The Runner Sports

Detroit Red Wings’ First Week In Review

The Detroit Red Wings started the 2017-18 season on a much better note then a lot of people thought they would. The young forwards are clicking and some of the veterans have been stepping back and assisting the young players. The Wings ended their first week with one win, one shootout victory, and one loss. They are currently tied for third place with Columbus, Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference with four points.

Red Wings Vs. Wild

The Red Wings opened their season at the Little Caesars Arena. The Wings were victorious over the Minnesota Wild, 4-2. Before the game even started there were two octopi on the ice letting everyone know the tradition didn’t stay with the Joe Louis Arena.

The first period didn’t start out great for Detroit. Forty-seven seconds in, Anthony Mantha got a little too excited and jumped off the bench too soon, which resulted in a too many men on the ice penalty which sadly isn’t new for the Red Wings. Things weren’t looking better when Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno was able to put the puck in the net. However, Detroit was able to challenge the goal and overturn the score due to goaltender interference. Minnesota attempted to challenge that call, arguing the interference was a result of a push by Jonathan Ericsson, but after several long minutes the call stood and the score remained 0-0. A few minutes later Ryan Suter got a wrist shot past Jimmy Howard, however, coach Jeff Blashill challenged the goal and it was called for interference because Howard was smacked in the head. At the end of the first period, the score was 0-0.

The second period didn’t get off to a better start. Two minutes in Detroit found themselves having to play three-on-five after Mike Green was sent to the box for hooking and Trevor Daley put the puck over the glass. The Red Wings were able to kill off the penalty, thanks in large part to Howard, who had amazing save after amazing save.  With six minutes left in the second period, Detroit found themselves on a five-on-three power play after Matthew Dumba crosschecked Luke Glendening and Daniel Winnik slashed Henrick Zetterberg. Mantha put the puck in the net and put the Wings up 1-0. About 20 seconds later Dylan Larkin tipped a rebound in, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead.

The third period took a scary turn. After only two minutes of play Joel Eriksson put the Wild on the board, and this time it counted. Less then a minute later Chris Stewart tied the game up. Last year, Detroit had a habit of blowing third period leads and it was starting to look like they might have brought that unpleasant habit into this season with them. However, ‘The Captain’ had other plans and Zetterberg got the lead back. Martin Frk increased the lead with the last goal of the night and his first NHL goal. There was a little bit of a scuffle between Darren Helm and Coyle but it didn’t lead to any fights and at the end of the night, the Wings had won their home opener.

Red Wings Vs. Senators

The Red Wings faced the Ottawa Senators next.  It was a night for special teams. Detroit had four slashing, two hooking, and one too many men on the ice penalty. Ottawa had one holding and three slashing penalties. It was hard for either side to get things going with a constant presence in the sin bin. The game stayed tied at zero until the third period.

Seventeen minutes into the third period, Frk was able to get the puck in the net and put the Wings up by one. However, it didn’t last for long. Ericsson gave the puck away to Dion Phaneuf, who tied up the game.

Overtime didn’t bring any new goals so it was time for a shootout. The Wings started the shootout with Frans Nielsen and he was the only one who was able to get it in; Anderson stopped both Gustav Nyquist and Daley to follow. Howard Stopped Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan, and Derick Brassard. After three periods, overtime, and a shootout, the Red Wings were victorious yet again.

Red Wings Vs. Stars

The Red Wings weren’t off to a great start during their third game of the season. There was some line juggling going on and the team didn’t look as confident as they had in the past two games. Nine minutes into the first period, John Killenberg put Dallas on the board. Dallas was able to kill off a Detroit power play and it looked like Detroit was going to be able to do the same but with only a few seconds left on the power play and the period, Tyler Sequin was able to get another one past Petr Mrazek to close the first period with the Stars up 2-0.

The second period had the lines brought back to normal, or at least normal for the previous two game. Larkin, Mantha, and Frk were put back together and the chemistry looked like it was coming back, at least a little bit. The players started getting a little chirpy and Zetterberg and Mantha both got into the faces of Stars.  A series of events led to the Wings having a power play and while all eyes were on Frk, Zetterberg was able to pass to Justin Abdelkader who had an open shot and was able to get the Wings on the board. Mrazek had a few good saves but Mattias Janmark put another one past him and at the end of the second period it was 3-1 with Dallas in the lead.

The Red Wings seemed to have started moving better during the third period. Zetterberg was everywhere trying to make plays and the Mantha, Larkin, and Frk line was still together again and trying to make plays and get goals, but Ben Bishop was able to stop shot after shot. Mrazek did his part to stop the Stars from getting a bigger lead and 15 minutes into the third Mantha made it a one-goal game. The Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra man with almost three minutes left, but the Wings were not able to score and with two seconds left in the game Martin Hanzal got an empty net goal and the game was over. The final score 4-2.

The Good

There ware a few players that really stood out during the first week.  Zetterberg is moving and helping set up other players. He has some way of just knowing where other players are at pretty much all times. During the game against Dallas, he didn’t even look at Justin Abdelkader before making the pass that led to a goal. Mike Green has been an assist machine this first week. He has six of them and has been creating offensive opportunities which

Mike Green has been an assist machine this first week. He has six of them and has been creating offensive opportunities which is why Detroit brought him to the team.

Jimmy Howard looks like he wants to get the starter goalie position and keep it. He played hard and with some showstoppers during the first two games. The shootout used to be his biggest weakness but he seems to have overcome that.

The Frk, Larkin, and Mantha line tore up the preseason and they are doing the same for the regular season, so far. Mantha has had two goals and two assists, Frk has had two goals and one assist, and Larkin has one goal and two assists. The kids are doing alright and if they stay together they can be a dominant line in the future.

The Bad

Everything wasn’t great for Detroit. Their defense was still shaky at times and if it wasn’t for the goalies the scores might have been very different. Detroit’s forwards look like they made huge improvements during the offseason but the defense still looks the same and that is not a good thing.

Detroit has taken a lot of penalties, but one that always hurts, and one that they can’t seem to shake, is too many men on the ice. For some reason, the Red Wings are too eager to get out there and can’t wait. Almost all penalties can be frustrating but seeing Detroit get two in two games was especially frustrating because it could be avoided if someone would just wait a few seconds longer.

The Injured

Niklas Kronwall didn’t play in of the three first games because of lingering knee and back injury. Coach Blashill has said that Kronwall won’t play until he is at one hundred percent and no one knows when that will be.

Danny Dekeyser suffered a lower-body injury during the game against Dallas and is taking things day by day.

Allison Barbersek
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Allison Barbersek

Writer at The Runner Sports
I love animals and hockey, espeically the wings. I live in the Great Lakes Bay Area of Michigan.
Allison Barbersek
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