Red Wings in Philly embody Mac n’ Cheese: look good, but leaves you disappointed,
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving to take the edge off of this one. It was Calvin Pickard’s debut with the Red Wings, and when you take a bad team with a new goalie, bad things happen. The first period went well, but then the Wings crumpled like an accordion. Here’s how it went down (and down it indeed went.)
Brenden Perlini had the first good scoring chance of the game, but before I could finish typing that Scott Laughton scored on a break-away as the Flyers turned the puck around quickly and sent him flying on Pickard. First shot this season against him in the NHL and it goes in. Tough rocks, man. 1-0 Flyers, less than 3 minutes in, thanks to Scott Laughton. Larry Murphy kindly pointed out after the first commercial break that this one was on a misplay by McIlrath, so the angry mob knows whose door to beat down.
Despite the early goal, the Wings held play pretty well in the first half of the period. Hronek rattled one off the cross-bar even, so despite the early injury, Detroit seemed ready to play.
Indeed, the Wings weren’t going to keel over six-nil like some other recent outing we won’t mention. The Wings broke up Philadelphia’s cycle in the Detroit zone. Filppula sent a puck up to Fabbri, who sprung AA at the blue line for a 1-on-1 against the Philly defenseman. Athanasiou was forced wide, so he tried to recenter it to a streaking Fabbri who swung for the fences and blasted the puck high, far side on Carter Hart to make it a 1-1 tie!
FABBRI'S FIFTH.@DTE_Energy | #LGRW pic.twitter.com/33jYq8Rmym— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 29, 2019
Bertuzzi drew a penalty on Couturier to even go onto the power play. I barely remember what they were like!...
...Oh yeah, that what those are like. Wings came up futile on the power play, but Hart robbed Zadina with a great sprawling glove save.
But overall great play. If the Wings were a better team they’d probably be up by a goal or more, but those are the struggles of watching a bad team. Still, the Wings showed up to play, especially on the forecheck and backcheck; this, along with good passing, is what made the difference for the Wings and allowed them to dominate in the first period.
With just over two minutes remaining in the period, McIlrath got caught tripping Tyler Pitlick. It was looking pretty good for Detroit until Philadelphia managed to move the puck around the clock, getting Glendening pulled out of position, providing Shayne Gostisbehere the space to throw a puck at net. The errant shot rolled up Pickard’s stick and in to make it 2-1 Flyers. That’s where play would end for the first, so like, c’mon Red Wings. Score more goals. (This is the hard hitting analysis you come to WiiM for.)
Goals: 2-1 Flyers
Shots: 13-9 Red Wings
Stand Ups: Robby Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi
The second period opened to a much more even keel. Red Wings still slightly outpaced the Flyers in shots, but not by much. It seemed like Philadelphia had finally gotten their sea legs, but they didn’t really want to work too hard for this game.
Glendening, Larkin, and Bertuzzi combined to force a turnover and create a nice scoring opportunity, but no luck, and that’s what the Red Wings have been sorely lacking lately: luck. Yes yes, the best players, the hardest working ones, they make their own luck, but every team gets a little luck once in a while. The Wings seem to be sorely lacking it.
Pickard definitely looked shaky in net in the early goings; he probably shouldn’t have given up that first goal. But as the Flyers picked up pressure and the “Let’s Go Flyers” chants began to echo, he made a number of nice saves, including a few sliding lateral stops.
I thought we were going to make it out of the period without any other bad news to report, but alas: we are Red Wings fans in the year 2019. The Flyers made it look easy with a textbook tic-tac-toe breakout play staring behind their own net, Provorov to Voracek to Niskanen to Couturier that led to the Wings getting split. Cholowski faced a 2-on-1 situation and tried to play Niskanen, but Cholowski was the one who ended up getting played like a yo-yo as Niskanen tapped the puck to Couturier for the easy goal with just 12 seconds left in the period. 3-1 Flyers.
Shots: 27-26 Red Wings
Stand Ups: Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Calvin Pickard minus the goal.
Well, good thing Pickard had a decent second period, because it will give him something to remember by this season. Philadelphia scored twice in the first minute of the third period, first a goal by Kevin Hayes and second by Oskar Lindblom. Thirty seconds apart, and both were scored because the Wings had sloppy coverage on the rush. I think the carousel on defense with all the injuries was on display here. 4-1 Flyers, but also 5-1 Flyers.
Regardless of the injuries, the Wings now found themselves in a four-goal hole because they played the Flyers way waaaaaay too loose. They basically sold them beach-front property on the ice, the real estate they were giving them was so nice. A spacious backyard for the dog and everything.
And the real sad thing is that you could see the sail fade out of the Wings’ sails. The one thing the Wings had at this point in the game was the shot total, but Philadelphia took that away from them, too. The top forward line had some fight in them still and bared their teeth mid-way through the period, but down four goals, you’d need a special sort of comeback, and this team doesn’t have the type of magic in a bottle for that display of tenacity.
There was a Daren Helm penalty with 5 minutes remaining, which is important to tell you because you probably turned the game off about 14 minutes ago. By some sweet mercy Philadelphia doesn’t score... until JVR does with two minutes remaining, after the penalty expired. I don’t know how many times I can watch the same mucking around the net where the Wings fail to clear the puck. 6-1 Flyers.
And that’s pretty much the way that one settled. Good gravy, I hope this Thanksgiving pun wipes away all the suffering of that game.
Goals: 6-1 Flyers
Shots: 34-33 Flyers
Stand Ups: You win and lose as a team, and today everyone lost very, very badly.