The Red Wings hosted the Arizona Coyotes at LCA on Tuesday evening in what was anticipated to be an easy matchup after coming back from a rough Florida road trip. Proving this false, the Coyotes took home a whopping 9-2 victory over Detroit- here are some of the key takeaways.
1. Lots of roster adjustments and Vrana’s Return.
The long-anticipated return of Jakub Vrana came after lots of movement in the Red Wings roster over the last few days. From Joe Veleno being sent down and called right back up, Carter Rowney re-entering injured reserve, Danny DeKeyser being placed on waivers and then IR, and the acquisition of Olli Juolevi off waivers from Florida… Vrana’s return was the cherry on top of an already eventful week for the Red Wings roster.
2. Coyotes take an early lead.
One minute and six seconds into the game, Travis Boyd slips one past Alex Nedeljkovic to open the scoring for Arizona. The Red Wings answered five minutes later on a goal from Robby Fabbri, assisted by Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin. Although the Red Wings were outshooting the Coyotes through two periods, their defense was no match for Arizona’s offense and was easily ran through.
3. Three little roughing incidents to keep things “exciting.”
Moritz Seider got feisty in the 1st period and wound up losing his helmet and receiving a two-minute minor for elbowing and a two-minute minor for roughing- the roughing minor matched by Christian Fischer of Arizona. Marc Staal was the next Wing to throw a swing at Nick Ritchie as retaliation after some relentless cross checks were dealt without a call. Matching two-minute roughing minors were issued and an additional two-minute cross checking minor was dealt to Ritchie. With just a minute left in the game, Sam Gagner started throwing punches with Vladislav Kolyachonok- finishing off a rather terrible game with one last burst of energy or frustration.
4. Greiss was put in net after Nedeljkovic let in four… only for Ned to be put back in after Greiss let in two.
Yet another confusing sequence of decisions by Blashill as Alex Nedeljkovic started for Detroit but was pulled partway through the 2nd period after the fourth Arizona goal but was put back on the ice in the 3rd. Another rough night for the Red Wings goaltenders, much like the last matchup against Toronto when this same situation occurred, leaving Nedeljkovic with a .741 SV% (seven goals on 27 shots) and Greiss with a .333 SV% (two goals on three shots). Swapping goaltenders not once but twice in a game is truly not beneficial for either player or the team’s overall performance.
5. Phil Kessel left after one Coyotes goal to go welcome his child.
Coyotes winger Phil Kessel started the game in Detroit to continue his streak of 956 consecutive games only to depart after the opening goal to fly back to Arizona. Kessel and his girlfriend are welcoming their first child into this world and he went back to be there for the birth. Congrats to them and their family!
6. Vrana scored in his season debut.
In his first game of the 2021-22 season, Jakub Vrana brought Red Wings fans to their feet as he scored his first goal of the season. A power play goal assisted by Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina was potentially the main highlight of this game for Detroit aside from Robby Fabbri’s 1st period goal. His first of the season and definitely not his last, the Red Wings are happy to have him back on the ice.
7. Leddy with lots of defensive mistakes, some resulting directly in goals.
At least two of Arizona’s goals were a product of mistakes at the hands and stick of Nick Leddy. The veteran defenseman was having a noticeably off day as he was ten steps behind the action and could not seem to make up for the distance that he had lost. Not being able to recover his ground or get between the Arizona offense and the net cost Detroit a handful of goals and took a hit at Leddy’s trade value heading towards the trade deadline.
8. Coyotes put up nine goals against the Red Wings.
In a remarkable night for the Coyotes, they were able to put up nine goals against Detroit- who has had a 5.40 GAA since February 21st as they have gone 1-4-0. The Arizona offense was on fire and was tearing through the Red Wings zone although they were outshot through two periods and Detroit had won twice as many faceoffs. Brightside: at least the score did not hit double digits for Arizona.