Editor’s note: I refer to the Columbus Blue Jackets as a “weak” team in this article. I don’t have any evidence/data outside of this game to back that up, other than the fact that they are from Ohio.
The Red Wings hosted Columbus Tuesday night with their eyes set on recording a point in three consecutive games, and they got some much-needed relief when Dylan Larkin returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for defending himself. Detroit shellacked a weak Blue Jackets team with speed, skill, and rock-solid goaltending. While most of the game was scoreless, Tuesday night’s game was another example of how this much this team has changed over the course of a year. That change is highlighted by players like Moritz Seider, and Lucas Raymond.
Detroit did one hell of a job limiting Columbus right out of the gate. I believe they held them shot-less for an extended amount of time. The Red Wings were playing a noticeably feisty game — it didn’t take long for Givani Smith to bring the energy. Most, if not all of the 1st period was dominated by Detroit, but Thomas Greiss deserves a ton of credit for his performance early in the game. He had a couple of “dandies”, including a massive save on a Yegor Chinakhov one-timer at point-blank range. Both sides got a look on the power play, but neither really amounted to anything. In fact, I think the best play that either team made in their respective chances was Nick Leddy making a brain-fart that turned into a 2-on-1, only to skate like hell back and neutralize what could have been a pivotal scoring chance.
Detroit’s penalty kill should get credit, though. They tied up CBJ’s offense quite well.
Nick Lidstrom joined the broadcast to start the 2nd period. They talked about a few topics, mostly scouting. Lidstrom at one point even said that Yzerman will call him for his opinions on prospects. Lidstrom also touted Moritz Seider — he says that he wasn’t on the same level as Seider when he was his age.
The Red Wings held the wide edge in shots through the 2nd period, which again remained silent in terms of scoring. Detroit’s special teams again looked real good on both sides. They killed off a CBJ penalty early and even turned another 2-on-1 chance. It was later in the period that the Red Wings would get a rare, extended look at the 5-on-3 power play. I wasn’t exactly impressed with how it looked, though it didn’t look bad. I think what was really lacking is a stronger presence in front of Korpisalo, who alone neutralized Detroit’s man advantage.
After 40 minutes of grueling score-less hockey, all hell broke loose in the third period, and it came at the expense of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Through 2 periods, Lucas Raymond should at least have one goal with all of the chances he’s created, but it was in the 3rd period where he would finally register his first NHL goal, and oh baby was it a big one.
The Red Wings would answer again to make it 2-0 on a goal from Tyler Bertuzzi, who picks up his 5th of this very-young season. Lucas Raymond pulled off another dazzling highlight here with a slick saucer pass to Dylan Larkin.
After Bertuzzi’s goal was when things went south. Lucas Raymond found himself in a dangerous position and Jack Roslovic decided to keep his foot off the brakes and hit him from behind.
Raymond went down the tunnel and didn’t return to the ice. Again, another moment where the Red Wings are on the raw-end of NHL officiating’s inability to punish players for dangerous plays. Tyler Bertuzzi ended up taking a roughing penalty for coming to Raymond’s defense. That penalty would wind up producing a Columbus PP goal.
I’ll be honest.. When Detroit’s lead was cut in half, I said to myself “here we go again.” I was convinced that CBJ would mount a major comeback and ultimately a win, but the Red Wings were simply the better team. They locked down and capitalized on 2 empty-net goals, one from Vladislav Namestnikov, the other from Adam Erne.
The Red Wings are now 2-0-1 on the season, and I can’t remember a time where they came out and dominated a team from start to finish like that. Sure, Columbus (and Ohio as a whole) is a complete dumpster fire, but so were the Red Wings just a short year ago.
The good news is that Lucas Raymond is ok. He participated in the press conference after the game. I’d say that he’s our player of the game without a doubt, but honorable mentions to Thomas Greiss, Dylan Larkin and Moritz Seider.
The Red Wings are back Thursday night to host the Calgary Flames at Little Caesars Arena.