It should have been a more ceremonious night for Jeff Blashill, seeing that he was registering his 500th game as an NHL coach. It started sweet, but it wasn’t until late in the game when things turned sour.
It’s hard to ask for a better start. Overall, the Red Wings played with a sense of urgency throughout most of the opening stages of the game. It took less than two minutes for the Red Wings to open the scoring thanks to captain Dylan Larkin and quick work by Vlad Namestnikov:
The Wings managed to keep the momentum in their favor most of the period. The Leafs would tie the game up on a bad bounce. What should really be highlighted in the first period is how good Moritz Seider is. He’s the king of “low key” plays that belong on the highlight reel.
Thats just becoming a thing that Mo does every game.. He’s pretty good.
The Red Wings closed out a strong first period and had an even stronger second period.
The top line continued to provide the offense with another goal from Dylan Larkin on the power play, and a goal from Vladislav Namestnikov. Larkin deserves a lot of credit, because he’s been money with goal-scoring this year. Tyler Bertuzzi, too. There’s not much to write home about Jeff Blashill’s coaching, but putting Bertuzzi on the second line was a good move.
On Larkin’s second goal: you love to see the work from Lucas Raymond along the boards. He’s so young, but seems to understand the important parts of the game.
What was shaping up to be a real strong performance turned into a complete nightmare show from hell for Detroit in the third period. I won't bore you with the details, but Toronto took less than 10 minutes to start the comeback, and the game was out of Detroit’s reach not long after that.
The team got a bit complacent, which isn’t surprising. This has become a bit of a theme for Jeff Blashill’s coaching. A favorable margin turned into an unreachable comeback, all within the matter of 20 minutes. The Leafs scored five unanswered goals in the third period. It basically turned into the last game against Chicago, all within 20 minutes of play.
As Mickey Redmond pointed out in the postgame, it will be the fine details that coaching likely talks about this week. The Wings missed out on a lot of the basics against the wrong team.
There’s a lot of negatives in this game, but one positive is Moritz Seider. The rookie defenseman continues to pull off a lot of moves that you’d expect from some of the best defensemen in the league.
If you’re looking for a positive, Detroit at least had a pretty darn good power-play percentage. Baby steps, folks.
The Red Wings have a day off Sunday, then they play host to the Anaheim Ducks Monday at 7:30pm. Detroit lost to Anaheim in their last meeting via shootout.