Dekes, Defensive Lapses, Defeated Habs, and Dads: Red Wings win 4-3 OT in Montreal

Winging It In Motown

Uh oh guys, Montreal is in their reverse retros that are call backs… to the Expos? I mean, I guess that’s the coolest thing Montreal could do, but man these Reverse Retros II: The Revenge are pretty much all dumb (still, a Tigers call back for Detroit would be better than what they’ve got.) So that’s my hot take! Real glad we wore ours on Tuesday so I don’t need to stare at them all night for this recap.

Pretty even back and forth to start things off and mostly just a lot of talk about hockey dads on the hockey dads trip and them being great dads and then Rasmussen crashed the net through the slot like a long gone daddy in the USA because he’s an American, but this game is happening in Canada, which the team dads probably know because they got on the plane to get here and I presume they checked the registry before boarding, and Rasmussen kept crashing the net even more, which is probably something his dad taught him how to do at one point and then Ras shot the puck past the goalie, which his dad probably also taught him to do even before he ever taught Ras what crashing the net was, and then it was 1-0 Red Wings, daddios.

Then the organist played “Blue” by Eiffel 65, which was probably pretty popular when the team dads were in their 20s.

Then Suter had a real bad giveaway right in front of Husso to allow Montreal all alone with the puck in the slot, 1-1 tie. That’s two goals across three shots in this game

Afterwards Montreal continued to control the game, but by mid-period the Wings got control of the game and racked up four shots in five minutes. Not bad. Larkin even got a real good opportunity in the right circle, but he couldn’t convert. In the waning minutes it turned into a real track meet with both teams getting good chances, but neither team could convert.

Score: 1-1 Tie
Shots: 10-4 Red Wings
Stand Ups: Rasmussen, Larkin
Sit Downs: Suter

The second started much the way the first ended, with some speed and Ken mentioning players’ dads and Ozzie reminding us this is an original six matchup. Walman got a real dangerous chance and about four minutes in we got our first penalty of the game: puck over glass, called on Montreal. Considering Detroit’s power play isn’t bad this year, that’s fun (remember when we’d just rather we could decline the penalty and keep playing five-on-five a few years back?)

Larkin and Bertuzzi got a real good chance quick in the power play and then collected the rebound, cycled the puck around the net, and then a hard shot from Larkin with a big rebound off Jake Allen in the Montreal net. Allen had little idea where the puck went and dove backwards, but Berggren gobbled up the rebound and tossed the puck over Allen, 2-1 Red Wings!

It would be fair to say the Berggren goal confirmed how in control the Wings had been over the past 20 minutes of hockey. Shots were 18-6 as the game closed in on the halfway mark.

Of course I shouldn’t have said that because the Habs scored a shorty before I could even mention that Detroit went to another powerplay. It was an unfortunate sequence where Larkin fell to his knees deep in the Habs’ zone and Seider was left 2-on-1. Bertuzzi was trying to get back, but you can just tell the conditioning isn’t there with him yet. Bad change by Raymond, too. Nice pass from Dach to set up the goal from Harvey-Pinard. 2-2 Tie.

“Is this going to be another one of those games where we kick their ass and still lose?” I ask my wife, because that’s where my morale is at with things right now.

Obviously my cynicism paid off because the Wings score themselves not too long after. Great rotation around the net starting with a Walman zone entry. Each Wing had at least one touch on the puck. Kubalik fired a hard shot from between the top of the circle and the blue line and ricocheted off Sundqvist for the goal. Then Sundqvist did an NCAA-style goal line dive over Jake Allen. Good discipline by Oskar to make sure it was a good goal before cop-sliding across Allen. 3-2 Red Wings!

Sidebar: Mo’s dad is obviously the cool dad up in the box.

Walman got sent to the box for interference, but it was a non-fear inducing penalty kill, which is the sort of penalty kill you like to see, especially when you’re me and don’t like scary things.

Montreal would get their goal anyway, though as Oesterle misplayed the puck in the neutral zone late in the period and Veleno could not get back quickly enough to cover Harvey-Pinard. HP chipped it up over Husso, 3-3 Tie.

Score: 3-3 Tie
Shots: 27-15 Red Wings
Stand Ups: Sundqvist, Kubalik, Larkin, Seider
Sit Downs: Raymond, Oesterle, Veleno, Copp

Chiarot took a puck to the ankle early in the period and limped off the ice. If your mind goes to a dark place and says something like, well, at least it wasn’t a blue liner I like, then maybe you, like me, just truly appreciated how thin our defensive depth is. The prospect of him being hurt is an unfortunate one, even if his play hasn’t been quite to the level I’d like and he has not paired well with Seider.

Fortunately, he was back out later in what had thus far been the only boring period of this game. That was due, in part, to Detroit’s solid neutral zone play forcing Montreal to dump and chase. Whatever adjustments they made in the intermission were necessary; way too many chances for Montreal off odd-man rushed through the neutral zone in this one.

By the same token, the Wings couldn’t get much going either, although unlike Montreal, they had managed to get a few shots on goal by the period’s midpoint.

Great work with seven minutes left by Larkin, Raymond, Bertuzzi, Oesterle, and Maatta that had multiple chances and great rotation and chemistry by all involved. Seriously, one of the better shifts I’ve seen from Oesterle in a while, taking good shots and getting activated down low.

And I’ll just say it now that we only have two minutes left, but the Wings have lost a suspicious number of sticks this game for zero hooking calls against Montreal. Just sayin’!

Then of freaking course Ras gets called for high sticking with a minute left. Not that it isn’t a penalty, but he’d been hooked just a minute before. The Wings survive to the end of the period thanks to a big Husso save, but Montreal will have four players on the ice for the start of OT.

Score: 3-3 Tie
Shots: 38-21 Red Wings
Stand Ups: Larkin line, Oesterle and Maata, Husso
Sit Downs: Eh, great period from the Wings. Not happy with the reffing standard.

I just want to take a minute, before OT has started (at the time of writing) just how stressful OT recapping is. It’s basically constant analysis paralysis because the play develops so fast out of nothing. Even tougher with a quick team like the Habs.

Still a minute on the penalty kill for Detroit to start. Big save by Husso and a clutch stick in the lane by Kubalik. Ras came out of the box and Chiarot drilled Jake Allen’s goal post to nearly end things.

Larkin, Raymond, and Hronek had a killer shift that sent the Montreal fans rightly cheering for Jake Allen. He had several good plays against Detroit’s best trio.

Ras made a costly mistake that nearly ended the game, but Husso came up big in a one-on-none, then back in the other direction Ras and Fabbri got their own two-on-one, sprung by Seider, and Ras waited for the Montreal defender to sprawl on the ice to dish the puck to Fabbri, who buried it past Jake Allen, 4-3 RED WINGS!!!

Score: 4-3 Red Wings
Shots: 42-23
Stand Ups: Ras, Seider, Fabbri, Larkin, Hronek, Raymond, Husso
Sit Downs: Win’s a win, baby!

Despite my mid-game whining, that was a fun one, and I’d probably even be saying that if Detroit lost. But man, what a game. Rasmussen has been so awesome to watch lately, and it’s so vindicating after all the doubt around his draft. He has become one of my favorite Wings over the past two seasons.

But all that pales to Mo’s dad. I mean, I’d write about it, but if you didn’t see it, you didn’t see it.

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