Nick Leddy out of the lineup as possible trade bait i.e. it’s a “management decision” and it’s Game #300 for Jakub Vrana :)
Ned makes a save in the first 30 seconds, yeah! My nine day old grandson said how important it is for a goalie rebuilding his confidence to make that first save and then everyone clapped.
The first few minutes have been quiet, a huge improvement for the Wings. Both teams turning over the puck quite a bit, so Ned’s keeping busy. But the Wings are also managing to set up some decent scoring chances with Suter feeding Zadina and Larkin trying for the redirect goal.
Over halfway through the period and the score is still 0-0. History is being made. Shots are also tied 8-8.
Time for a Rrrrrrred Wings powerplay! Travis Hamonic to the Bad Boy Box for holding. The Canucks and the Wings are both terrible at killing penalties, but the Wings are also bad at powerplays. To little surprise, the most dangerous chance on the powerplay is against Ned. But he handles it and is looking more like his old self.
Five minutes to go, still 0-0! The Wings are doing so well they’re actually getting booed by the crowd sometimes. Wings are having their best first period in quite some time, which is a low bar to clear, but clearing it they are. Givani Smith has been particularly noticable (for good things). The last few minutes the Wings were all over the Canucks but Thatcher Demko has been sharp in net and robs Raymond to end the period.
First time in 7 games the Wings haven’t given up a first period goal and the shots are in the Wings favor 18-12.
Not a great start, but maybe the puck just likes this side of the ice. Wings haven’t gotten a shot in the first five minutes but finally some activity around Demko again with Larkin and Raymond trying to get him some points.
The very great and reliable Red Wings penalty kill will be put to the test as Filip Zadina sits in the Punishment Pen for slashing. Right as the penalty finishes dying, Vlad and Suter are on the rush and the puck is in the net! The opponent’s net! Pius Suter makes it 1-0. THE RED WINGS HAVE THE FIRST GOAL OF THE GAME!
Elias Pettersson shoots the puck into the net well after the play is whistled down for being offside and that sets off Larkin’s temper so he starts a little scrum. The Goon Squad energy had already been bubbling a bit as Staal bulldozed a few guys earlier and Ras was making crazy eyes at Schenn (but Schenn has been looking to pick a fight with anybody the whole game.)
5 minutes left and Larkin gets cross checked for no particular reason. He hits the ice, and the back of his knee gets stepped on in the scrum. He needs help off the ice and goes right down the tunnel. No call of course. But a minute later and Larkin is back on the bench! Phew. I would have ended the recap, this blog, and appointed myself the Chief Executive in Charge of Larkin Protective Services.
Getting really scrappy now as Ned stops the breakaway that appeared out of general chaos around the benches. A penalty is called with 19 seconds to go and the Wings penalty kill is back to work. Suter goes to the Degen Den for hooking. Mo Seider personally kills the 19 seconds of the penalty to end the period, blocking shots for Ned. Calder stuff.
We’ll start the third on the penalty kill. Wings up 1-0 and shots 31-29 in favor of the Wings.
P.S. Larkin got hit with a puck shortly before the penalty, but he laughs it off.
The penalty is killed! Wings still keeping the pressure on the way they were in the second period.
We get 8 minutes without anything to report until Marc Staal finally gets in trouble for bullying (interference). That’s when we all notice Vrana has also been in the Crimes Cabana this whole time for a 10-minute misconduct penalty that apparently happened as the second period ended. His crime has not been revealed yet, probably yelling at the refs who had their feelings injured.
The penalty is killed! That’s three successful penalty kills in one game for the Red Wings. Wow. Vrana is also now free to do Vrana things.
Five minutes to go, Wings still in the lead...
Four minutes to go, Wings still in the lead...
Three minutes to go, Wings still in the lead...
Two minutes to go, Wings still in the lead and Canucks net is empty
One minute to go, Wings still in the lead and Canucks net is empty...
THE GAME IS OVER AND THE RED WINGS ARE STILL WINNING???
A SHUTOUT FOR NED??
RED WINGS WIIIIIIIN!! THE NIGHTMARE IS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED!!!!