The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn a split against the Dallas Stars on Thursday evening.
Detroit had made a significant amount of progress over the course of a disappointing 2-1 OT loss on Tuesday, and getting back at ‘er against the slightly undermanned Stars (who are without Jamie Benn, Roope Hintz, Tyler Seguin and others) offered a measure of redemption, if not revenge, as Dylan Larkin battled his way through some sort of minor injury, Darren Helm made his return to the lineup, and the Stars started a first-timer in Jake Oettinger opposite Jonathan Bernier.
You guys and gals know I’m a person who believes that “learning” is going to matter more than wins or losses this season, and I’m baffled by the 7-3 result tonight. The Red Wings fell down 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2, but they rallied to make it 5-3, and surrendered two very late, very soft goals. They lost Jonathan Bernier in the middle of it all to an upper body injury as well…
But the Wings’ competence was exciting–if only for a few minutes. The Wings’ struggles, going 1-for-7 on the power play, for example, were maddening. The Red Wings’ rally was something to behold, until they imploded, at least…
And they go home 0-and-2 against Dallas and 2-5-and-1 on the season, with Detroit facing Florida on Saturday and Sunday.
What to make of this? Maybe we’ll have to wait until Saturday and Sunday to find out.
RECAP: The Red Wings looked to be getting good lineup news before the game, per the Wings’ Twitter account…
And The Athletic’s Max Bultman…
Red Wings Lines as best as I can tell from video, again thanks to @MDeFranks:— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) January 29, 2021
Hirose-Filppula (I think?)-Helm
While Jake Oettinger was going to get his first NHL start opposite Jonathan Bernier for Dallas:
Stars during warmup ahead of Detroit:— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 29, 2021
Dallas was also debuting some new threads in their “blackout jerseys”:
Ultimately, the teams made their personnel choices, and prepared to drop the puck:
- The puck hit the ice to start the 1st period at 8:38 PM EST…Dallas won the draw, but Staal and Stecher chipped the puck to Dallas’ line, and the teams fumbled and flailed their way toward a Gurianov shot that was blocked by Michael Rasmussen.
Ramussen also got a shot through Oettinger, but the puck slithered wide of the back of the net.
Namestnikov anchored Ryan and Mantha as Hronek and Nemeth turned the puck over, and Detroit skated the puck in deep, cycled down low, and could not sustain possession, chipping and changing…
Etc. etc. You’re probably not reading this for the play-by-play, so I’ve got to nip that in the bud.
Marc Staal also hit a milestone:
I will say that the Stars looked a little “yippy,” jumping at the Wings’ blueline and over-working the puck. Dallas looked to be on top of the play early, but Detroit was doggedly battling as the underdog.
Some 4 minutes into the game, Mantha, Ryan and Namestnikov tried to get some offensive flow going, but Dallas was blocking them off at the defensive blueline, cutting off Detroit’s attempts to carry the puck into the middle of the ice.
Dallas pushed back some 5:15 into the game, and Stecher and Staal (quite the odd pairing in my opinion) got the job done…
So Filppula, Helm and Hirose got the best possession of any of their four lines, to be honest, on a short shift.
The shots read 3-3 6:30 into the game.
Nick Cammano got the first Grade-A Scoring Chance of the game, racing in past Patrik Nemeth, but Jonathan Bernier stopped him…
- Bernier made bigger stops on a wraparound attempt by Faksa, but Detroit took a penalty as Brome got tagged for BOTH HOLDING AND HOOKING on the same shift, 8:09 into the game…and that was corrected to JUST one hooking call at 8:09.
Detroit’s penalty-killers settled in, and Glendening worked to win the draw and help Namestnikov clear the zone.
Dallas was dogged themselves in terms of their puck-cycling, however, and they worked the perimeter particularly well.
Detroit held its own, and killed the penalty. Dallas raced to a 6-3 shots lead early in the PP, but Detroit held Dallas off the board for the second minute thereof.
At 10:34, the second TV timeout hit.
Bernier made a REALLY nice toe save on a Stars 3-on-2, the kind of underrated one that nobody mentions in their recaps, so I will mention it.
- Worse, Detroit turned the puck over at its blueline as Nemeth over-skated the puck, Tanner Kero worked the 2-on-1 with Joe Pavelski, and he chipped the 1-0 goal through Jonathan Bernier on a mini one-timer @ 11:36.
As Mickey Redmond suggested, it was the Stars’ execution that was killing the Wings. It’s not that Dallas was dominating the game by any stretch of the imagination, but Dallas sure knew when to strike and how to do it well.
The Wings looked fuzzier and fuzzier as the period went on, and they started to make more and more mistakes, which yielded inept hockey.
- Thankfully, Esa Lindell got tagged for a hooking penalty off a strong shift from the Rasmussen line, and Esa Lindell headed to the box at 13:16…
- But Namestnikov took a holding penalty of his own on Heiskanen some 43 seconds later, at 14:00 and the teams skated 4 on 4.
Jonathan Bernier began to get a work-out as the Stars increased their shot advantage to 9-4…
- And Joe Pavelski took a holding penalty at 15:12 to give the Wings a short 4-on-3.
The Wings got a shot off, and Helm, Larkin, Staal and Stecher started the PP, Helm stayed out, and ultimately, Hronek had to stop a Radulov rush 4-on-4…
When the power play began in earnest, 5-on-4 style, Detroit could not get through the Stars’ blocks at the blueline, and the top unit of Ryan, Mantha, Larkin, Bertuzzi and Hronek could only get a shot attempt via a long chip-in on Oettinger from the neutral zone.
The Wings continued to struggle getting the puck ONTO Oettinger, with Dallas keeping the Wings off the scoresheet and shot clock over the course of their power play(s).
Ken and Mickey stopped talking about the unpleasant first period and started talking about the issues surrounding holding a 2021 draft instead, which tells you about the aesthetic appeal of the 1st period.
Dallas (and Denis Gurianov, specifically) continued to menace the Red Wings in their own defensive zone as the period wound down to its final minute, and while Darren Helm was effective on the forecheck, no one else was.
That was a problem.
- Dallas got penalized with only 13.4 seconds remaining in the 1st as Alexander Radulov was called for slashing Filip Hronek, and nothing came of the short power play.
The first period ended 1-0 Dallas, and here are the individual stats from said period (FSD had the scoring chances at 5-1 Dallas on their 11-5 shot advantage):
- Detroit began the 2nd period with 1:44 of power play time but a 1-0 deficit, and Detroit started its “big unit” of Bertuzzi, Larkin, Ryan, Mantha and Hronek.
The puck hit the ice for the 2nd at 9:34 PM EST. Detroit wound up, Hronek almost iced the puck, the Wings worked the boards, Hronek found Larkin, he went to Mantha, he went to Hronek, pass pass pass, wide shot, and Dallas chipped the puck out of danger.
TOO PASSY! The Wings were far too interested in making a pretty play, and, as a result, they did not register a shot on their power play.
Again, the Filppula-Helm-Hirose line was OK on the post-power play shift, but they were really the highlight for the Wings.
- Joe Pavelski got tagged for hooking down Stecher at 2:33, and Detroit returned to the power play for the 4th time.
Larkin and Bertuzzi worked the drop-lateral pass to slide into the Stars’ zone, but their slight fumble = an easy clear for Dallas.
Then Mantha was negated along the wall.
Then Mantha and Hronek worked the puck toward a blocked Stars shot.
Then the big unit went off 1:10 into the PP.
Then Brome, Rasmussen, Hirose, Djoos and Namestnikov worked together to generate a whole lot of nothing.
Djoos, Brome and Hirose did a good job of cycling the puck, but no shots yielded no shots because Hirose refused to shoot.
ULTIMATELY HIROSE GOT A SHOT OFF as the power play expired, and THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF OUR EXCITEMENT.
Djoos got another shot off a lovely faceoff win by Luke Glendening, but Oettinger was, as Dominik Hasek used to say, “Picking Cherries” sans any traffic.
Hirose got a rare half-shift with Bertuzzi and Larkin, and he at least doggedly dug the puck out of the Wings’ zone a couple of times, but that sufficed as highlights, honestly.
Heiskanen chipped a shot over the net, Bernier grabbed it, and that was time for a TV timeout.
When play resumed with 12:46 remaining in the 2nd, Bernier made a lovely stop off a point shot by Klingberg, Detroit cleared, Djoos turned the puck over…
- And when Djoos turned the puck over, and Andrew Cogliano could beat Danny DeKeyser to the loose puck off a Jonathan Bernier shot, Cogliano had a gigantic empty net to shovel the puck into.
- Dallas took a 2-0 lead at 7:56 of the 2nd.
Dallas continued to dominate down low, and the 10-minute mark hit with Brome, Hronek and Larkin grinding through center, Bertuzzi over-skating the puck, and Dallas chipping and chasing.
The Wings were dumping and NOT chasing, which is losing hockey.
- Thankfully, Anthony Mantha cranked a hard shot–a real shot–off Oettinger’s shoulder, Stecher held the puck in the zone at the right point, and he found Valtteri Filppula with a shot-pass. FILPPULA afforded the Stars the opportunity to attack Mantha instead, and he snuck a puck in back-door.
- Detroit scored the 2-1 marker at 11:59.
Valtteri Filppula gets his fist of the year as the #RedWings pull within 1 at the 11:59 mark of the 2nd! #LGRW
Assists: Stecher, Ryan https://t.co/P0fuKi3GCw— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 29, 2021
Detroit had nod purpose being in the game by any stretch of the imagination, but they were still “in the game.”
Deserve had shit to do with results.
After the TV timeout, Jonathan Bernier mamde a lovely little stop as DeKeyser got pushed off of again and the Stars tipped a point marker in via Dellandrea, but Bernier “butterflied tall.”
Bernier was basically keeping the Wings in the game…
UNTIL DENIS GURIANOV FLICKERED THE PUCK AT THE NET AS ANTHONY MANTHA WAS PULLED DOWN TRYING TO CHECK A DALLAS STARS FORWARD, BERNIER GOT WIPED OUT AND THE PUCK HIT THE BACK OF THE NET.
Very sadly, Dallas took a 3-1 lead at 14:45.
Bowling for soup (and goals) pic.twitter.com/HycJxE4Yzl— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 29, 2021
Gurianov’s goal started at the Stars’ line, where Staal was picked off by Gurianov, and Mantha picked Dowling to check. Stecher took Gurianov, missed, and as Mantha collided with his goaltender, Gurianov had an empty net to shoot at, just before it went off its pegs.
The Red Wings continued to play somewhat disinterested hockey until Mathias Brome held the hell out of a Stars defenseman, but the refs chose to call the Stars for a bench minor instead.
- At 16:43, Detroit headed to the power play.
The concussion spotter may have gotten Bernier, too:
Thomas Greiss now in goal for Detroit.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 29, 2021
Larkin almost got a rebound opportunity for Ryan, who was held off the goaltender and a loose puck by the Stars’ defenseman, and Detroit looked…
Only for the first shift. After that, the Wings got bogged down by their own puck movement (or the lack thereof) and skating (or the lack thereof), and after far too long a shift, the first unit went off with only 30 seconds remaining in the power play.
Nothing came of said man advantage.
Mark Pysyk also came close to giving Detroit a 6th man advantage, but he flickered the puck into the penalty box trying to clear it out of play. That’s no penalty.
Here are the individual stats for the 2nd period:
Scoring chances after 2 were 8-4 Dallas on their 20-12 shot advantage, per FSD.
Truth in advertising:
I do not believe (right now) that a coaching change would suddenly change this team’s fortunes.
I do not believe (right now) that a personnel change would suddenly change this team’s fortunes.
I do believe in harder work and better execution.— George Malik (@georgemalik) January 29, 2021
We also got an injury update just before the 3rd period:
- The 3rd period began at 10:31 PM EST, and the Red Wings skated up ice off a faceoff win, but Mantha missed Namestnikov, Ryan was checked…and Mantha nearly fed Namestnikov for a goal.
Sadly, the unforced errors–turnovers in their own zone–hemmed Detroit south of center ice for a significant period of time.
Detroit was at least helping Greiss by blocking shots…
- Until the Dallas Stars got the puck to the middle blueline, where Jamie Olekisak fluttered a snap shot through Troy Stecher and Marc Staal and a Stars forward to take a 4-1 lead at 4:18 of the 3rd.
- Greiss was angry at himself, but he had no chance of stopping a shot he could not see, which fluttered up and down and possibly off Staal’s skate.
- Ty Dellandrea took a slashing penalty at 5:45, so the Wings headed to the power play.
BIG SIGH from me as the Wings’ top unit struggled after the second unit started…
THANKFULLY FOR HOPE’S SAKE, TYLER BERTUZZI BATTED THE REBOUND OF A MICHAEL RASMUSSEN DEFLECTION INTO THE NET, all off a Hronek point shot, making it 4-2 Dallas. Somehow, Larkin got an assist instead of Rasmussen, but:
Detroit scored their 4-2 goal at 7:26 of the 3rd.
So yes, the power play scored.
The Wings brought out Hronek, Nemeth, Mantha, Namestnikov and Ryan, and the Red Wings actually cycled the puck and had a good shift in the Stars’ zone, and drew a penalty on Dallas.
- Alexander Radulov sat for holding at 9:40.
According to Ken Daniels, Detroit held a 7-2 PP advantage, and had taken 6 straight power plays.
Larkin got a nice pass from Hronek, but he fluttered the one-timer into Oettinger’s glove, and Larkin barked, “IT WAS IN MY FEET” to Hronek, visibly and audibly.
Larkin, Hronek and Hirose worked a couple of shot attempts before Dallas chipped the puck out of trouble, Detroit recoiled, Rasmussen, Bertuzzi, Larkin, Hirose and Hronek worked the puck down low, Djoos joined…
Brome came over the boards, as did Mantha…
Ryan and Bertuzzi were the other players on the ice…Mantha swept a one-timer wide…
And 7 minutes and 52 seconds remained in the 3rd period.
REMARKABLY, the Red Wings retrieved a Djoos shot, Michael Rasmussen worked the puck to Danny DeKeyser, and the puck fluttered through Darren Helm and off two Stars to deflect into the net and give the Wings a 4-3 deficit with 6:56 remaining!
TO HELL WITH DESERVING!
- Well the refs had something to say when Luke Glendening got called for tripping at 13:14.
Dallas did a great job of cycling the puck, getting shots on Greiss, and yet, the Wings were able to hold their own.
- UNTIL TY DELLANDREA TOOK A HEISKANEN PASS AND DEFTLY TIPPED IT THROUGH GREISS’ GLOVE, making it 5-3 Dallas with 5:08 remaining/scoring at 16:53.
So much for hope.
- Worse, Dallas’ Justin Dowling was able to send a sweeping shot into an empty net at 16:24.
- Dallas led 6-3.
This game makes me wonder whether the Red Wings *did* learn anything (due to the comeback, and then the inevitable collapse), so where are we at, really? I’m lost here. It’s 0-and-2, but they got…better? Sort of? For brief moments?
Frustrating.— George Malik (@georgemalik) January 29, 2021
- DOUBLY FRUSTRATING, THE WINGS WALKED BACK IN AND LET KLINGBERG PICK THE LOW CORNER, WHICH GREISS SHOULD HAVE HAD, AND IT WAS 7-3.
What to make of this game?
What to make of this series?
Detroit was out-classed in the first game, but had moments of competence in the second game…
The game is over at 11:07 PM. And Dallas has won 7-3.