Wings can’t make the grade, drop to the B’s

4-1 Boston

In a season like this, you find yourself looking for little things to root for. This game is an opportunity for the Wings to guarantee themselves a winning record against Boston in one of our franchise’s worst-ever seasons.

Not a lot to hang your hat on, but you know what? Screw your hat-hanging elitism. I’ll hang my hat on whatever the hell I want. Don’t touch my hat.

[I’m not changing this intro regardless of what happens]

First Period

Frans Nielsen puts the first shot on goal, but Boston has the first flurry of chances when they get their top line out against ours. A Filip Hronek turnover leads to the second Boston chance and a good defensive play by Mike Green to prevent a Charlie Coyle wraparound gets us almost two minutes into the game. On the extended zone time following this, Gustav Lindstrom takes a holding penalty trying to contain Danton Heinen behind the net.

Boston establishes the Wings’ zone but can’t get a good chance. Darren Helm steps into a passing lane at the top of the zone and starts up ice with Luke Glendening in a 2-on-1 against Torey Krug. Helm keeps and shoots, then follows up his own rebound to jam in the first goal of the game. 1-0 Red Wings.

Late in the continued power play, Glendening clears a loose puck off a rebound to prevent Boston from tying it before Lindstrom escapes from [insert Helmerroids penalty box nickname here].

The Bruins generally control play for the next phase of the period putting a high volume of low-danger attempts towards net while the Wings miss stringing together a few competent counterattacks. Just over ten minutes in, Charlie Coyle gets a good chance at the back door trying to bounce a puck in off Bernier that ends up squeaking out of the far end of the crease.

Luke Glendening takes Detroit’s fourth shot on goal at around 11:30.  This seems to spark... well not a whole lot, but the level of play does improve for the Wings through to the next TV timeout.

Patrik Nemeth does a good job tying up Brad Marchand to prevent a really good scoring chance on a net-front feed, but once again we find ourselves with the ice tilted towards our goalie.  Shortly after, Detroit takes another penalty and the Bruins get their goalie pulled for about 30 seconds before the whistle goes. Adam Erne takes a seat for cross-checking Chris Wagner away from the play.

Larkin blocks a Pastrnak shot, Hronek blocks a Marchand pass, Bernier stops a Krug attempt, and Erne makes a poke check that gets us to the intermission with no damage done.

The Score: 1-0 Red Wings
The Shots: 19-6 Boston
Standout Players:  Bernier, Glendening, Helm, Nemeth
The Period All Summed Up: Probably not a blueprint to victory, but we’ll take it.

Second Period

The Wings manage to kill off the remainder of the Erne penalty to start the 2nd.  Green and Bertuzzi make a good couple passes to spring a zone entry that turns into a no-look turnover by Athanasiou and a scoring chance the other way. The Wings push back and actually get an offensive zone cycle going which leads to a scoring chance for Christoffer Ehn, but Rask makes the stop.

Bernier makes a couple tough saves moving across his crease for Boston’s 21st and 22nd shots of the day.

Shots 23 and 24 are also big stops. Unfortunately shot 25 is a wide-open snap from Charlie McAvoy picking a puck up in the slot and it’s a 1-1 tie.

Just after the goal, Detroit gets their first power play as David Krejci sits for hooking. This power play sucks and Patrice Bergeron scores shorthanded to make it 2-1 Bruins.

David Krejci comes out of the box and gets so close to making it 3-1 that the arena horn operator honks prematurely. A few minutes later it actually gets to 3-1 on a McAvoy shot from the point. In true Wings/Bruins fashion, this comes after a Red Wings player is hit with a high-stick without a call. Hronek got clipped, Coyle gets credit for the tip-in.

Unsurprisingly, the Wings get a power play soon after. Lauzon for interference on Ehn. It’s a shit makeup call.  The power play manages to keep Boston off the board for two minutes, so consider it a win.

Detroit gets another power play under two minutes to go. This one on McAvoy for holding Fabbri. Nothing doing for the first 1:48.

The Score: 3-1 Bruins
The Shots: 30-14 Boston (11-8)
Standout Players:
The Period All Summed Up: Oh no we suck again.

Third Period

The refs decide not to call a too-many-men penalty on the Wings early in the third as a puck hits a player who comes off for a change, but nobody wants to revisit the argument shoehorning this stuff into some grand overarching point  about how unsatisfied they are with things so instead we just get a faceoff and life goes on.

11:16 left in the game and Larkin busts into the zone with speed, blazes around behind the net, feeds it out front to a streaking Lindstrom, and then watches his teammate hit the goalie’s arm with the puck.

Lindstrom follows two minutes later by giving a similar behind-the-net-to-the-front-for-a-quality-scoring-chance feed in his own zone to a Bruins player.

Nemeth gives it away, AA whiffs on defense, Marchand feeds Pastrnak, Boston goes up 4-1.

I’m not embedding that one. If you want to watch it, click the link.

3:21 to go and AA drops the gloves with Chris Wagner after they each do mean things to each other. there’s as many hair-tugs as face punches in this dustup.

Final Score: 4-1 Bruins
The Shots: 41-26 Boston (11-12)
Standout Players:

The good news is that Friday’s bag skate is already showing how well it worked and is certainly going to continue providing positive results for the Wings playing again tomorrow and then again on Tuesday.

Next up: Kicking off Hockey Day in America with a game against the Penguins.