No Erne, Bertuzzi, or Lindstrom tonight. Veleno makes his season debut and Oesterle makes his Red Wings debut! Old friend Mrazek is in the net for the Leafs.
But most importantly, Dylan Larkin’s grandma is at the game.
Also, this happened:
Joe Veleno did, indeed, drive with Steve Yzerman from Detroit tonight. Just thought it would be easier than going to the airport. They listened to UM-MSU football, talked a bit, and Veleno slept a bit, too.
— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) October 31, 2021
Fast start for both teams, “Boy oh boy you better have your boots on tonight” – Mickey Redmond. Greiss has been busy but looks dialed in. The first ref complaint of the night comes at the 12-minute mark and it’s for Staal not getting a whistle for icing and the puck staying live. Not many whistles at all so far, in fact.
Halfway point and ref complaint #2 as Fabbri is getting the back of his head punched repeatedly with the ref just admiring the activity as the Wings try and jam the puck through Mrazek.
- “[Leafs] have had lots of parades planned that never got off the ground” – Ken Daniels choosing violence this evening.
- “He’s got the hairdo you must have to be behind the [Wings’] bench. Not a lot of follicles back there” – Mickey Redmond, also on point tonight.
If you saw last night’s ESPN broadcast you can understand why I’m reporting on Ken and Mick. It’s so nice to have them back on the call.
Neither team is getting much in the way of quality shots until the Leafs ring one off the post with two minutes to go. Much praise for Seider as he smartly keeps Marner from stealing the puck back through the application of his hockey butt and his hockey brain.
30 seconds left in the period and the Wings give one up. The refs are huddled up talking about something and Blash is making a signature Blashface (yes it’s easy to tell even behind the mask) but did not challenge the call. Muzzin makes it 1-0 Leafs and that’ll do it for the first. About as fast a period as you can have, no penalties and not many faceoffs.
Five minutes in and not much worth noting. Shots are 19-12 Leafs but it doesn’t feel like a lopsided game, just disjointed. Almost like a key part of the Wings lineup is missing. I am of course talking about Adam Erne.
Even without the usual top line, Larkin gets the best chance so far for the Wings but Mrazek makes a solid save. Larkin shakes his head as he glides away.
7 minutes in and we have the first penalty of the game! Tavares goes chop at Rasmussen and is in the Offender Oubliette for slashing. It’s time for a Rrrrred Wings powerplay! Seider made a big oops giveaway but the Leafs but missed the shot. But all is well because RED WINGS SCOOOOOORE! Seider instant redemption as he sets up Zadina for a snappy wrister. Tied up 1-1 and the powerplay was a success.
I have bad news gang. Lucas Raymond no longer holds the top spot in rookie scoring all by himself. The co-occupier of first place is…Mo Seider :’)
Mark off your bingo cards, refs ignored a crosscheck on Rasmussen!
5 minutes to go and the Wings have definitely found their legs. Oesterle makes a great play to stop a 2 on 1 and save Greiss the trouble of making a save. Oesterle is of course interfered with, and no call. Water is wet, etc. You can feel the Red Wings rage meter filling up, we’re probably gonna have a scrap in the third (author note: we did not but Bert would have started one).
The Wings will end the period with a 1:59 penalty kill as Ras heads to the Punishment Pen with two minutes to go for slashing. The penalty kill fails. Bunting makes it 2-1 Leafs with 17 seconds to go.
Not a bad period for the Wings, especially considering they played in Florida last night and had to exchange some players. But another last-minute goal kicks us in the face.
Wings pick up right where they left off…by letting the Leafs score 17 seconds into the period. Kerfoot makes it 3-1. He was left wide open and free to make the shot, not much Greiss could do when the defense was taking a nap.
But no time to despair because JOE VELENO SCOOOOOOORES!! 1:36 and Joe Veleno aka MustSeeJV aka Joey Poison aka Venom closes the gap making it 3-2.
Wings get another chance now as Brodie moves into the Quarelous Quad (yeah we’re getting to an interesting part of the alphabet now) for holding and it’s time for a Rrrrrred Wings powerplay! Wings set themselves up for multiple chances but no go. Mrazek then throws his helmet down to the ice to draw a whistle. Wings are mad about it. Mick is mad about it. That should be a delay of game penalty and the ref is right there ignoring it.
And since that delay of game penalty was ignored, play continues at even strength and the Leafs get themselves another 2 on 1 rush. This time they make it count. Tavares scores and it’s 4-2 Leafs with 12 minutes to go. That one hurt. Ken Daniels expresses his frustration by reminding everyone how bad the Leafs are in the playoffs.
Namestnikov gets high-sticked and then gets instant revenge by scoring a goal during the delayed call. Veleno does the heavy lifting on that goal, another point for him. They’re checking Vlad’s face for blood. Blood is found which means the Red Wings get their goal
AND they get a two-minute powerplay.
In the replay, it is discovered that the real criminal was Rasmussen who was tangled up with Reilly. So, we keep the goal but lose the penalty.
tl;dr – we’re halfway through the period and it’s 4-3 Leafs.
5 minutes to go, Larkin cross-checked in the face by Muzzin, and no call. Fire is hot, etc. 3 minutes left and Greiss makes a bad play behind the net. Marner scores and it’s 5-3 Leafs.
Empty net with 1:45 left…
HRONEK SCORES! 30 seconds left. One goal game at 5-4 Leafs. To be clear, Hronek scored into an occupied net. Not his usual style. Raymond gets an assist to reclaim the top spot in rookie scoring.
12 seconds to go and Fabbri ends the game in the Reprobate Room for hooking. One last scramble in front of Mrazek and that’ll do it. Wings fight to the bitter end but once again fall short.
Final: 5-4 Leafs.
Happy Halloween Hockeytown, see you in November!