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Deviled Egg: Wings Win 4-0

fireworks at nighttime
Photo by Elisha Terada on Unsplash

What are you thankful for this year? I guarantee the Wings are thankful for a good start to this game, 3 goalies, and that the Devils seem unable to click with Hischier out of their line-up. Let’s grab some leftovers and re-hash what happened last night.


1st Period

Hooray for starting on time! The Wings came out swinging with a few good chances early on. The teams traded a few shots on goal, but thru the first 5 minutes it’s Detroit that actually looks dangerous. Vitek Vanecek comes up with some big saves though, and the score stays knotted at zeroes.

TIME FOR A RRRRRRRED WINGS POWERPLAY! New Jersey has just too much man for the ice to handle, and the home team gets a man advantage for it. Despite more good looks (please, keep this up boys!) Vanecek keeps his team even on the scoreboard. The rest of the Devils squad looks very much like a team that’s deserving of a 2-5-0 record since Hischier’s injury, and like they want to make it a 2-6-0 record. The Hockey Gods will inevitably smite me for writing this.

There’s a lot of… action?… happening. The Wings are absolutely dictating the pace and tone of this game so far, and that’s bound to pay off eventually, but not a lot that’s actually sustained and controlled. Finally a payoff though! Compher forces a turn-over in the neutral zone and pokes the puck to Raymond, but the Devils have already started pushing up the ice and are not positioned to cover. Raymond carries in by the close boards with Fabbri on the opposite side for a perfect 2-on-1 setup. Raymond dishes to Fabbri, and both Brendan Smith and Vanecek bite hard. Fabbri one-time passes immediately back to Raymond, who rips a perfectly placed shot over a stretching Vanecek for a 1-0 lead. That was pretty.

Don’t look now, but Detroit is hungry for more. 20 seconds after the first goal, Luke Hughes tries a no-look-pass to Curtis Lazar but doesn’t get it off cleanly. Lazar ends up tipping the puck instead of receiving the pass, and it goes right to DeBrincat. Being who he is absolutely makes this play as L. Hughes, Lazar, and Eric Haula all collapse on DeBrincat and abandon any coverage on Dylan Larkin. DeBrincat gets the puck to our wide-open captain, who catches Vanecek mid-stretch and sneaks the puck 5-hole for a 2-0 lead. This year, I’m thankful for Alex DeBrincat and heads-up plays like this.

Y’all ever go back for third helpings? Cuz the Wings sure did… Fabbri gave to Raymond earlier but now wants a taste of goal-scoring for himself. After a bit of chaos in the neutral zone, Veleno is able to carry the puck into the Devils’ zone but knows he has Sprong coming up the middle of the ice. Once the defender squares up to Veleno, Joey passes right to #88 who draws ALL the attention thanks to his location. With 4 New Jersey players moving on Sprong, he tries to sneak the puck thru some legs but gets a deflection off a New Jersey skate instead. It goes right to Fabbri, who rips a snapper glove-side. The Wings have absolutely feasted over the course of 72 seconds, and take a 3-0 lead into the locker room.


2nd Period

Digesting the flurry of action from the 1st period, both teams trade chances for a bit and the goalies do their jobs. Alex Lyon is looking good, but also isn’t getting tested with the most dangerous shots ever. I’m not sure if that’s a credit to the defense for limiting good chances or if New Jersey is just playing that bad, but whatever we’ve done for the first 25-ish minutes of this game has been working.

Kevin Bahl sends the puck over the glass and it’s time for another powerplay! There’s some pressure and decent looks, but nothing really brewing… until Moritz Seider rips a shot from the high point that deflects off of Jesper Bratt’s stick. The shot looked like it might at first track wide, but the deflection puts it just inside the post and Vanecek doesn’t even react. It’s a powerplay goal for Mo with 0:01 left on the advantage, and the Devils’ turkey is obviously cooked just a little over halfway thru the game.

The Devils just cannot muster much of anything for the remaining minutes of the period, including on the man advantage after Larkin gets called for slashing Lazar. Lyon does what he needs to do and the team is doing a good job of shutting down the few lanes the Devils try to create. 40 minutes of hockey close out with the good guys up 4-0.


3rd Period

I don’t want to call this period a snooze-fest, but you can tell the Wings are happy to play fun hockey for 20 minutes while the Devils just want to head home for the holidays. We go on the man advantage again at about the 5-minute mark, but mostly just burn time instead of going for a nickel on the scoreboard.

We trade powerplay opportunities with the Devils about halfway thru the period, but ours just eats time again and theirs basically amounts to the same. The Wings aren’t letting them get back in this one late, and I’m honestly not sure the Devils want to try to be in it anyway. There’s honestly not much to report from the 3rd, and the Wings comfortably close this one out.


Takeaways

This is what good teams do. They don’t make exciting nights out of slumping teams, they put them away and move on to the next game. Jersey is absolutely IN A RUT, with Hischier still out and Meier scratched for an apparent minor injury. But missing two of their best pieces doesn’t explain the rest of this roster playing the way it did. Thankfully, this is a Wings blog and not a Devils blog so I don’t have to concern myself with why. I’m just glad the Wings came out and decided to not make a game of it.

Despite not REALLY being tested this game, I think Lyon has earned more looks in net. Reimer was the goalie scratch tonight according to the roster report, and that should be ok for another couple games. Some goalies are making their ways back from injuries (looking at you, Vasilevsliy) but other teams still have tandem troubles. I’m not sure it would be wise to send Lyon down right now, both because of other teams AND because he’s earning his time. Maybe something has to give with this situation eventually, but for right now Lalonde needs to keep it as it is.

Don’t look now, but Lucas Raymond is on a 4-game goal streak. Say what you want about the team efforts in Sweden, but Razor was doing his part in those losses as well as the last 2 wins. I want him carrying whatever confidence this brings him as long as he can, because he’s obviously making a difference out there every game. Speaking of streaks, DeBrincat is also on a 4-game streak – points though, not goals. Still, this is absolutely what we need from him. Score goals, or threaten to score to make opportunities for other guys like on Larkin’s goal. Have I mentioned how happy I am to have him on the team?


A happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Stay safe, enjoy the holiday if you’re choosing to celebrate, and we’ll see you all for Friday’s matinee tilt against Boston!

LGRW

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