Game started with Blashill putting his fourth line out there again, even if it looks different every night. Ehn had a great first shift and the first shot on goal of the game. Some days you worry he is trapped in the shadow of Joakim Andersson (man, that guy casts a very long shadow) and other days I feel pretty good about him. Good start for Ehn.
Second shift of the game Patrik Nemeth got called for a hook, though. Or a slash. Or whatever. It was mean.
Aaaaand that didn’t take long. Blues get on the board with some textbook passes to get the Wings’ PK pulled and spun like some of the dough in your Hot n’ Ready. David Perron split the Wings with a cross ice pass to O’Reilly at the right circle, who passed it cross ice to Schenn who tapped it in for the easy goal. 1-0 Blues. But I’mma just let a far smarter man than me give you the run down.
Watch Madison Bowey (far side D-man) on this play - from his defense spot he makes two inappropriately aggressive challenges, leaving the Wings outnumbered down low. The second inappropriate challenge results in the goal against because he can't get back pic.twitter.com/qUWTMLF2c2— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) October 27, 2019
By the time I got done writing that spiel, the Wings were back on the PK again for something Daley did. Puck over glass. This one went much, much better. It was actually kind of fun to watch, in its own way.
But the Blues make it very un-fun again. The Blues made a change while holding onto the puck in the Wings’ zone, which is a thing I guess a team can do while not be under pressure. I guess. The Blues made some nice cycling passes, which seemed to be giving the Wings fits, because Steen moved into a quiet area of the ice, which is somehow the slot, and fired a wrister through traffic, off Zach Sanford’s stick, and past Bernier. 2-0 Blues.
What was interesting is exactly how punch-card/time-clock this early 2-0 lead felt for the Blues. The Wings should be coming into this game, burning hot and desperate to win. But the Blues, they just skated onto the ice and went to work. Reminds me of what the Wings would do to the Blues 10-15 years ago.
For all the kids keeping track at home, when the Wings got their next scoring chance at 10:23 remaining in the period off a slick pass from Bertuzzi to Bowey, the Wings ratcheted their second shot of the evening. Part of the problem is that the passing has looked entirely out of sync, even when not under pressure.
The Wings finally got the chance to march out the power play with around 8 minutes left in the period and they finally got some pucks on net. There might be some life in them yet.
Some life indeed. Svechnikov got a great opportunity late in the period, and the Wings tightened things up after that second goal and started playing like an NHL team again.
Unfortunately no goals left in the period, but the Wings got their licks in the final eight minutes.
Score: 2-0 St. Louis
Shots: 9-7 St. Louis
Stand Outs: Ehn, and uhhh, hey is that the second period?!
The early goings of the second period were a lot more promising. I feel like the Wings played up to the identity that they need to have, at least now. The Wings were fast and free-wheeling. They don’t hit the hardest, but players finished their checks and skated hard- basically, get they team on their back feet, off their feet, whatever, and jet past them. The Blues are a team that can counter this well if they can get set up in their zone; they’re not the fastest team, but they are a big team, heavy on their skates, physically punishing and all that jazz. Still, as the Wings began to carry play early in the second, you couldn’t help but feel good about the emerging identity. For a moment, they even had the lead in shots.
A puck-over-the-glass call kinda ruined all that momentum, but whatever. I’ll take the good moments when I can get them right now. The Wings are on a seven game skid and down 2-0. Gotta enjoy the little things, as Woody Harrelson would say, cause sometimes it feels like the Wings are living in a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
Wings did a good job killing the penalty and immediately got sent to their own power play thanks to Bortuzzo clipping Filppula’s leg.
And this was the moment the Wings needed. The Blues were content to tie up the puck down low under their big bodies, but the puck squirted out (I guess off Hirose’s stick?) and took a fortunate bounce out to Green’s stick. He sent it across the slot to Hronek at the top of the circle, who slapped the puck past Binnington to pull the Wings within 1! Feels good!
That wouldn’t last long, though. The Blues gained the puck up in the neutral zone on the next shift and dished it to O’Reilly. Great shot by O’Reilly at a tough angle, and it went past Bernier to put the Blues back up by 2.
Fortunately, the Wings would get another power play opportunity to undo the damage. (Zach Sanford, hooking.) Unfortunately, the Wings didn’t even get a shot off. Just as the penalty expired the Wings got Binnington sprawling of a Cholowski shot up high, and the puck was loose in front of the net, but no dice.
The period closed out with no further damage, and Wings carrying play ever so slightly. In reality, this game should probably have been knotted up at this point. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality we live in. The reality where the Wings are tied or winning this game is the one where you invented that thing you were thinking about before that other guy, and now you’re rich. Unfortunately, the reality we reside in is the one where you are sitting at home, watching this game, 3-1.
Score: 3-1 St. Louis
Shots: 16-14 Detroit
Stand Outs: The Detroit Red Wings. They’re not standing out well, but they’re playing as a unit, and it’s allowing them to carry play against a good team.
And to start the period the Wings get on the board! Detroit got the puck deep against the boards to Binnington’s left. Helm and Bertuzzi tied up multiple Blues, bounced the puck back to Larkin, who did exactly like Mickey said during intermission, and shot high on Big Binnington to make bring the Wings back within 1!
Five minutes later, the Wings made some clean passes in their own zone (which is very much the opposite of how they were passing in the first ten minutes of the game) to spring Mantha, AA, and Flip. AA dished to Mantha who dished to Flip as all three streaked into the zone like they’d just watched the Mighty Ducks during intermission, and Flip tried to dish back to AA again for the cross-crease pass, but instead the puck went of the skate of the St. Louis defenseman covering Athanasiou to knot this game up at three apiece!
The Blues talked a lot in the pre-game coverage about this being a trap game, and they came out acting like they meant to not be trapped by the trap game. But then the team that swore to not be trapped seemingly was trapped by the team doing the trapping, and the fans, who feel more trapped most nights than any team in the NHL, were excited. Big time.
The building was rocking, and the Blues tried to push back, putting pucks deep, but the Wings really came on as their speed and hustle started to get the better of the Blues. This created more draws for the Wings in their end, and one of those draws came up big soon after.
Larkin took a draw off to the left of Binnington, tied up the Blues’ center, and kicked the puck Bertuzzi’s way. Bertuzzi fired as soon as he got it, and it all happened so fast I don’t think Binnington saw it. He probably wants that one back, but Detroit will take it! 4-3 Red Wings!
The Blues very, very nearly tied it off a close-in shot off Bernier’s right, but he got a little help from a diving Hronek to preserve the lead. Shortly afterwards the Wings would get called for too-many-men. It was the biggest PK of the season for the Red Wings and... before I could finish hyping it, the Blues scored. A sprawling Bernier spun like a top until who else but Ryan O’Reilly caught a squirting puck and sent it into the open net. Tie game. The trappers had become the... trapped? I think deadlocked is a better word there. Deadlocked.
The Wings nearly scored a go-ahead goal late off a shot by Bertuzzi, and in general they outplayed St. Louis in the remainder of the period, but they couldn’t seal it. Overtime.
Score: 4-4 Tie
Shots: 32-19 Detroit
Stand Outs: Everybody except the penalty kill.
Blashill sent out Larkin, Bertuzzi, and Hronek to start, btu Bertuzzi went offside to end any opportunity the Wings might’ve had. Mantha, AA, and Green for the second shift. Blues control the puck and David Perron sends one high, Bernier nearly deflects it but it goes in the net, Blues win 5-4. That really sucks. Talk about deflating. I’m going grocery shopping. Later.
(Wings play the Oilers in Detroit at 7:30 Eastern on Tuesday. Be there. You don’t want to miss all of the Ken Holland...ness of that game.)