than a good chance by MacKinnon equaled with a sharp glove from Howard, the Wings have thoroughly controlled the play. Not too smooth through the neutral zone but not much difficulty holding the offensive zone.


Athanasiou has a football field’s worth of space connecting on a slant route from Abdelkader then has 120 feet all alone and smoothly backhand-forehands Pickard to make it 1-0.

AA chugged by Fedor like he was on the Tyutin to Yuma. (I should leave it to JJ shouldn’t I?)

Red Wings 1-0 Athanasiou (at 5:09 from Abdelkader and Larkin)

Anyone else enjoy seeing these faceoff stats being shredded on FSD of all places? Maybe Blashill will take note and stop having Glendeding take faceoffs in overtime.

Ooof Kronwall was just embarrassed again. This time trying to hold a puck in at the line instead getting dusted by....Rene Bourque...which led to Howard having to make a strong save. These are moments you wince through. We can have that talk about Kronwall, it doesn’t mean anything. What I wonder is when is someone from the Wings or his family going to have that (talk) with him.

Howard makes another sharp glove save from the slot.

Larkin cut into the zone with the puck and tried a wraparound before losing it. He did this successfully a couple times last season. Theoretically I like Larkin using his speed and finding space, yet I would like to see him try a shorter route to the net sometime. Stray thought—I desperately I want to see him regain his form.

That’ll do it for the first. Breezy period for the Wings.


DET- Miller (hooking at 19:36)

COL- MacKinnon (high-sticking at 10:04)


DET- 10


Second Period

Colorado opens with a great powerplay chance as Howard makes an awesome padstack on a pinching Barberio.

Wings easily kill the remainder of the penalty as Howard stays strong when tested.


While it’s slow I want to clarify my earlier comment about Mantha “learning his lesson leaving Zetterberg” was more for the sake of snark than anything. Philosophically I don’t agree with Blashill and Holland’s tough and very public criticism of Detroit’s young players, but I get their angle.

Blashill isn’t keeping Mantha to the same standard as say, Sheahan. The stakes aren’t the same longterm for these two and Blashill knows that. That’s why I believe you still see Sheahan in the lineup every night but Mantha being punished. I also believe if the playoffs were in reach Mantha wouldn’t be sitting.

Blashill believes he’s teaching Mantha a lesson in hard work—in how to survive without Zetterberg, because he’ll hopefully take that mantle in a couple years. Would I rather Mantha be allowed to play through his mistakes and encouraged to work it out at game level? Yes. I would especially like the public criticism toned down. But I see both sides of the coin. We all want the same result.


Back to the game where Larkin just had a good shorthanded chance.

HEY WOW Colorado scored, what the hell. Shot from the point, Landeskog tipped it, Duchene cleaned it up on a great short side shot. His first in 12 games. Damn.

Red Wings 1, Avalanche 1 Matt Duchene (at 12:08 from Fedor Tyutin and Rene Bourque)

A very uneventful period despite Colorado tieing it up. The Wings had a couple solid penalty kills and the play had good flow, but not a lot of complementary finish on rushes. This game unfortunately has looked as advertised so far. Hanging on for period three!


DET- Too Many Men (served by Athanasiou at 9:27), Miller (hooking at 19:36)

COL- None


DET- 10

COL- 7

Third Period

Barberio opened the 2nd period with a golden power play chance on the doorstep and it’s near deja vu. He catches mostly post (I think Howard got just a pinch, but maybe enough of it) and it stays out. The chance was generated when Nielsen broke his stick around the circle and was a helpless passenger while Colorado cycled the puck.

J.T. Compher, alumni of the infamous CCM Line at University of Michigan, scores his first career goal on a clean snipe from the slot. Not much else to say about it.

That set the alarm off. Play is popping at both ends right now with a post for Tatar and Howard having to make a couple more stops.

Avalanche 2, Red Wings 1 J.T. Compher (at 3:49 from Francois Beauchemin)

And another goal from the high slot as the Wings seem absolutely lost in coverage. Mitchell won an easy board battle and Soderberg was left all alone with time and fired one past Howard. Just like that, the worst scoring team in the NHL has blitzed the Wings.

Avalanche 3, Red Wings 1 Carl Soderberg (at 5:44 from Blake Comeau and John Mitchell)

Now Kronwall takes a desperation penalty. What a meltdown. Against the freaking Avalanche....Wings get the kill though.

Now penalty shot coming for Gabe Landeskog after Russo hauls him down. The Hudson Building’s implosion went smoother than tonight, FOLKS.

(Dated reference and awful joke, sorry.)

Howard makes an easy low blocker save as he had Landeskog tracked all the way. Jimmy’s patience this season continues to be splended.

Howard pulled with 2:40 left. The Wings have had multiple rushes and have just been so ugly with their passes and poor with their choices. But who cares, we have an octopus sighting! A super small one too, easy to sneak in. That’s a smart fan. I admire that. Is this game still going? Why couldn’t they just ended it when the octopus hit the ice?

There it is. What a terrible period and terrible loss. Colorado now has 43 points!


DET- Kronwall (hooking at 6:55)

COL- None


DET- 8

COL- 12

Final Thoughts

I’m just thinking draft position. Tonight was an embarassing effort from everyone. The backchecking and positioning was bad as I’ve seen it all year. All offensive cohesion faded after Colorado’s third goal. There was little pride shown in tonight’s effort. Mantha and Athanasiou are far from the only problem attitude-wise but I’ve already addressed that and will leave it there. With all that said, draft position! Call me Thomas the mother f**king Tank Engine!

Who here thinks we could get Timothy Liljegren?!