We start our arduous journey in the post-Patrik Nemeth/Brian Lashoff era for Detroit having to face the top team in the entire division. Wings are going with an 11/7 lineup with injuries and replacements. The only notable scratch that we weren’t already aware of is Jon Merrill.
I have been told that Saturday night is alright for fighting. Let’s see if the Whalers are up for a row. Greiss in net vs. Mrazek.
Traded chances in the first minute for both sides. Zadina dangerous as always. Just 1:38 in though, Martin Necas gets a puck from Vincent Trocheck off the boards off a DeKeyser turnover and takes advantage of the space given on a down-low 2-on-1 by firing it over Greiss’ catcher to make it 1-0 Hurricanes.
Dougie Hamilton pinches to keep the puck in, Vincent Trocheck finds Martin Necas, and the Hurricanes take an early 1-0 lead.
Trocheck has points in 13 straight games played. pic.twitter.com/NtD55zROaH
— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) April 10, 2021
The Canes keep the pressure up and the junction of the post and crossbar is all that keeps it from jumping to 2-0 fewer than five minutes in.
On the very next time the Wings are able to even get the puck into the Hurricanes’ zone they score. Some heavy board work by Rasmussen and an aggressive move by Troy Stecher ends up with a sharp angle backhander from Zadina that bounces off Mrazek and onto Larkin’s leg where the captain’s momentum drives it into the net 1-1 tie.
Things settle just a little bit, but the Canes keep pushing the play. However, that doesn’t help them out, as a wrister from Alex Biega at the point gets tipped past Mrazek to make it 2-1 Detroit about halfway through the first.
The league credits Mantha with the tip. It looked to me like it was Trocheck’s stick that got it. Either way I don’t care.
The lead lasts a few minutes, but the Canes keep pressing and Jordan Staal ties it 2-2 on a break-in pass that Stecher and Staal don’t pinch off well enough, allowing a lane to the faceoff dot for a wrister far side that catches the inside of the post.
Rasmussen takes a penalty out of a scrum going into the TV timeout. It’s a horseshit call to take just one guy out of this. Wings kill the penalty without too much trouble. I think the most-dangerous chance is Frans Nielsen shorthanded hitting the post.
The rest of the period slips away with no penalties called on Carolina and me being somewhat puzzled about that.
The Score: 2-2
The Shots: 16-9 Carolina
Standout Players: Filip Zadina
Sit-in Players: Danny DeKeyser, Marc Staal, The refs
The Period All Summed up: I had Stecher, Biega and Mantha all on one or the other of the standout/sit-in lists before they did something to even out.
Rasmussen gets a decent wraparound attempt early on but is denied but then draws a call on Brady Skjei in the neutral zone, gallantly accepting a cross-check for his troubles. Evgeny Svechnikov gets two great chances right off the hop but gets denied. Other than that, the PP sucks and should feel bad.
After the bad PP, the game goes several minutes without anything worthwhile to report. When things do get report-worthy, they are about Larkin and Zadina doing good work and then Greiss immediately getting besieged.
9:52 in, Dougie Hamilton picks up a loose puck on a transition play where the Canes handily beat the Wings’ fourth line up the ice. He fires it through Greiss to make it 3-2 Canes.
Sebastian Aho trips up Val Filppula with a lazy stick play and Detroit goes on the PP again. This power play is also very stupid and bad.
16 minutes in, somehow the Wings get traffic into the crease and end up tying the game 3-3. Filppula gets credited for the goal as Michael Rasmussen is also crashing in, but the puck is ultimately kicked in by Jordan Staal.
On the very next shift Cedric Paquette tries to back to the front of the Detroit net and is tripped by Christian Djoos, giving Carolina their 2nd PP.
Carolina’s power play, unlike Detroit’s, does NOT look like mustard-flavored marshmallows, but the score remains tied through those two minutes and the remainder of the period.
The Score: 3-3
The Shots: 22-18 Hurricanes
Standout Players: Zadina, Larkin, Greiss
Sit-in Players: Biega, Staal, Djoos, Erne
The Period All Summed up: Anthony Mantha tried flipping a puck in the air in his own zone to clear pressure and it did not go well.
The third starts tight for both teams; much more feeling out that it seems we got in the first two. Things open about four minutes in as a Detroit goal-mouth scramble is enough to get the ol’ pucker-factor going before a counter attack rush barely denies Glendening a breakaway chance.
Fil Zadina makes a pretty dangle to bust in for a chance that gets denied last-second and then he said something the microphones picked up that Ken and Mick had to apologize for.
After that, things go back to the mucked-up neutral zone stuff we’ve come to love. Ken and Mick start telling even more old stories and marvel about how siblings can exist.
13:40 into the period, Detroit breaks the tie, as Adam Erne breaks down the ice after blocking a shot, outracing Jake Gardiner to the slot before shoveling a backhander under the bar to make it 4-3 Red Wings.
The lead lasts a little over a minute before Nino Niederreiter reaches over the back of Thomas Greiss to tip a puck into the net. Blashill challenges for interference and yet again the genius unquestionable master of coaches challenges gets one right. Still 4-3 Wings.
The good feelings don’t last long before Sebastian Aho ties it 4-4 for Carolina. It’s some real bad coverage from Frans Nielsen after losing his stick.
Some scary stuff in the last minute of the period gets us to OT.
The Score: 4-4
The Shots: 33-26 Hurricanes
Standout Players: Erne
Sit-in Players: Mantha, Nielsen, Hronek
The Period All Summed up: I like how we play against Carolina, to be honest.
OT starts fast and furious with traded chances at both ends through the first minute. Carolina spends the 2nd minute crossing and re-crossing Detroit’s blue line until finally going offsides. We get to touch the puck in minute 3. Larkin gets back out and Detroit starts looking dangerous again. Hronek is sprung all alone to the net, but he’s stopped. the Wings get another chance in the last 15 seconds with Rasmussen stoned up front. We go to a shootout.
Hamilton – Stopped trying to do what Ryan Johansen did in the previous one. Stopped
Larkin – Snipes it from the slot. GOAL
Trocheck – Caught by Greiss. Stopped
Evgeny Svechnikov – Puck rolls off his stick on the cross-crease. Stopped
Andrei Svechnikov – Backhand over the glove. GOAL
Zadina – Tries five-hole. Stopped
Necas – Tries to do a semi-Forsberg. Misses
Nielsen – Backhander clicks off the crossbar. Misses
Aho – Loses it. Gets it back, backhands it into the glove. Stopped
Hronek – Five-hole attempt. Stopped
Slavin – Forsberg attempt again, poke-checked. Stopped
Mantha – Tries to shoot blocker-side. Stopped
Niederreiter – Goes low, no-go. Stopped
Adam Erne – Snaps it blocker-side top shelf. GOAL
Evgeny Svechnikov wasn’t terribly noticeable in this game but I flat out forgot that Vlad Namestnikov was in the lineup for large stretches. Tough to do when running 11-7.
Cholowski played 10:04, which was NOT the least. Djoos was under nine minutes.
I have no idea why we stay so structured against the Hurricanes but fall apart against losers like Nashville.
See you Monday (maybe not you, Merrill. Hi if you’re reading this though. We like you!)