Photo Credit: Rick Ostenski/USA TODAY SPORTS
You’d think that a game against a 30th place team that just celebrated their biweekly token victory a few days ago would be an easy one, but as it turns out, the Toronto Maple Leafs had other plans. The Detroit Red Wings left his one with bruised egos, bruised limbs, and another bruise on their record after being shut out 1-0 on a heartbreaker of a Sunday night.
After a hard-fought first period, the there was a brief moment where it looked like the Red Wings were first to strike on the scoreboard. Dylan Larkin appeared to have scored his 21st of the season by crashing the net, but after reviewing the goal the officials decided that it went off Luke Glendening’s glove before entry, negating the effort. Unfortunately, it got worse from there, as a misplay of the puck by Danny DeKeyser sent Michael Grabner off on a breakaway. DeKeyser tried to fix his mistake but instead ended up dragging Grabner down, triggering a penalty shot.
Or did he? As it turns out, the puck found itself colliding with Grabner’s backside, and with Petr Mrazek out of his way, he unintentionally slid it in without impeding the flow of the game in any way. The referees surprised everybody by calling it as a legitimate goal, giving the Leafs the lead.
The Wings poured it on as much as they could in the third period, outshooting the Leafs 18-8 in the final twenty. Unfortunately for them, Jonathan Bernier was having a rare top-notch performance from the opening whistle to the final buzzer and sent away anything that headed his way, leaving Detroit empty-handed.
Motor City MVP
— Stefan Kubus (@StefanKubus) March 13, 2016
Petr Mrazek may have been the losing goaltender, and perhaps an argument could be made that he should’ve tried to stop Michael Grabner from driving the puck into the net with his body, but a unique circumstance shouldn’t take away from a 26 save performance. If he had a bit of goal support, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’d be talking about him being the reason the team won. Tonight, he’s the reason they didn’t lose by more than one.
— Stefan Kubus (@StefanKubus) March 14, 2016
This was a rough night for the bones of the Red Wings players. Pavel Datsyuk appeared to be in a nightmare scenario after this awkward collision with Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov, but eventually came back to the game with his nostrils plugged up to stop the bleeding from his facial collision with the boards. He wasn’t the only one trying to suffocate a blood rush either; Dylan Larkin took Jonathan Bernier’s stick to his face in a nearly as gruesome incident.
As well, Darren Helm missed tonight’s game with the Flu, and Niklas Kronwall’s injury from yesterday’s win against the Rangers has been confirmed to be affecting his right leg. It will keep him out of the lineup for 1 to 3 weeks.
See You Next Time
The Wings needed those two points pretty badly, but the next ones are absolutely vital. Make no mistake, Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers may decide which of the two teams make it into the playoffs in a few weeks. It’s do or die. Sink or swim. Swallow or be swallowed. I can keep rattling off phrases, but the fact of the matter is that they have to win this game. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.