Recap - Preseason: Detroit 6 vs. Chicago 3

The Detroit Red Wings entered tonight’s game against Chicago 2-0-1 on the pre-season, coming off an overtime loss to the Boston Bruins. Their opponent fielded a lineup devoid of big names, so the Wings went in as the favorite, especially considering Petr Mrazek would be making his first start after the World Cup of Hockey.

Some questions going into tonight’s game:

Is the OMG / LSD line going to improve on their previous performance of 7 combined points from the last game they played together?

Will the Millennial Line of Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha ruin the Hawks undermanned defense?

Which defensive players will impress tonight, especially since Ouellet and Sproul are said to be contending for a spot?

What will I do with the time I save not making Matt Lorito puns tonight?

1st Period

Overheard during the walk to the bench: “Yes, for the last time, Tomas, Steve knows you are on his team tonight.....But keep your head up, just in case.”

Ivan Nalimov in net for the Hawks. He played last year in the KHL.

Larkin and Athanasiou combine for a scoring chance on their first shift. It’s almost like these two should play together all the time.

As I was typing this, the Wings score! Stop me if you heard this before, but Luke Glendening with the goal, assists from Steve Ott and Drew Miller.

As I was typing this, the Wings score again! I am starting a Kickstarter for you to pay me to continue typing during all Red Wings games this season. Frk from Nosek right off the faceoff to make it 2-0.

Brendan Smith gave the puck away, then hooked a Hawk to give us the game’s first power play.

The Wings did a good job of keeping the Hawks from getting set up, and keeping them to the perimeter when they were able to get set up, and they kill the penalty.

Mrazek gets his first big save of the game, stopping a deflection in front.

Athanasiou and Mantha spring loose on a 2 on 0, but don’t score. AA should have passed a second earlier, and Mantha got in too close at the end.

The Wings get some sustained pressure in the Hawks zone, but they can’t cash in. Smith looked better on that shift than he has the first 7 minutes of the game.

Wings score! Smith with a beautiful fake shot beats his defender, then places a perfectly weighted pass on the stick of Danny DeKeyser, who walks in and rips a slap shot by Nalimov to make it 3-0. Tyler Bertuzzi picks up the second assist.

The Miller line cycles the puck well, forcing the Hawks’ Jake Dowell to take a penalty, and the Wings go to their first power play of the evening.

So far, the Wings are dominating, which is of course fun to watch, but Chicago doesn’t have anything close to an NHL lineup in tonight.

Sproul joins Frk and the top line on the first PP unit. Mantha looks to be playing in front of the net on the initial set up. The Wings had some good looks on the PP, but no goal. Ouellet walked around his man near the end of the 2 minutes, but went too wide, and couldn’t find an open lane.

Alexandre Fortin finds an opening between Ouellet and Dekeyser and walks in all alone beating Mrazek, to make it 3-1. Horrible goal to give up when the Wings have been dominating. It would have had to be a miracle save from Mrazek, and the defense should’ve been better positioned.

At the end of the period, Detroit scored on 3 out of 10 shots. Chicago only had 4 shots, but one went in.

Chicago’s announcer Pat Foley is yelling “Hey Abbot!” repeatedly after referring to Chicago’s Spencer Abbot during a replay. He thinks it’s funny.

It’s not.

With this timely humor, I’m looking forward to a “Tippecanoe and Tyler Bertuzzi Too” line in the next intermission.

2nd Period

Bertuzzi’s line has done a good job of creating scoring chances, but haven’t finished yet.

Larkin intercepts a pass and feeds AA for a one-timer, but his stick breaks. Not surprisingly, the top line is creating scoring chances on nearly every shift. Keep an eye out for my column: “How Millennials are Ruining Hockey Sticks.”

Chicago is starting to step up their hitting game, nothing over the line so far, but in a game like this, with young players looking to make a name for themselves, you have to be a little anxious.

Martin Frk draws a hooking penalty, and the Wings go to their second power play. Detroit has some chances, but they don’t really get set up.

Detroit hasn’t put this game away, and Dennis Rasmussen scores a goal as he’s going to the ice. 3-2 Detroit, which is way closer than this game should be.

This feels like a game in which the Wings are playing down to their competition.

In describing the play, beat writer Gregg Krupa creates a piece of accidental poetry. I know it’s a typo, but yes, right now “Wings is disarray.”

Lars Johansson enters the game in net for the Hawks as scheduled, and he’ll play the second half of the game. Mrazek is set to play the whole game.

Goal! Larkin finishes off a 3 on 2 play started by Athanasiou. AA did a nice job of misdirecting the defense, but his pass was a little off, and Larkin had to adapt. 71 finished off the play with a backhand from the goal line that banked off Johansson and went in. Wings regain their two goal lead, 4-2.

And just like that, Wings no is disarray.

Sam Carrick slashes Brian Lashoff, and his skate blade literally comes out of his skate.

This sounds like it could be a good locker room insult. “I’ll hit you so hard your blade will come out of your skate!” Maybe not. Try it, and let me know how it goes.

Announcer Pat Foley continues yelling gibberish, and the hockey gods punish him with a Detroit power play goal.

Frk puts a strong slapshot on goal that isn’t controlled by Johannson, a Hawks defenseman then fans on the clear, and Anthony Mantha makes it 5-2.

Chris Desousa and Callahan drop their gloves off the next faceoff. Callahan gets a takedown. That’s your Belle Tire “Get Your Bell Rung” fight of the night.

Dylan Larkin takes the puck on a tour of the Blackhawk zone, eventually putting a perfect pass to a wide open Athanasiou, who somehow doesn’t score. Excellent setup, but AA needs to bury those.

The period ends 5-2 Wings, who outshoot Chicago 13 to 4 in the period, for a total of 23-8 after two.

The Wings bounced back from a poor stretch, to finish the period strong. Frk is having a strong game, looking like he could be a strong addition to the power play. The top two lines are noticeable nearly every shift.

Also, I’m not joking about how awful Pat Foley is to listen to. He’s like your friend who thinks he’s funny, but he’s not, so he repeats his unfunny “jokes” at increasing volume until you laugh to get him to stop talking. I’m researching if doing this recap qualifies me for hazard pay.

3rd Period

The SVS Vision animated billboard is flickering, making it hard to read. As a fan of irony, I couldn’t let that go unmentioned.

Bertuzzi gets run by Sam Carrick. Surprised there wasn’t a penalty, but fortunately Bert is ok.

The Wings give up another bad goal. Sproul gets turned the wrong way near the boards, allowing Brandon Mashinter a breakaway. Neither Sproul nor Ouellet has made a strong case for making the NHL team tonight.

The number of times Chicago has gotten behind the Red Wings defense is troubling. Dekeyser lets his man get by him and is forced to hook him, leading to a Hawks penalty.

Mrazek makes a save, but he gives up the rebound. His rebound control has not been good tonight.

Larkin and Athanasiou out there killing a penalty together. I’d like to see more of that this year.

Larkin can’t kill the next penalty, since he took it. 2 minutes for slashing.

Ott makes it a 5 on 3 with a stupid penalty. Not only was it completely unnecessary, but it looked like he was targeting the other player’s knee. I’m sure he’ll make up for it by being great in the locker room, but on the ice, he just put his team in a bad position.

Tanner Kero takes a hooking penalty to take some pressure off Detroit.

A bad change leads to to too many men on the ice penalty, and the Wings go back to the penalty kill.

The Hawks may have set the record for the quickest goalie pull, as Johansson couldn’t even get to the bench before Athanasiou scored from half the rink away.  6-3 Wings

Wrap up:

The Wings were strong offensively for the most part, but they had some concerning defensive breakdowns. Larkin was the best player on the ice, which he should have been. Ott’s line played well again, although he took a terrible penalty, from which his opponent was lucky to skate away.

Ultimately, good guys win, bad guys lose, and the Wings go to 3-0-1 on the pre-season.