Happy Hockey Day in America!
The Red Wings came into Sunday night on a thrilling comeback OT loss in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon. Coming back home, the team picked up right where they left off with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, the Flyers would cash in on the weekend series.
Detroit looked pretty damn good in the first period. The top line was buzzing, as per usual. But what really drew my attention was Anthony Mantha’s play. He had a remarkable 20 minutes of hockey, leading many scoring chances and acting as a catalyst for offense. This, of course, coming after he had gotten into a tussle with Wayne Simmonds. Presumably over Mantha’s headshot on Claude Giroux.
Buzzing offense would lead to Thomas Vanek somehow missing a nearly-guaranteed goal:
Vanek with a miss, somehow. pic.twitter.com/SiM2TYhSy2— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) February 17, 2019
Detroit’s forecheck stirred the drink for most of the period, every line kept it tight, which led to a handful of chances. Philadelphia somehow came out with he first tally, Sean Couturier got a lucky redirection from Oskar Lindblom — that would make it 1-0. The first 20 minutes would wrap up at that. Still have to like what we saw out of Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi.
We found out that Jonathan Bernier got injured at some point in the first period, leading the team to pull him from the lineup:
Jonathan Bernier (upper-body) will not return tonight.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 18, 2019
The Red Wings, again, did a great job at controlling much of the pace in the middle frame. As a whole, there wasn’t much to write home about. The power-play got a look, and it looked good, despite not turning a goal. The Red Wings were able to tie the game up thanks to Darren Helm’s great work up front. Niklas Kronwall threw the puck at the net, Helm found himself in the right place at the right time to pick up his fifth goal of the season:
Darren Helm with a greaseball pic.twitter.com/PC4jrHkrqR— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) February 18, 2019
The second period would end tied at one. Really strong play from Kronwall and Bertuzzi in the middle stanza.
Philadelphia had the clear upper-hand to begin the third period. Within three minutes, the Flyers had the go-ahead goal thanks to Ivan Provorov. He put a charge into one from the point, and past Howard. Jimmy had no chance to see anything with Danny DeKeyser and Travis Konecny tied up in front.
The Red Wings picked up steam later on, and I will again point out Anthony Mantha. This could go down as one of his best games he has played in a very long time, despite the lack of offense. Not only was he a driving force in the attack, he played extremely well in his own zone.
As it came down to the wire, Oskar Lindblom picked up an empty-net goal to salt it away. Red Wings pick up one of four points in a weekend series with the Flyers.
These two wins aren’t that upsetting. The Red Wings did what many want to do — compete, while not overachieve. It’s hard not to like what you’re seeing from a lot of young players. The hope now is that guys like Filip Hronek will find their way into the lineup every night.
Hope is not a strategy.