It’s the wannabe TeamTank vs. the actual TeamTank from LCA tonight. Who can flex harder in futility?
The Red Wings have begun the process of dismantling this squad, with Mike Green, likely the next domino to fall, out again tonight. It’s easy to speculate this is more about preservation than anything at this point.
Some other showcasing Wings to look out for tonight? Tomas Tatar who’s been linked to Nashville. Luke Glendening who’s been rumored to go to his old Christian Grey behind the bench in Toronto. Darren Helm’s name has surprisingly come up in Boston, sure. There’s Andreas Athanasiou to Carolina, which I can totally see. And lastly but not likely, Danny Dekeyser to—eh who are we kidding?
Look for these Red Wings tonight. hopefully the scouts will be too.
Onto the game.
Buffalo is able to get on the board almost right away after a point shot from Rasmus Ristolainen takes a bizarre and sharp redirection past Howard. Upon further review it looks as though it hit off Riggy’s shin and in. Very slow start for the Wings who haven't been able to develop much pace otherwise.
The Wings have managed to get some pucks to the net. Lehner can be beat with some traffic despite his size. I believe this will eventually be a rare good night for the power play before it’s over.
A rather quiet and uneventful 1st period wraps up—HEY look a Scott Wilson sighting! Remember Scott Wilson? He played for the Red Wings. Miss you, Scott!
Anyway, it’s Sabres 1, Wings 0.
Detroit has opened the 2nd period with much more aggression. They’ve been pushing the puck up ice instead of dumping it and keeping a strong forecheck.
And that strong forecheck pays off. Nielsen plays the body behind the net forcing a turnover, Glendening redirects it up to Ericsson and keeps traffic, while he fires it in. Yep, the bearnaise sauce guy has his second goal of the game, first for the Red Wings on a low heavy shot through traffic.
The Wings tie it at 1 early in the 2nd.
Detroit has retained momentum and been keeping the puck pinned in Buffalo’s zone. Lehner appears to be fighting the puck. Slowly but surely the Wings have moved ahead in shots.
Kronwall goes off for hooking. Buffalo gets another power play. They’re not quite able to get set up and the Wings do a good job of disrupting their entry attempts. Eventually Kane breaks down the wing and wraps one around Howard to take the lead. Damn, that was out of nowhere.
Oh no. We have a BLASHILL CHALLENGE. So we know how this’ll turn out. Hopefully that time out isn't needed later. He’s arguing Pominville kept Howard from getting his stick down to stop Kane. There is slight contact there but Howard didn’t even appear to complain. That’s not a good sign. Annnnnd OF COURSE. The call stands. 2-1 Sabres.
Other than a hit post by Tatar on a Red Wings power play, the period ends quietly, with the Sabres holding the lead.
This game’s relevance is what assets these two teams can lend to contenders and where their future is in the draft. I could sit here and recap or breakdown the game I’m watching in front of me but is that really where my mind or any Red Wings’ fan mind is at right now? Probably not (thanks for reading anyway). That’s why the angle both local Detroit broadcasts have taken tonight has been dishonest and shameful. It’s one thing to be a blogger making snarky remarks hoping they lose (hi), it’s another when you are the literal mouthpieces of the team telling fans tanking doesn’t work, draft picks aren’t safe, and this team needs veterans. This is the tripe that’s fed to plump us up into believing things are fine and dandy. It’s baffling because they’re clearly not. Attendance is down. Ratings are down. The team is losing. Why stay the exact same course and sell it to fans like snake oil if it’s clearly not working? It’s the total opposite of what their Ilitch counterpart, Detroit Tigers did last season, sending a letter to fans explaining things are about to get ugly because they have to in order for any chance to be good again. It was brutally honest. And ironic, because unlike the Red Wings, the Tigers actually had more room to spend and be aggressive! I digress. Between Paul Woods going on a tangent about how trading for draft picks doesnt work, and Trevor Thompson explaining why tanking doesn’t work and the team needing veterans along with the intermission focusing on that message, it’s clearly propaganda. Who exactly in the Wings organization it’s coming from and why, I’m not sure. It’s just insulting. Fans deserve better.
OH there’s still a game going on.
Two minutes left, the Wings have pulled Howard and Buffalo has taken a tripping penalty. Howard went back in net for the first 30 seconds or so of the power play, now he’s back to the bench.
Zetterberg wins the draw forward, Nielsen crashes the net, Lehner and Ristolainen way overplay the shot leaving a juicy rebound and wide open net for Abdelkader to slam it in. Tie game with about a minute left. Nielsen was kicked out of the draw and was able to line up uncovered. Everything fell into place for the Wings on that goal.
Now Zetterberg drags the puck into the high slot with about three seconds left and drops it back to Dekeyser who just cant get the shot off and we go to overtime.
Paul Woods would call this another big point for the Red Wings!
Kane, ever dangerous (ask any bouncer in Buffalo), rips a hard shot down the left wing. That trips off these teams trading odd-player rushes down the ice with Lehner and Howard both making incredible saves.
AND WHAT. WE HAVE A BUZZER BEATER FOR BUFFALO. Marco Scandella rips one past Howard with 2/10ths of a second left off an incredible pass and moving screen by Johan Larsson.
It was a painfully dull game for 63 minutes but you can’t make up a more exciting final two minutes.