Tuesday night was a big home game for the Detroit Red Wings. They got Jakub Vrana back and they were looking for a bounce-back from a brutal road trip in Florida. The Arizona Coyotes came into Little Caesars Arena and punched the Red Wings in the mouth right out of the game, and kept punching the entire game.
Before we get into the depressing reality of this game, we need to acknowledge Phil Kessel, who suited up for one shift and then hit the road for the birth of his child. This kept his “iron man” streak alive. A true legend:
LINEUP UPDATE: Coyotes forward Phil Kessel will not return to tonight’s game in Detroit. He is returning to Arizona for the birth of his child.— Arizona Coyotes PR (@AZCoyotesPR) March 9, 2022
The game was complete nightmare fuel from the Red Wings, start to finish.. The Coyotes came out strong and opened the scoring but were met with the game-tying tally from Robby Fabbri on the power play.
Special teams was about the only positive for Detroit in the opening period. They scored on the power play (even though it took nearly the entire two minutes to happen), and neutralized the Coyotes on a key power-play chance. There wasn’t much offense from the Wings in the first, so I can only write so much about it.
The Red Wings could have stayed in the game if they were to make some adjustments at the intermission. Unfortunately, coaching decided that wasn’t necessary, and the Coyotes absolutely pounced on a lazy Red Wings team in the second period. The first two goals came within a minute of each other, then the next a few minutes later. Five unanswered goals, and a five-goal deficit going into the third period. And to make matters worse, coaching is so lost that they have resorted to making multiple goalie changes in the same game. Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled early in the second, only to replace backup Thomas Greiss later on.
If there was anything positive that you could pull out of a hellish second period, it would be Jakub Vrana. He is scoring goals on his first game of the season, and on the power play nonetheless!! Good to have him back.
Okay, back to the nightmare fuel.
Detroit failed to get anything going early in the third period. Simply put, the team was playing flat on their backs. Maybe one or two decent chances before Arizona started to really pour the pressure on again. The goaltending, completely helpless, continued to get pounded as a result of porous defense. I think I stop paying much attention after Arizona’s 8th goal, when I looked up, they had nine goals. The Red Wings were so life-less that they couldn’t even get their shit together with four minutes on the power play.
The boo birds were chirping at Little Caesars Arena by the time the Coyotes scored their ninth goal... So, I think this is a low point for the Detroit Red Wings’ season. You just got your asses whipped in Florida, and you come home and get your asses whipped by a fellow rebuilding team. The Red Wings unprepared, uninspired, and had zero direction. A lot of it falls on coaching, and assuming Steve Yzerman doesn’t make a change during the season, Jeff Blashill and his staff could benefit from some cold hard reflection on what they’re producing.
Back at it on Thursday to host the Minnesota Wild. Let’s see what happens in the next 48 hours.