Coming off of a heart-breaking season-opener at Little Caesars Arena, the Red Wings bounced back against the Vancouver Canucks in a gritty, spirited skirmish Saturday night. They won 3-1, mostly on the back of goaltender Thomas Greiss.
Vancouver opened the game with momentum, but it didn’t take long for the Red Wings to establish themselves with a goal from Robby Fabbri, the interim 1st-line center in the absence of Dylan Larkin while he serves a one-game suspension for defending himself.
Credit to Gustav Lindstrom for making a smooth backhand pass to Marc Staal which setup the scoring chance.
That goal was followed up with a game-tying goal from Conor Garland, and that certainly wasn’t the last time the Red Wings would have to deal with the former Coyote. That wasn’t before Thomas Greiss established himself as the best player on the ice with an early display in the 2nd period as Detroit was on the penalty kill.
It didn’t take long for the Red Wings to take the lead and run away with it. Filip Zadina netted his 1st goal of the season on the power-play, and it was Moritz Seider that helped put the puck in his wheelhouse, marking the rookie defenseman’s 3rd assist.
Please note that this power-play goal was made possible thanks to Lucas Raymond, who drew the hooking call on Jason Dickinson.
Speaking of Lucas Raymond — he didn’t score a point, and he didn’t get that much ice time, but let’s just talk about him for a second. He’s 19 years old, playing hockey in North America for the first time and he’s making plays. Not plays that necessarily put him on the score sheet, but plays that make a difference. Here’s an example.
19 years old. Just sayin’.
Okay, the Red Wings are up by a goal late in the game. That means only one thing: All hell breaks loose. Things got a lot more physical, but Detroit stood firm with a 2-1 lead largely due to a stout performance from Thomas Greiss.
In the final 20 minutes, it seemed like we were slipping into exactly what we got into with Tampa in the 1st game — an emotional and physical battle that only ended with injury and upset. Here’s the play between Conor Garland and Filip Zadina that unraveled everything:
Say what you want about it. I think Garland saw Zadina coming and braced for impact, but unfortunately the impact was with Zadina’s head. Given how things played out the last game, the Red Wings stood up for themselves and made a statement that they weren’t going to be pushed around and they certainly weren’t going to let anyone take shots at them, intentional or not. I think what my favorite part of all of this is that the players had fun with it and used it against Vancouver.
insert troll face.
It took a lot of punching and pushing, but the Red Wings would eventually put a lid on the Canucks with an empty-net goal from Sam Gagner. A much-needed win after an emotional season-opener. I think it’s fair to say that Vancouver had control of most of this game, but Detroit was resilient. To be cliche, they “rolled up their sleeves” and got to work after Vancouver scored the game-tying goal. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a big win at home.
However you want to look at tonight, it was a strong response to an emotional home opener at LCA. The Red Wings were without one of their best players and captain in Dylan Larkin, and they followed up exactly how most fans would want them to... But the win is all thanks to Thomas Greiss. That’s a strong performance from him, and should earn him some more time over Nedeljkovic.
Meanwhile, Joe Veleno has 3 goals with the Griffins. That really has nothing to do with the Canucks, but I just wanted to mention that.