Detroit — Jakub Vrana scored a lot of goals in Thursday’s 7-3 Red Wings victory over Dallas.
Four of them, in fact. The four coming in a varying and dizzying array of styles.
“The goals were goal-scorer’s goals, a lot of them,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
Thursday’s effort was the biggest impact Vrana has yet made with the Wings since he and Richard Panik (along with two draft picks) were acquired from Washington earlier this month for Anthony Mantha.
Mantha was the last Wings player to score four goals in a game on Oct. 6, 2019 against, ironically, the same Dallas Stars.
How did Vrana score?
Let’s analyze each of the goals.
►Goal No. 1: Vrana came down on a quickly developing 2-on-1 rush with Filip Zadina, who is rapidly developing his playmaking skills last season.
Zadina deftly puts the puck on Vrana’s stick on the break and Vrana snaps a wicked wrist shot — it’s looked just as good as was advertised in Washington — beating goalie Anton Khudobin over the goaltender’s shoulder.
Terrific placement of the shot, too.
“He’s fast and he can shoot it, those two things are undeniable,” Blashill said. “When you have that ability to finish, it can really alter a game.”
►Goal No. 2: Danny DeKeyser has the puck near the high slot and uncorks a shot through a developing maze of bodies in front of Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, who replaced Khudobin.
Vrana skates into the slot and gets his stick on the puck, completely altering the shot and baffling Oettinger.
►Goal No. 3: This one is where the speed comes through, as Vrana gathers the puck and outraces the Stars’ defense.
Oettinger is basically frozen, and Vrana again flashes that finishing ability that the pure goal-scorers possess.
“That’s what speed guys can do, they don’t necessarily need great passes,” Blashill said. “When you have a guy who can score in just one instant, one shot, he can change the complexion of the game.”
►Goal No. 4: Nothing too extravagant, too buzzworthy on this one.
Simply going to work, going to the net and backhanding a juicy rebound past Oettinger, as the Stars were attempting a last-gasp attempt for a comeback.
As Blashill said, it’s a goal-scorer completely squashing the momentum the other team may have with one quick strike.
“They were pushing and he got a breakaway and he scores and now you feel the game is in hand,” Blashill said. “They push again and he scores. It’s just constant momentum going our way and going against the other team when you have guys like that.”