The Wings only have one win this season, but the two games since then were not us getting crushed and humiliated so we’re making progress! A 2-1 loss to the Jets is kind of like a win, although to be fair Jimmy has been about the only reason games stayed close. Returning defensemen returning de-schmensemen.
Rasmussen was in for his 9th game, if anyone is counting, which we all are, and Bernier got his first start at LCA.
Strap in folks, this was a weird one...
Mantha-Larkin-Helm was a line to start the game, and Helm almost set up a sneaky goal with a blind pass backwards between his feet to the goal mouth on that first shift. Almost.
Roman Polak had a bouncing puck go up and over the glass off the faceoff two minutes in and the Wings went on the powerplay. AA went down halfway through the powerplay and limped off the ice but was back before the powerplay was over. No good looks on the powerplay for the Wings.
Nielsen gets tossed from the faceoff circle for the third time in 4 minutes. If anyone is counting.
Larkin speeds in and tries his old move of the wraparound goal, it didn’t work but it was nice to see him reaching into his bag of tricks. Another trick of Larkin’s is how he got hit in the face with a high stick and got the Wings another powerplay at 6 minutes into the game.
Nielsen hit the goalpost and then the puck went ping pong zig zag INTO THE NET! Mantha scores on the powerplay...or did he? Slight kicking motion...NO GOAL.
After controlling pace of play the first 10 minutes, the Wings gave up a few chances, and paid for it. Gemel Smith makes a nice move to cut across to the middle and snipe. 1-0 Stars with 8 minutes to go in the period. Fun fact: Gemel Smith is Givani Smith’s older brother.
A lot of back and forth until Ericsson makes a smart pass (yes, really) over to Daley whose shot is blocked by Connor Carrick. Carrick limps off stung but he’s ok. Ericsson’s controller then disconnects but Bernier shuts down the Stars on a point blank shot and an almost wraparound and the period comes to a close.
Overall, one of the better periods of hockey the Wings have managed this season which is a low bar, but still. No one did anything particularly stupid, yes not anything great either like scoring a good goal, but it’s nice to see them confidently shooting the puck and not just passing endlessly.
Mickey Redmond quote of the period: “Where’d that piano go? It just went out the back door!”
Scrappy start to the second, neither team really able to get through the neutral zone and set up a rush. Bishop took a tumble after a gentle collision behind the net, and it’s always funny to see goalies fall over. Stars hold the puck behind their net long enough that the fans start booing.
Cholowski having the most ice time is mentioned for the 100th time, everybody drink.
Wings get the puck in and pass around and around until Nyquist gets the puck to Mantha on the doorstep and MANTHA SCORES FOR REAL!!! He gets a goal horn and sirens, because everyone is excited about his second goal of the season. We’re tied at 1 five minutes in.
Glendening runs into a Star and bounces off and falls down for the 4th time. AA tries to speed in and gets stopped for the 3rd time. We’re also on the 4th wraparound try of the game, this time from old friend Mattias Janmark.
Gemel Smith gets another break but overskated after being bothered by Green. The Stars get a few more pucks at Bernier including a too close for comfort chance from Seguin but no damage. Green weirdly tries to skate the puck right into the net, he didn’t really pass or shoot. 8 minutes to go and we’re still tied. Shots stand at 18-11 in favor of Dallas.
Abby is now on the line with Larkin and Mantha. Larkin sends in a pass and Abby doesn’t see it. Sigh.
Dallas gets a dubious Too Much Man penalty, and Wings get their third powerplay with 5.5 minutes left. Pass to AA was in his skates and he turns it over to Comeau who gets a breakaway. Nielsen sends Comeau into the boards and is penalized so we get a minute of 4v4 and Stars get a minute of powerplay time. No harm.
Wings buzzing with a minute to go and Nyquist forces Bishop to make a blind toe save, Goose just cannot get loose.
The period ends still tied at 1, and Stars outshooting the Wings 21-14.
Mickey Redmond quote of the period: “waterbug” #ClassicMickeyisms
The Red Wings turnover machine activated instantly but Bernier took care of it. 5 minutes in and a weirdo bounce bites Bishop in the buns. Kronwall dumps it in and it hits the partition, Bishop is behind the net but the puck bounces out and across the crease and Bertuzzi drives it home into the open net. We’ll take it! Wings LEAD 2-1.
Bernier has to make a big save immediately to keep the lead, and does, but probably gives a stern look at his teammates. Wings get a chance the other way with Helm charging in and taking a weak shot easily handled by Bishop.
Jamie Benn CLANK off the post, phew. 12 minutes to go and Wings have closed the shots gap but are still behind 23-19. But the stat that matters is we’re still in the lead!
Speaking of having the lead...HOLY JUMPIN’ PEEPS IN A BUCKET THE WINGS SCORE AGAIN! Logjam in front of the net with Mantha and Vanek screens giant Ben Bishop and ERICSSON SHOOTS AND SCORES!!!
Wings lead 3-1, the dreaded two-goal lead, with 10 minutes to go.
Wings are looking hungry now with the finish line in sight, but the “crowd” still isn’t feeling energetic. Do your job fans, support the team. You can feel Ken Daniels willing the clock to tick faster with 4 minutes to go. Refs doing the courtesy of having not blown a whistle in 30 years which helps time move.
Jamie Benn turns it over and but Larkin isn’t able to get a good chance from it, then Nielsen isn’t able to get a pass over to Daley who is wide open. A LGRW chant weakly erupts with 3 minutes to go.
Wings holding it in the Stars end, keeping Bishop in the net. Minute and a half left and Stars gain control and Bishop heads to the bench. Wings juuussstttt miss the open net.
Bernier needs a skate blade changed with 1:17 left while My Own Worst Enemy plays - which is perfect for the moment.
One minute to go. Wings still lead 3-1. Daley misses the open net and ices the puck.
45 seconds left.
36.3 seconds left. Stars score. Wings still lead 3-2.
Bishop still on the bench, another missed empty net and iced puck.
Larkin wins the faceoff and Daley misses the empty net, but Abby negates the icing, somehow confuses the Stars behind the net, and scores the empty net goal!
Wings lead 4-2.
There goes the horn!
RED WINGS WIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!
Mickey Redmond quote of the period: “I’ll tell you one thing, they weren’t wishing each other a Merry Christmas or a Happy Thanksgiving, I’ll tell you.”
That was a wackadoodle game, but whatever works.
de la Rose looked good this game, he’s definitely embracing the role of offensive defenseman but being smart about it. Larkin as always looking good and trying to make things happen. Things generally haven’t happened, but it’s not his fault and he sure does try. Bernier gets his first win as a Wing!
Bag skate or not, the Wings were taking shots and the passes were quicker and crisper than they’ve been all season.
BUT WHO THE HELL CARES BECAUSE WE DID IT. WE WON!!! IN REGULATION!!!! AND ONLY ALMOST BLEW IT and missed a thousand empty nets but that’s ok because WE WON!
Let’s Go Red Wings!