The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn a “split” in Chicago after dropping their first game 4-1 on Friday night. Today’s matinee game (11:30 AM local start) provided challenges, but the Red Wings needed to be up to the task of an early start…
And they needed to learn from the errors made in Friday’s taxi squad-peppered loss while bringing in Taro Hirose and Givani Smith.
So those of us who got up “early” waited for the rosters to be presented, wondering who else has joined Sam Gagner, Filip Zadina, Jon Merrill, Adam Erne and Robby Fabbri on the COVID list.
Ultimately, the Wings laid an egg, losing 6-2, and it was the fault of everyone–the coaches, the players, the special teams (or the lack thereof), the goaltending, it was all ugly, and the pair of losses against Chicago displayed a distinct inability to learn how to better play an opponent the second time around, which was the most concerning part of an ugly, ugly loss.
The @DetroitRedWings (369) and the @NHLBlackhawks (287) have won more regular-season games against each other than they have against any other franchise. They meet for the second consecutive game at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, TVAS. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/Dx8wCqVEPy— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 24, 2021
Off we went…
He’s on the ice— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 24, 2021
(The Wings’ beat writers aren’t traveling with the team this season)
The Red Wings themselves offered line rushes…
And Chicago’s lines looked like this:
Soderberg slots in directly for Wallmark, otherwise #Blackhawks lineup remains the same from Friday:— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) January 24, 2021
DeBrincat – Suter – Kane
Kubalik – Strome – Kurashev
Janmark – Soderberg – Shaw
Hagel – Kampf – Carpenter
Keith – Boqvist
Zadorov – Murphy
de Haan – Mitchell
The Wings got their starters and scratches in early…
And the Hawks soon followed:
There was no reason given as to why Helm was scratched. Welcome to 2021.
This is another “Trap Game,” a game against a determined opponent who expects to capitalize on home ice against an under-manned Red Wings team. We’d find out quickly what would transpire.
NBC Sports’ panel included Mike Babcock, who was asked about…Mitch Marner.
To the ice!
The puck hit the ice at 12:39 PM for the first period of play, and the Blackhawks carried play into Detroit’s zone, where DeBrincat was stopped by Bernier, Chicago tried to cycle, and Detroit chipped and changed.
The Wings immediately gave up a second scoring chance to Chicago, and Filppula, Ryan and Rasmussen afforded Chicago more time and space, a turnover, and Stecher got bailed out by his defenseman.
- Dylan Larkin was tripped by Ryan Carpenter at 1:43, and the Wings went to the power play.
Mantha, Larkin, Bertuzzi, Ryan and Hronek all cycled the puck, Mantha got a fine shot off, and that was the only chance for the top unit.
Hirose, Namestnikov, Rasmussen, DeKeyser and Djoos worked together on the 2nd unit, but they were fumbly, so not much got done.
Detroit at least settled down after the power play, and Glendening and Nielsen found Hronek for a big boomer…
- Regrettably, Filip Hronek over-covered Patrick Kane, Patrik Nemeth over-covered Alex DeBrincat, and Pius Suter was uncovered to chip home the rebound of Kane’s shot on Bernier at 4:42. Suter from de Haan and Kane.
After the goal, Chicago took control of the game some 7:30 into the 1st, and the Red Wings looked undermanned…and passive.
- Then Luke Glendening got over-aggressive on the forecheck, affording the Blackhawks a power play at 7:57 for holding the stick.
Bertuzzi, Nielsen, Hronek and Nemeth worked the first PK unit, and they were okay.
Filppula, Namestnikov, Stecher and somebody I didn’t recognize worked the 2nd unit…They parried the Hawks’ attempt.
- Bernier made a good glove save as Nielsen, Brome, Hronek and DeKeyser attempted to drop to block shots, and Suter scored his second goal as a result of the ensuing 2-on-1 with Janmark down low in the slot. Suter scored his 2nd goal, from Janmark and Kubalik at 9:44.
The Wings obviously didn’t clear the zone–twice–but the defensive gaffes were the killer.
Larkin found Bertuzzi in front of the net, but Bertuzzi shanked the puck right into Lankinen some 13 minutes into the 1st…
The fact that the Hawks led in shots 10-4 with 6:17 remaining was not helping. It was a track meet toward the front of the Wings’ net, and Bernier could only do so much on his own.
Jonathan Bernier at least had a solid period…
And Mantha clanged a puck off the post with 3:50 remaining in the 1st.
- Regrettably, Troy Stecher took a dim penalty at 16:36, holding a Hawk in the offensive zone, so Chicago headed to its third straight power play.
Nemeth, Hronek, Glendening and Bertuzzi worked vs. Strome, DeBrincat, Kane, Shaw and Boqvist, and they were hemmed in, but Bernier made a big stop in front, a big stop on a point shot, and 1:30 into the PP, Filppula got a shorthanded shot off on a change.
Suter tried to score a hat trick goal over Bernier’s blocker, but he missed the net.
DeKeyser then actually cleared the puck off a deep defensive zone faceoff win, and the Wings killed the penalty, but they were hemmed in on their next shift.
- Detroit headed to the power play with 47.1 left in the 1st period as Larkin was slashed by Kubalik.
The first unit closed out the first period, and Ryan, Mantha, Bertuzzi, Larkin and Hronek rimmed the puck around the side boards and afforded the Hawks an easy clear.
Too cute, too indirect. That was the 1st period. Detroit was out-shot 13-6 and would have 1:13 of PP time to start the 2nd.
The #Blackhawks lead after one frame in Chicago thanks to Pius Suter’s NHL goals No. 1 and No. 2! @ChevyDrivesChi | #CHIvsDET pic.twitter.com/kyVIb0hS2L— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 24, 2021
Stats after 20. Need to pick it up! #DETvsCHI@BetMGM is live! Sign up now for a special offer » https://t.co/2BWQTBeS5D pic.twitter.com/dX8b9sunqb— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 24, 2021
The 2nd period began at 1:29 PM with the Red Wings on the power play for 1:13.
Detroit started Namesnikov, Hirose, Rasmussen, Brome and Djoos, and the Wings chipped, chased, and got a 5-on-3 for 1:01.
- David Kampf grabbed Taro Hirose and took an interference penalty at 12 seconds.
Detroit lost the faceoff on the 5-on-3, Mantha, Bertuzzi, Larkin, Ryan and Hronek cycled, and BERTUZZI TIPPED LARKIN’S SHOT TO MAKE IT 2-1!
Bertuzzi made it 2-1 at 41 seconds of the 2nd on the 2-man advantage.
The Wings continued on a 1-man advantage, and Namestnikov roofed a puck that Lankinen stopped.
The top unit lost a draw and had to set up 200 feet from the Hawks’ goal, and it took them some time to settle things down, thus a relatively easy kill for Chicago.
Hronek fell over, too, and Carpenter had an EMPTY NET to fire into off a pass from Janmark, but he MISSED.
Chicago poured on the afterburners after the penalty-kill expired, but Smith and Hirose of all people had a good shift with Nielsen, and Smith found Larkin for a TREMENDOUS CHANCE THAT LANKINEN TOED AWAY.
Hronek looked indecisive.
BERNIER MADE AN AMAZING STOP ON MATTIAS JANMARK OFF A BOUNCING PASS FROM DUNCAN KEITH, BUT JONATHAN BERNIER STOPPED HIM AT 6:40.
Play resumed after a lengthy TV timeout, and Chicago attempted to put the screws to the Red Wings, but the Red Wings pushed right back against the Hawks, and both teams delivered entertaining brands of hockey.
Tyler Bertuzzi nearly got into a fight with an unnamed Blackhawk just short of the 10-minute mark…
Bernier was making some very good stops, including on a slap shot by Dominik Kubalik…
Regrettably, the Wings were doing nothing to stifle the Blackhawks’ up-the-wing passes from their own blueline to forwards skating with speed at the Wings’ blueline, so a 3-1 goal felt inevitable.
Staal should have gotten a penalty for flipping Kubalik’s stick away from him, but he got away with it…
The Brome-Larkin-Bertuzzi line actually looked pretty good, but Brome’s detail work was off, and Bertuzzi shanked a Hirose pass wide of Lankinen…
- Sadly, Anthony Mantha made a poor decision on the backcheck, sweeping the puck blindly to Connor Murphy, and the Hawks defenseman roofed the puck over a screened Bernier to make it 3-1.
Murphy scored unassisted at 17:18.
Bernier did his damnedest to keep the Wings in the game as the 2nd period waned, and the Wings exited the 2nd period down 3-1.
The third period began with the Red Wings down 3-1, and it began at 2:20 PM EST.
Glendening drew in vs. Suter and lost the faceoff, with Mantha, Namestnikov, Nemeth and Hronek helping grind the puck into the Chicago zone, where a couple more blind passes yieded a DeBrincat pass to Zadorov that had to be blocked by Glendening.
Sadly, the Red Wings froze when Patrick Kane took the puck, Anthony Mantha did a terrible job of trying to cover Mattias Janmark for Filip Hronek, who was out of position, and Janmark jammed home the 4-1 goal at 58 seconds of the 3rd period.
Chicago led 4-1.
Detroit had some very pedestrian shifts after the Hawks’ goal, though Nemeth chipped a bouncing puck in on Lankinen for a scoring chance with about 14:45 left in the game.
The game became particularly frustrating to watch as the 7-minute mark hit, and the Wings looked scrambled and frustrated at best, with the team only paying a modicum of attention to the game.
Nemeth at least got a nice shot off on his next shift…
And Bernier made a nice stop on Pius Suter off a supremely slick set-up by Pattrick Kane.
The Red Wings headed to the power play one more time as Duncan Keith high-sticked a Red Wing at 10:25, affording the Wings one final attempt at a comeback.
Detroit lost the initial faceoff, fumbled the second entry, set up on their third try, and Hirose made a bad pass to Bertuzzi, who could not keep the puck in the offensive zone.
- Then Dylan Larkin found Filip Hronek walking in from the blueline with a drop pass, Hronek fired the puck on Lankinen and Tyler Bertuzzi jabbed the rebound home at 11:39.
Detroit trailed 4-2.
- Worse…Pius Suter walked in past Filppula and picked the glove side corner to make it 5-2, scoring his hat trick marker. The game was over at 12:28.
- It got worse. Danny DeKeyser got beat against the boards, Michael Rasmussen got beaten to the net by Philipp Kurashev, and Kurashev beat Bernier to the far post. 6-2 Chicago at 15:55.
JUST A BAD GAME ALL AROUND, FROM COACHES TO PLAYERS.
Detroit got 1 more power play at 17:04 when Brandon Hagel got tagged for hooking, but nothing came from the PP.
Say it with us…#HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN #HAWKSWIN @budlight | #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/2zLEMYsvGu— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 24, 2021