The painful 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens left many Red Wings fans searching for optimism. After their third loss in a row and another notification about Dylan Larkin missing time, things felt bleak. Without their top center, the Red Wings resorted to Michael Rasmussen, who was less than underwhelming. The Red Wings handed Montreal their third win of the season; two of those three wins have come from Detroit.
Jeff Blashill’s regarded the team’s efforts against the Habs as “unacceptable”. Thus, the team entered TD Garden with a fire under them. Robby Fabbri drew in on the top line in Larkin’s place. He’s had a wonderful start to the season but hasn’t played the center role in quite some time. In addition, Danny DeKeyser sat tonight; Jordan Oesterle took his place on the top line. After a series of very rough showings for the defenseman, it was only a matter of time.
Moritz Seider started the game off nearly laying out Brad Marchand. The Rookie of the Month looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. The Veleno-Suter-Zadina line lasted all of a few seconds before a power play began featuring Sam Gagner. If you had any doubts that the Red Wings were depleted offensively, Gagner on the power play should tell you more than enough.
Filip Zadina made Charlie McAvoy look like a fool around the five-minute mark of the period, dangling the defenseman before narrowly missing a goal. The “Zadina almost had a goal there” counter must be in the double digits now. Luckily, he’s had a strong two-way game. In fact, many of the Wings’ forwards had a strong defensive outing early on. Fabbri and Bertuzzi in particular stopped David Pastrnak from netting a grade-A scoring opportunity.
It was a very chippy period in particular from Bertuzzi and Marchand. The two went to blows a few times and shared some strong words on the bench. The momentum came to a rough halt when Vlad Namestnikov lost his helmet and chose to hit a Bruin before returning to the bench. In a flash, Patrice Bergeron scored a beautiful power play goal.
With a secondary assist on Bergeron’s goal, Brad Marchand has scored 26 points in his last 17 games against Detroit. After more back-and-forth, Nick Leddy got himself another penalty. Fortunately, the Wings were able to kill this one, not without a few heart-stopping near-goals, of course.
Fortunately, the first period came to an end with just a 1-0 deficit.
To call the Red Wings’ offense stagnant would be an understatement. The team put together a grand total of four shots through 25 minutes of play. Michael Rasmussen stood out throughout the game, though not in the way that many players hope to stand out. He’s large, lost, and overwhelmed nearly every time he touches the puck.
The opportunities grew in the second as the Red Wings matched their shot count in the first. Again, the team’s momentum grew until it ended at an abrupt halt by a penalty. This time around, Tyler Bertruzzi hit the box after knocking Charlie McAvoy’s stick away during a beautiful 2-on-1 opportunity. This impulsive move earned Bergeron his second goal of the night, Marchand’s second assist, and the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
A lack of discipline has been the Red Wings’ white whale this season. It brought them dangerously close to a loss against the Chicago Blackhawks and was the downfall of the season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Red Wings are so peculiar. They’re able to dismantle star goaltenders like Marc-Andre Fleury and Andrei Vasilevskiy, yet they’ve struggled against rookie Jeremy Swayman throughout the game.
The penalty killers had a very busy night. Seider earned the fourth penalty of the game on a very weird holding call. Bergeron scored yet another power play like the first two, this time completing the hat trick right near the end of the second. The ice is very much tilted in one direction and it’s not in Detroit’s favor.
It only took 45 minutes, but the Red Wings finally got their tenth shot of the night. Namestnikov suffered a hit from Brandon Carlo that wound up in a scuffle. Namestnikov was slow to get up but thankfully returned to the bench without much difficulty.
Two back-to-back penalties set Detroit up for a 5-on-3. Everything was quiet until a Lucas Raymond goal! The Red Wings cut into the Bruins score but the Bruins immediately responded, making it 4-1. Unfortunately, there’s a strict No Fun Allowed policy at TD Garden that prevents the Red WIngs from enjoying anything.
The special teams got another shift as Veleno went off with a late penalty. A scrap near Swayman’s net saw Hronek and Rasmussen show a little bit of toughness as three Bruins attempted to manhandle Sam Gagner. Hronek received a mutual penalty with Matt Grzelcyk, which, fortunately, led to nothing.
Patrice Bergeron played the hero yet again for the Bruins, scoring off an incredible no-look pass to make the score 5-1. It’s been a very rough game for Thomas Greiss, who has had to endure a very difficult game with no support on his own end.
Unfortunately, this game came to a very tough end. Discipline, a lack of consistency, and an impotent offense doomed this game for Detroit.
The team’s next game is this Saturday. They’ll face off against the Buffalo Sabres, who are...*checks notes*...fourth place in the Atlantic.