The Red Wings got some really unfortunate news in the hours leading into Friday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks — forward Filip Zadina was scratched after being placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. A blow to an already-battered roster due to the pandemic’s grip.
It’s hard to really talk about this game at length, or in depth. Quite frankly, it can all be summed up in two words: completely uninspiring. Despite a few chances, the Red Wings were really out of sync all game. One of the biggest chances came from Tyler Bertuzzi in the opening seconds of the game. That scoring chance seemed to have set the ice in Detroit’s favor, but Chicago did just what they needed to do to keep the offense silent for the majority of the game.
The Red Wings special teams really was the dud in this game. The Blackhawks gave them a ton of chances, and they simply couldn’t get things in order on the power play... And really, the penalty kill was pretty lousy as well.
One of the few bright spots, for me, was Vlad Namestnikov. He continues to to generate offense, so you have to think that the goals are going to follow soon. I was also impressed, again, with Mathias Brome, who has served in a sort-of utility position and valuable grinder.
Listen, I think this game looks a whole lot different if COVID-19 weren’t a thing. The team is missing at least three key players, so this performance came as no surprise to me. Missing a top six winger and center isn’t exactly an easy task to overcome. In fact, I’m surprised there wasn’t more scoring.
Whenever the COVID list is clear, the addition of Christian Djoos should make Marc Staal even more expendable than he already is... But to be fair, he did have a couple of bright spots on both sides of the ice. The Red Wings’ only goal would come late in third period — Marc Staal picked up the primary assist on a highlight-reel effort from Dylan Larkin. That goal sprouted a little momentum for the Red Wings, but it was stomped out by an shorthand empty-net goal from Mattias Janmark. Yeah, that guy. The Blackhawks pickup their first win of the season against us. Cool, cool. Cool.
It wasn’t a good showing of hockey, especially with what we’ve seen so far this season, but i’ll just air out my feelings here: They came into the game without Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina, Sam Gagner, and Jon Merrill.. I didn’t expect this game to go well, and I think they had some real good chances on offense despite missing those key players. Regardless, what they had tonight isn’t going to do it, and I get the feeling that COVID could become a bigger factor soon, so this is going to be a real test of this team’s depth.
Sleep up! The Red Wings and Blackhawks are back in action Sunday at noon. The game will be on national television. Should be fine.