Wings lose bad

5-1 Canucks

The Wings continue their war against Canada by visiting Vancouver for the first time, for the only time this season. Blashill starts things off by being super-nice and friendly to his own guys Dennis Cholowski and Alex Biega by allowing them to take part in a homecoming of sorts for each. The Canucks aren’t expected to be too good this season, but are on a similar path to the Wings. Any given Tuesday, you know... Coverage: Box Score, Etc.

We start off the night with news that Danny DeKeyser is out with an upper-body injury.

First Period

Jeff Blashill ends his streak of starting periods with Helm - de la Rose - Abdelkader and instead puts on the Larkin line. They respond by putting the first goal of the game behind Thatcher Demko just 30 seconds in on a nifty pass to Larkin for a little juke-and-jive goal. 1-0 Detroit.

The very first shifts for both Biega and Cholowski go well. Biega shows some nice speed with a rush into the offensive zone and Cholowski does well to escape pressure behind his own net. Both showing off for the Vancouver crowd no doubt.

Vancouver gets their first shot on goal nearly four minutes in; it’s a sharp-angle wrister from a non-dangerous spot that Bernier kinda drops and makes look a little more dangerous.

Justin Abdelkader takes the first penalty of the night as he slashes the stick out of a Canucks player’s hand in the offensive zone with 12:40 left in the period. Tyler Bertuzzi gets crushed by Pettersson trying to break up a zone entry about a minute in.  This is the most-notable play of the entire two-minute stretch.  The Canucks are able to take momentum out of the man advantage and have a 7-2 shot advantage on the Wings at the period’s halfway mark.

From this point, the Wings do start to get some shift-over-shift play back together starting with the Filppula line, carrying to the JDLR group and finally with Larkin’s trio coming out and creating puck possession inside the Vancouver end.

Late in the period, the Wings give up the lead on an offensive zone turnover by Mike Green that gets the Canucks numbers coming forward and springs Troy Stecher in for a shot past Bernier to make it 1-1 with just over two to play.

Things pick up for the rest of the period, but nothing doing to break the tie.

The Score: 1-1
The Shots: 14-8 Vancouver
Standout Players: Anthony Mantha, Alex Biega, Dylan Larkin
The Period all Summed up: Canucks played more north-south than Detroit.

Second Period

We start the second again with Larkin’s line, but they come off without doing any damage and Mike Green picks up where he left off in the first period by taking a holding penalty against Horvat to give Vancouver a power play. Vancouver takes 20 seconds to put it behind Bernier as JT Miller screens a long Edler shot. 2-1 Canucks.

Detroit pushes back, but can’t get a dangerous chance before Pettersson makes it 3-1 stuffing home a rebound on Bernier’s left.

Not long after, Mantha gets a chance, as does de la Rose, but the latter’s missing a bouncing puck almost turns into a Josh Leivo goal the other way. Bernier has to make a great stop on a cross-ice pass.

The middle portion of the period slows down as the Canucks are fine letting the pace relax. The most-interesting thing I can say is that Mantha wins an offensive zone faceoff. Fortunately we have Mike Green to shake up the boredom by taking another penalty! This time it’s a trip on Hughes.

The Canucks score on this PP too. 4-1.

At this point, Andreas Athanasiou chooses to remind everybody he’s still playing with a breakaway attempt that he puts high. Shortly after, the Wings get their first power play of the night on a slashing penalty taken in the Detroit zone.  The power play gets no shots on goal and looks terrible doing it.

Fortunately, the Wings manage to escape the rest of the period without getting dysentery or accidentally killing Frans Nielsen.

The Score: 4-1 Canucks
The Shots: 24-17 Vancouver
Standout Players: Andreas Lilja
The Period all Summed up: Shut up.

Third Period

Detroit starts with some jump in the third and draws an early penalty. They like doing this so much that they decide to draw another one just 23 seconds in. Jay Beagle gives the Wings’ a 5-on-3 for 1:37. The top unit gets a number of looks but finds new ways to not score. With just 9 seconds left in the man advantage, Mantha trips up Sutter and the teams scrum up.  The end result to this sees Mantha and Sutter in the box together with Mantha taking the extra two minutes (while Erne and Myers somehow avoid time for wrestling each other to the ice).

The Wings manage to kill off the Canucks power play and even more-surprising, Mike Green manages to touch the puck without it immediately ending up behind Bernier. Things are really looking up in this 4-1 game!

Darren Helm is still working hard trying to extend his scoring streak to three straight games.

Both teams start picking up the physicality and taking runs at each other, so to make sure things stay in-control, the refs call the next penalty for a chintzy hold. Wings back to the PP.

Vancouver makes it 5-1. Miller snaps it past a Horvat screen.

The Wings answer with Erne getting himself excused from the game by punching Troy Stecher in the chops in the offensive zone. Stecher sells it as bad as Erne sold Tyler Myers’ elbowing him during the earlier scrum, but it’s not like he DIDN’T punch him. Ozzie sells it as the team standing up for each other. Personally it looks to me like the group losing their composure, but your mileage may vary.

The Score: 5-1 Canucks
The Shots: 32-27 Canucks
Standout Players: Nobody

Final Thoughts

So which early-season commercial that we see eight times each game is your favorite? The one with the smug Chevy guy, the one where the entire point is “AT&T sucks”, or the one where Meijer pretends like they invented refrigerated milk?

Wings back at it Thursday in Calgary.