Hockey game looks like Lullaby, Red Wings lose 2-1 at Dallas
Man, the first five minutes of this one were really boring, but maybe that’s a good thing. To start the game, Blashill put Mantha on a line with Namestnikov and Ryan, so at least we had that to chew on in the meantime. Plus, Brome on the front row, so sometimes dreams come true, at least for the Brome fans in the room. Dallas kept control of the game early on, but only managed one shot better than Detroit to follow up shots in the first commercial break 1-0 in favor of Dallas.
In the middle of the period, something happened! Detroit had too many men on the ice, thanks to a little confusion between DeKeyser and Stecher. The Dallas power play that was played in the pregame like Thanos in 2012 only had two relatively unthreatening shots. Good PK by Detroit overall to keep Dallas on the outside.
Detroit would actually be the team to get on the board first, and on their first shot, no less. The Wings got to throwing the puck to break Dallas’ 1-1-3 defensive pattern and it really worked! Djoos dumped the puck, Smith chased it faster than the Stars D could turn around, Smith threw the puck to Hirose across the Dallas net, centering a pass from Hirose, and finally the backhand Namestnikov’s stick for his first of the season! 1-0 red wings!
Detroit managed to put two more whole shots on the net in the following minutes! Make the most of this momentum! At one point Dallas nearly took it back, however, when Greiss misplayed a puck behind the net, but excellent positioning from Rasmussen and DeKeyser kept the crease clear and allowed a stray rolling puck to be carried.
Detroit would continue to dump and chase for the remainder of the period, which allowed them to gain momentum away from the Stars.
With about a minute left, Dallas got a quick break and DeKeyser covered his man a little too hard, forcing him into Greiss and causing the goaltender to call for interference. It was a weak call, as Mickey Redmond was quick to point out, but the Wings will accept it. It just left me waiting for a catch-up call at the start of the second. The Wings couldn’t convert before the end of the period, but that just meant Detroit would enter the second period with a minute left on the power play.
Not the most exciting time in hockey, but it was a smooth, easy drink after the hellish Chicago games, and hey, you can never complain when you have a lead.
Goal: 1-0 Red Wings
Strokes: 5-5 Draw
Stand out: Michael Rasmussen, Vlad Nemestnikov, defensive play at all levels
Seats: The unbiased part of me means referrals for weak appeal. Otherwise, it was a clean opening frame.
Detroit couldn’t get anything out of the one minute remaining on the power play early in the period. Not a very deadly or even competent power play.
Nametsnikov’s line looked like Detroit’s best early on for a long time, which in some ways makes a lot of sense. A grappling line like this can move energy against a miserly Dallas defense. You know, the usual storytelling, not being afraid to mess it up, go around corners, make tough plays, finish shots, etc etc etc. I don’t like the narrative, but it fits in this case.
Unfortunately, Detroit got caught on their back foot on a breakaway from Dallas. A serial Hronek tried to catch Star striker Justin Dowling which shouldn’t have been much of a concern since Ras was back and should have covered the guy, but with a little puck Ras had been turned over, forcing Hronek to double time and cut Dowling’s stick to prevent the shot.
Penalty start, Dallas wins the puck clean, shuffles it to the blue line, slapshot, and Greiss would have had the save, I’m pretty sure, but the shot went slightly away from the Nemeth’s thigh, propelling the puck up and over Greiss’ shoulder to equalize the game at 1 each. Really unfortunate for Detroit, but that’s how it goes. The goal goes to John Klingberg.
Then the catch up to that soft call in the first came, sending Larkin into the box on a low hooking charge. Greiss faced several challenges, and when he wasn’t, the post managed to save its bacon. Gurianov sounded an iron shot for Dallas, which is as close as Dallas to taking the lead.
Detroit was able to use the momentum of the successful PK to tip the ice in their favor, generating a number of good opportunities that just didn’t see the light of day, including a few passes that probably should have been fired. Of course, Dallas took over the power play thanks to Luke Glendening interfering with Esa Lindell. Detroit only had to kill a minute before Pavelski was sent off for a catchy call, giving Detroit some 4-on-4 time. Nothing exciting came of it, however, and by the time Detroit came to his minute on the power play, I think Detroit spent more time with the puck behind Greiss than in front of him.
The period ended without much excitement, but that’s okay. Detroit played another solid period against a good team that admittedly lacks many good players, but Detroit also lacked some of its best forwards, and let’s not forget, Dallas made it to the Finals last year. You want to win 10-0 at the end of the second, but in an attempt to be fair, I’d say a 1-1 tie looks just after two periods of play.
Goal: Draw 1-1
Strokes: 17-12 stars
Stand out: Greiss made some very good saves.
Seats: Larkin’s line needed to go further. No major misses or anything, but in a low-event game, you’re going to look to that first line forward and defensive pairing for power.
The third period started about as exciting as the first, with five minutes sailing like a hot summer day. Namestnikov had another good opportunity to be the early bright spot. Again, not that it was bad or anything, but both teams were forced to play a lot in the neutral zone or outside around the boards. Even when Dallas had more than a minute of sustained time in the Detroit zone, they could never quite get the shot they wanted, instead spinning the puck around the perimeter until finally Detroit got it out. of the area.
Brome showed skill throughout the second and third that was fun to watch, at least. It was interesting to see him drag the puck all over the ice in a way that really slowed down the game. It’s easy to appreciate the European influences on his style of play and the differences in style necessitated by different sizes of ice. bigger and smaller, looking at him because he’s played so few games in North America. He also had good scoring chances to prove he should be on a goal line (although I can appreciate the thought process of getting him into the NHL by also putting him on a control line at the start of the season.)
Towards the end of the game, we could see something that was so, so rare last year: the Wings were hungry late in the game. And when you push the game, good things happen. Mantha went crashing into the crease as Ryan dug the puck into the corner. A cross pass from Ryan to Mantha resulted in another eye-catching decision, this one against the Stars, giving the Red Wings the chance to take the lead with just over four minutes left in the game.
Sure, maybe when you’re the Red Wings, the best thing that can happen is you stay 5-on-5. The first unit did very little, but the second unit had a big chance on a pass from Hirose’s shot at Rasmussen. Ras just couldn’t lift the puck over Khudobin’s pad. Dallas managed to kill off the rest of Detroit’s power play, which, you know, sucked.
Dallas looked really scary in the final minutes, especially after an icing that left a number of the older Wings players on the ice. Detroit got one last chance in the final 30 seconds, but it wasn’t to be, so the teams headed to overtime.
Goal: Draw 1-1
Strokes: 21-21 Tie
Stand out: Brome, the second powerplay unit probably deserves a sweet “Stand Out” award.
Seats: No one, but everyone was looking for a hero, and no one emerged, so the heroes are the losers here.
Larkin, Bertuzzi and Hronek to start over, but Dallas left no space, so they opted to play greiss for a change. Mantha, Namestnikov and Stetcher had a good chance, but the puck was pushed back. A poor clearance attempt from Stetcher leads to a turnover that leads to a high puck on the left side of Greiss, 2-1 Dallas Starsgame, set and match.
Goal: 2-1 stars
Strokes: 22-21 stars
Stand out: It didn’t really last long enough for anyone to show any shine.
This game was the type of game I think we all needed to see after the rout in Chicago, except for how it ended, of course. This one could have gone either team’s way and was promising for a team trying to rebuild. But when is the offense going to happen? We all wonder.
These two teams are back on Friday. I predict this will be one of those times when the sequel irons out all the issues with the first movie. It’s a revenge that I look forward to.