Red Wings-Avs quick take: Make it three disappointing losses in a row

The Red Wings tried to rebound from a difficult road loss in St. Louis on Friday night, heading to Ball Arena to battle one of the NHL’s best teams in the Colorado Avalanche.

The Red Wings lost their third straight game in ugly fashion, dropping a 7-3 decision to the Avs that could have been far closer, had the Red Wings made fewer mistakes…and it could have been a lot worse, had the Avs finished on a few more of their chances.

There were the ironic goals against, like Darren Helm’s breakaway goal on Thomas Griess (who was pulled), there were scares (like Lucas Raymond getting kneed and leaving the ice for five minutes) and there was a lot of learning being done by a Red Wings team that hasn’t played teams like the caliber of the Blues or Avs yet.

The Wings and Avs will meet again at Little Caesars Arena on December 20th, and here is hoping that the Red Wings get their shit together by a week from Monday.

They’ve got a 3-day break to grow upon before playing their 5 final pre-Christmas games, 3 of which will be held at home.

The teams dressed the following lines…

📍 Denver, CO.#LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 11, 2021

Game #️⃣2️⃣4️⃣#GoAvsGo— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 11, 2021

And the teams’ respective starters and scratches were as follows:

In the 1st period…

The first period began with Michael Rasmussen dialing in for the opening faceoff opposite Nathan MacKinnon; the Wings tied up the draw and chipped and chased, with Keumper playing the puck around the boards and the Avs reversing to chip and chase.

Hronek got bumped by Landeskog, and the Wings turned over the puck, with MacKinnon feeding Makar for a shot that went just wide of Greiss and all the way down the ice.

Both teams changed 39 seconds into the 1st, and Devon Toews set up in the Avs’ zone, broke out Rantanen, who cycled and Seider could not clear, but he battled Johnson, DeKeyser set up Seider for a long pass out to center ice;

The Fabbri-Larkin-Raymond line cycled and changed, with Namestnikov and Suter coming out to hold in the puck and flip a pass over to Veleno, who could not corral the puck.

1:50 into the 1st, the Wings cleared the puck deep and cycled again, Renouf got the first shot off on Kuemper, and the Avs raced the other way, with Erik Johnson blasting a heavy shot into Greiss at 2:12 of the 1st period.

The Avs won the next draw and whistled a shot wide of Greiss, and took over the rebound, cycling to the point, and another shot, from Helm, slithered toward the net but missed.

Hronek, Leddy and Rowney sent the puck up to Raymond, and some 3:10 into the 1st, Detroit took a 3-on-2 against, with DeKeyser doing a great job of laying out to stop Logan O’Connor from scoring.

The Wings got consecutive shots on Kuemper off the next faceoff, with Seider, Zadina and Erne testing the Avs’ goaltender, and some 4 minutes into the 1st period, Detroit’s Seider re-set at center, Dettroit chipped, the Avs chased, skated in 3 on 2 and Burakovsky sent the puck wide of the Wings’ goal.

Some 4:25 into the 1st, the Avs and Wings settled into a rhythm of sorts, and the Avs were chipping and chasing with intensity, but Detroit was parrying the Avs’ rushes–for the most part.

And regrettably, Devon Toews worked a give-and-go and cycled to the point, where Toews ripped a shot off J.T. Compher below Thomas Griess’ glove to make it 1-0 at 5:01.

The goal was credited to Compher from Devon Toews and Cale Makar at 5:01 of the 1st period.

Detroit sort of backed off to some extent after the goal against, and the Avs really laid on the pressure, with Landeskog, MacKinnon and O’Connor cycling deep and challenging Greiss, who was up to the challenge;

Colorado was also stretch-passing quite well, but Detroit’s Hronek got a good shot off Kuemper’s blocker at 4:16 to usher in an early TV timeout.

When play resumed after the first TV timeout, Rasmussen, Erne and Zadina did a good job of cycling deep, but they lost their faceoff, and Leddy and Hronek fumbled an exchange, giving Nichuschkin a chance that Greiss had to stop, as well as a rebound attempt…

And the third shot went in, from the point, through Greiss’ five-hole.

A laser here from Andre Burakovsky. ⚡️— NHL (@NHL) December 11, 2021

Andre Burakovsky got the 2-0 goal from Newhook and Jack Johnson at 7:10 of the 2nd, making it 2-0.

When play resumed, Seider laid a heavy hit on Jacob MacDonald, and Seider got called for cross-checking at 7:59 of the 1st.

On the penalty-kill, the Red Wings lost the initial faceoff, but Sam Gagner was able to clear the puck down the ice;

The Avs set up deep in the Wings’ zone, overloading the right wing boards, and the Wings came up with the puck, with Namestnikov skating deep into the Avs’ zone for a moment;

Detroit changed with a minute gone in the PP, and Rantanen turned over the puck, affording Oesterle a long clear;

The Avs chugged up and into the Wings’ zone once again, with Girard feeding Towes, back to Girard it went, to Jost, to Toews, to Jost, down low and back to Jost, cycle cycle, pass pass, 10 seconds remained in the PK and Compher was blocked, Nichuschkin was blocked, and Detroit killed the penalty.

The Red Wings resumed 5-on-5 play by achieving possession and control in the Avs’ zone, where the Raymond line briefly flourished, but of course Darren helm was given a breakaway pass by Aube-Kubel, and Helm scored on Greiss to make it 3-0 Colorado.

Celly score is 43/10
WE FEEL AMPED#BudLightCelly #GoAvsGo— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 11, 2021

Darren Helm scored at 10:49 of the 1st period, from Aube-Kubel, making it 3-0.

And Alex Nedeljkovic replaced Thomas Greiss at 10:50 of the 1st period.

As play continued, the Red Wings looked sloppy and disjointed, if not flat, frankly, having surrendered 3 goals on 5 shots in 5:48 to Colorado.

I’m just baffled as to why the Red Wings were so ridiculously passive over the course of the first 13 minutes of play, but they were passive and flat as Ohio, at best.

Colorado did take a penalty at 12:12 as Landeskog went off for hooking, and the timekeeper took a second away from the Wings, so, the Wings lost a draw with 1:59 left in the PK, the Wings set up with a Datsyuk Drop from Seider, and Raymond took a heavy fall after dekeing and dangling but not beating Kuemper off a feed from Larkin.

Seider shot himself, and was stopped by Kuemper;

Suter, Fabbri, Raymond, and Larkin shot in on Kuemper, and the Avs were able to clear 1:10 into the PK;

Leddy and company took over as the 2nd PP unit, and Leddy fed Hronek, he centered for Erne, and he missed, so the Avs made an easy clear;

Zadina skated up the gut, deked in, and fired a shot off Kuemper;

With 10 seconds left in the P, Leddy set up, the Wings chipped, chased, and the PP expired, but the Wings had 5 shots on the power play.

The Avs took over in a big way against Seider, DeKeyser, rowney, Smith and Gagner, and had an entire minute and change in the Wings’ zone, working like a power play, but Detroit could not or would not win any puck battles on the boards, so Seider had to desperately chip the puck out to no one to afford Detroit a desperation change with 3:45 remaining;

Aube-Kubel then got a shot off and MacKinnon’s rebound was gobbled up by Nedeljkovic.

With the shots tied at 11-11, the Avs and Wings traded chances from end to end, with Nedeljkovic stopping an Av, and Kuemper stopping Larkin with 2:46 left in the 1st;

Zadina, Erne and Rasmussen then worked a bit of an abbreviated cycle, but the Avs took over, and the Avs pushed the puck into Detroit’s zone, where Newhook fired the puck just wide of Nedeljkovic, the Avs cycled, and Erik Johnson’s shot was tipped by Aube-Kubel, but Nedeljkovic made a BIG STOP with just around 2 minutes remaining.

Colorado continued to cycle, re-set at center, and skated deep, cycled to the point, and Seider and DeKeyser worked with Smith and Suter and Namestnikov as the Avs worked power play style;

Burakovsky turned the puck over and Suter set up a 2 on 1 play and NAMESTNIKOV SCORED HIS 9th goal and his 100th career marker to make it 3-1 with 52.9 left in the 1st.

Vladislav Namestnikov gets his 100th career goal. #LGRW@Vladdy18— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

Goal 💯 for @Vladdy18!— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 11, 2021

Namestnikov made it 3-1 from Suter and Seider at 19:07 of the 1st period.

That was the first period.

1st period stats between Detroit and Colorado. Score is 3-1 Colorado after 1 period of play.— George Malik (@georgemalik) December 11, 2021

Got some chipping away to do. #DETvsCOL— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 11, 2021

In the 1st:

Shots 14-14; but the shot attempts were a staggering 31-18 Colorado; hits 5-4 Colorado; giveaways 2-0 Colorado; takeaways 3-1 Detroit; blocked shots 9-2 Detroit; faceoffs 10-7 Detroit (59%).

Faceoffs don’t seem to be the problem any more.

In the 2nd period…

The 2nd period began at 10:04 PM EST, and Larkin dialed in for the opening faceoff opposite Landeskog, and the Wings won the draw, but Hronek was tied up, and Raymond was hacked and hit hard as Fabbri and Leddy held the puck in, Hronek shot the puck off the end boards, and Raymond and Larkin’s passing play was blocked off;

The Avs raced into the Wings’ zone, Raymond reversed for Hronek, Detroit began to change lines 48 seconds into the 2nd period, and Leddy worked behind the net until he was chased out of the pocket;

Rasmussen and Zadina battled to work the puck up for Erne, but they were stopped, and Rantanen, Burakovsky and Nichushkin sent a shot in on Nedeljkovic, who made a good glove stop;

Detroit set up behind their net and Aube-Kubel was stopped by DeKeyser, the Wings could only barely clear the zone, and Nedeljkovic made a boo boo clearing the puck off Erne’s skate;

Detroit cleared the zone however, and Erne and Namestnikov cycled, Smith did a good job of forcing Cale Makar to make a pass he did not want to make, and the Wings regrouped at center some 2:40 into the 2nd period.

With all 4 lines having hit the ice, the Avs and Wings settled into a physical game and a slower game than the first period;

Veleno broke in 1-on-2 and remarkably beat both Erik Johnson and Darren Helm to the net, where Veleno flicked a sneaky little shot through Darcy Kuemper to make it 3-2.

Joe Veleno gets the #RedWings within a goal. #LGRW@jveleno91— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

.@jveleno91 nets his 3rd of the season.#LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 11, 2021

Joe Veleno scored the 3-2 goal at 3:21 to make it 3-2.

Sadly, as the Avs worked the Wings in deep, Nathan MacKinnon slapped a rebound through traffic (Leddy and Larkin were on defense) to make it 4-2 in short order, restoring the Avs’ lead.

MacKinnon scored from Landeskog and Toews at 3:59. 4-2 Colorado.

Even worse, Burakovsky was able to walk past Hronek and Erne and Zadina and he easily scored on Nedeljkovic, forcing coach Jeff Blashill to call timeout.

Burakovsky scored from Rantanen at 4:22 to make it 5-2.

After the timeout, Detroit still struggled to battle the Avs in their own zone, with Colorado seemingly setting up in Detroit’s zone with ease.

Detroit was on its “back skate” some 5:45 into the 2nd period, and the Wings had to ice the puck at 5:52 to get some relief with the fourth line on the ice.

Detroit did try to push back, but Larkin, Veleno and Rowney went offside trying to exchange the puck, flubbing a beautiful 3-on-2, and ushering in the next TV timeout with 13:43 remaining.

The Wings settled down after the TV timeout, and at least played some sort of semblance of competitive hockey, but the Avs were the team with the afterburners on, and Nedeljkovic had to make a big stop on Nichushkin, another stop on Johnson…

And Samuel Girard walked into the slot and scored top shelf to make it 6-2 at 7:33.

Samuel Girard scored the 6-2 goal Tyson Jost and Erik Johnson at 7:33 of the 2nd period.

Worse, Lucas Raymond got tied up in a collision at center ice and had to go to the Red Wings’ locker room with Piet van Zant some 8:45 into the 2nd.

Hopefully #RedWings rookie Lucas Raymond is all right after this collision. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

I mean, the good news is that Rowney, Gagner and Veleno were working together on a fine shift in the Avs’ zone…

Before the Avs regained possession in the Detroit zone, cycled, and afforded Zadina, Larkin and Fabbri a fumble jumble.

Detroit was lost at the game’s halfway point.

I mean, it got so bad that the Avs’ deejay played Lit’s, “My Own Worst Enemy.”

Anyway, the game progressed, and Nedeljkovic made a smart stop with 8:15 remaining, and the Red Wings headed to the power play with Nicholas Aube-Kubel slashing Hronek at 11:45.

The Red Wings lost the initial draw, could not hold the zone, and Seider pushed up to center ice, chipped and chased himself, and again, Detroit could not hold the zone;

Nedeljkovic played the puck to Seider, he set up Fabbri, who chugged up to Suter, and the Avs cleared the zone easily;

Nedeljkovic sent the puck up ice for Suter, Detroit dropped to Seider, he Datsyuk Dropped to Fabbri, to Larkin, and he fired a shot off the end boards and wide;

Nedeljkovic played the puck with 43 seconds remaining in the power play, and Leddy chugged up to center, dropped to Namestnikov, he skated deep and cycled back to Leddy, he found Zadina and he was stopped by Kuemper with only 17 seconds remaining on the power play.

And off the deep offensive zone faceoff, Namestnikov won it to Leddy, he sent the puck to Zadina, and Zadina fed Hronek for a one-timer that Hronek was able to chip through Kuemper to make it 6-3.

Filip Hronek scores his third goal of the season and the #RedWings third goal of the game. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

Hronek scored from Zadina and Leddy at 13:34 of the 2nd period, PPG.

Detroit continued to press the net with 15 minutes gone, with Robby Fabbri nearly converting a Dylan Larkin exchange into a rush toward the net that Kuemper stifled;

Detroit chipped and changed with 4:35 remaining, and Suter, Zadina and Veleno backed in, battled down low, and Zadina sprung Suter and Smith, Hronek went off, and…

Oesterle sent a shot in that was tipped off a leg; he got the puck again and chipped it deep, but the Avs iced the puck, sans call;

Detroit and Colorado seemed to joust somewhat as the 2nd period began to wind down, and Zadina and Namestnikov worked quite well together to cycle deep, and Suter drew a call.

Pius Suter drew a penalty on Erik Johnson, who sat at 16:53 for cross-checking.

On the power play, with Lucas Raymond back on the bench, Detroit lost the initial deep zone faceoff and set up in their own zone.

Thank goodness, Lucas Raymond is back on the #RedWings bench. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

Leddy got chased to center, skated and looped as Hronek went offside, Hronek was hacked on the 2nd attempt, Detroit tried to set up, but was checked heavily, and the Avs could not clear the zone, so Oesterle blasted a heavy shot wide, Zadina was stopped, Veleno cycled to Hronek, he fed Namestnikov, Leddy held the puck in, and Detroit worked it to Hronek.

He assessed his options, Zadina fired a shot in that was stopped, Leddy held it in, Hronek cycled to the slot, to Leddy, to Zadina, shot stopped, rebound held with 32 left on the PP and 1:38 left in the 2nd period.

Detroit lost the ensuing faceoff, Nedeljkovic helped his defense set up on the PP with 15 seconds remaining, Detroit blasted in deep but had to hold the line, and Seider was blocked off by Helm.

Ending the power play.

Raymond chipped, Detroit chased, and the 2nd period wound down to its final minute, in which Nedeljkovic stopped two stops on Jost and then Nichushkin.

Rantanen won the draw to MacKinnon, he drove to the net, and Nedeljkovic made a big stop;

Makar set up behind his net, skated out, and slid the puck up to Rantanen; MacKinnon walked Rasmussen, fed Rantanen, and he centered to no one, so Makar backed up to his own zone, set up, and Toews played the puck for the final few seconds of the 2nd period.

Detroit trails 6-3 after 2 periods of play. Here are the stats.— George Malik (@georgemalik) December 11, 2021

Through 40. #DETvsCOL— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 11, 2021

Shots after 2 are 29-25 Colorado. Attempts are 47-36 Colorado; hits 10-8 Colorado; giveaways 4-2 Colorado; takeaways 5-3 Detroit; blocked shots 10-2 Detroit; faceoffs 22-17 Detroit (56%).

In the 3rd period…

Detroit lost the initial faceoff as Dylan Larkin surrendered possession to O’Connor and company, but Leddy chugged up for Fabbri, he gave and went with Leddy, who was stopped, Fabbri was stopped, once, twice, and Detroit was repelled from the offensive zone;

The Avs set up in Detroit’s zone, Rantanen and Nichushkin tipped a puck in on Nedeljkovic, and he was stopped by Ned.

Detroit changed lines, with Rasmussen, Rowney and Erne working together, and Zadina came out after the Wings won the faceoff…

But Detroit took a penalty, with Danny DeKeyser sitting for tripping at 1:34.

On the penalty-kill, Suter lost the draw and the Avs cycled from point to point, with Makar, Burakovsky, MacKinnon and company cycling and MacKinnon firing a shot wide;

The Avs set up again and worked the perimeter quite well, with MacKinnon dropping to Compher, to Makar, Suter blocked a shot, Makar set up MacKinnon, he was stopped by Nedeljkovic, and the Avs cycled some more, with Makar and MacKinnon working to Burakovsky, to Rantanen, down low, and back to the top of the point for Makar, to MacKinnon, he was blocked by Oesterle, and Rantanen set up, Nedeljkovic made a good stop and the Avs…

Drew another penalty. Sam Gagner was called for high-sticking with 15 left in the PK, giving the Avs a short 2 man advantage.

With 16:40 remaining in the game, the Avs headed to a 5-on-3, they won the faceoff, and cycled to the point, but Nedeljkovic made a good stop and a better rebound grab.

With 2 seconds remaining on the 5 on 3, Rasmussen lost the draw, MacKinnon fed Rantanen and he was blocked by Seider, who helped Rasmussen clear the zone.

The PK continued, and Namestnikov was held up and there was no call at the Wings’ line, but the Avs’ Rantanen fired wide, Detroit chipped the puck out and down the ice, and Kuemper set up Makar in his own zone.

The Avs skated up to center and into the Wings’ zone, Girard cycled for Toews and back, Girard fed Toews, he fed GIrard, to Toews it went, and Rasmussen made a good block and the Avs shot wide;

But Colorado recovered the puck, cycled, worked the perimeter, and Nedeljkovic stopped Newhook.

The Avs raced right back in, cycled again, and fumbled the puck on their own, affording Detroit a full-strength kill.

Nedeljkovic still had to make a stop on an Av before Detroit eventually took over, and Raymond skated deep, cycled with Fabbri, to Leddy it went, Larkin was held, Hronek fired a shot on net and Larkin gave quite the push and shove to Jack Johnson.

The TV timeout hit with 13:57 remaining, and the Avs were out-shooting Detroit 6-5 in the 3rd and 35-30 overall.

Larkin won the next draw, Fabbri fed Leddy and he shot the puck wide, as is his custom;

Johnson found himself battling Raymond, but Erik cleared the zone;

Raymond reversed, sent the puck up for Larkin, and Larkin tried to return the favor, but he was blocked off;

Fabbri had to re-set at center with Namestnikov taking the ice; Smith shot a puck wide, and the Avs iced the puck with 12:37 remaining;

I guess in some small consolation, the Avs seemed to lose Landeksog’s services, as Ken Daniels noted;


The Wings did an OK job of working the puck through center and into the Avs zone, but time was ticking down significantly, and Filip Zadina was stifled at one end, with Nedeljkovic stopping the Avs from scoring the 7th goal of the evening at the other end;

Filip Zadina stopped twice by Darcy Kuemper. Can’t buy one. #LGRW— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) December 11, 2021

Zadina then blasted a heavy shot wide of an open net;

Seider got bumped pretty heavily as the Wings chipped and chased, with Fabbri, Larkin and Raymond getting some good ice time, and Hronek firing a shot off Kuemper that was grabbed by Kuemper in the slot with bodies pushing and shoving…

With 10:40 remaining, Larkin drew in vs. Helm and won it, Leddy fumbled a pass for Raymond, and Hronek had to charge back to stop Jost from breaking in alone;

The Avs cycled, and Nedeljkovic had to stop a Helm wrister;

Helm fired a second shot wide before the Avs set up and Nedeljkovic had to make a third stop on the shift;

Larkin, Fabbri and Raymond broke in the other way, getting some help from Rowney as Larkin went off, and the Avs set up with Makar skating into the Wings’ zone with Helm 2-on-1, but Nedeljkovic made a big stop.

When play resumed after a TV timeout, the Avs pushed into Detroit’s zone with 9 minutes remaining, and Colorado worked the puck to the point, where most of their offense originates, they cycled to Makar, and he was blocked by Veleno;

Rowney, Veleno and Gagner were something of a thing;

Nedeljkovic was able to stop a shot that went off his head;

With 7:50 remaining in the 3rd, the Wings iced the puck;

Nedeljovic nearly surrendered a goal against by playing the puck poorly behind his net with 7:40 left, but he got away with a near-self immolation;

Givani Smith was on the line with Namestnikov and Erne, which was a little soft;

Filip Hronek got cross-checked face first into the boards, and Cale Makar went to the box for cross-checking…for two minutes…at 13:11:

Now hopefully Filip Hronek is all right after being cross-checked by Cale Makar. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 11, 2021

On the power play, Lucas Raymond nearly set up and scored, only to be stifled by Kuemper;

Raymond and Seider cycled and Seider blasted a heavy shot in on Kuemper, only to be repelled;

Suter battled the puck to Raymond, to Seider, to Fabbri, to Larkin, to Seider it went, he sent a wrister in and it was stopped;

Blashill pulled the goalie with 5:46 remaining, and Hronek came out for part of the power play:

On the 6 on 5, the Avs won the draw, chipped it out to center, and Zadina set up;

Zadina skated up himself and skated into traffic, surrendering the puck to Helm, who fired it wide of the empty net;

Namestnikov worked the puck to Leddy, to Hronek, and he was stopped, Hronek held the puck in, and Helm missed the net for the second time;

Fabbri chugged up the gut and sent the puck to Larkin, across to Erne it went, to Hronek to hold it in, 6 on 5 now, suter fed it to the slot, and Makar made it 7-3 via an empty-net goal.

Cale Makar made it 7-3 from Devon Toews at 16:30 of the 3rd period, making it 7-3.

Aube-Kubel almost scored a breakaway marker, but Nedeljkovic fearlessly played the puck away from him with just over 2:20 remaining;

The Avs chugged up and in, and Helm was stifled with 1:50 remaining;

Larkin also fed Raymond for a fine chance that was stifled, and of course Nichushkin skated back the other way and had to be stopped breaking in on Nedeljkovic.

The final few seconds of the game were heavy-hitting and played in the Red Wings’ zone, with the Avs trying to make it 8 against Detroit.

They could not.

Statistics: Here are the Game Summary and Event Summary:

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

One thought on “Red Wings-Avs quick take: Make it three disappointing losses in a row”

  1. The Wings got spanked by a team looking for a Cup. Landeskog, MacKinnon, Makar,, All Stars maybe…

    They will learn to avoid being Road Kill.

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