Wings Post-Game: Walk the Laine

Tonight, the Red Wings played host to the Winnipeg Jets, where rookie sensation Patrick Laine would play his first and last game at The Joe. There was one more first tonight. Niklas Kronwall played his first game of the season. This is big news for a Red Wings D-corps that has really been struggling early on this season. So did Kronwall make them better? Did he Kronwall anyone? Was he rushed back from injury? Let’s find out.

The Rundown

The first period started off on the right foot for the Red Wings. Only 3:04 into the game, Luke Glendening redirected a shot from Danny DeKeyser at the point.

Through the first half of the period, the Red Wings were playing good hockey. They were leading the Jets in shots 10-2. And then Patrick Laine happened.

I’m not quite sure what DeKeyser and Athanasiou were doing there, but Laine took sole possession of the scoring race among rookies with that goal. He also tied the game. From there, the play evened itself out a little more, with the Jets forcing turnovers and taking more shots on net. The Red Wings would still close out the period leading in shots, 15-8.

Detroit got some more powerplay time in the second period, but were unable to convert. At the halfway mark of the period, Captain Zed buried one to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.

The goal was immediately waved off, but after a quick conference the refs overturned the call. Then, after further review, they confirmed that the goal was, indeed, a good one. The rest of the period was favourable for the Red Wings, with good chances coming from Athanasiou and Green. The team had better puck control than most games this season. They closed out the period with a 27-17 shot advantage.

The third period started off poorly for the Red Wings. Only 2:01 into the period, the Jets snuck the puck into the net and nobody else knew it.

The play went to review, but it was determined that the puck crossed the line. So, suddenly, it was a 2-2 game. Detroit didn’t go without their chances to take the lead. They got a powerplay when Tomas Tatar was hooked on a breakaway. Unfortunately, despite a post off the shot by Kronwall, the Red Wings powerplay was abysmal.

Then, at 10:48 of the third period, Justin Abdelkader blasted a slapper from the top of the circle past Connor Hellebyuck to give the Wings a 3-2 lead. The primary assist went to Tatar, which was his second of the night. The success was short lived, though, as only two minutes later, Brandon Tanev buried his first ever NHL goal in another moment of confusion.

Play continued for 18 seconds before being blown dead. The replay showed a clear goal, but the review happened anyways just to confirm it. The game seemed like it would be tied until the end of regulation until the Jets buried another one with 1:16 left in the period. Tanev managed to get behind Ericsson and score his second of the game. After adding an empty-netter, regulation would end with a 5-3 Jets win.

The Red Wings are now on a 4 game losing streak.

The Stats

det win

So, for the most part, Detroit actually had a pretty good game. They dominated the possession and the shots game through the first and second periods. That being said, their breakdown in the third period is becoming too familiar for my liking. Not to mention that Mrazek’s performance has not been what we’ve expected of him so far this year.

Motor City MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP goes to returning superstar Niklas Kronwall. He played over 18 minutes and led the team with his 60.71 CF%. He skated pretty well and put a couple of shots on net. Here’s to hoping Kronner can make a difference this season.

Up Next

The Wings get a night off tomorrow before hosting Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Puck drop is 5:00 PM EST and you can catch the game on FS-D in America or SNW in Canada. Wings Nation will have your game day preview Sunday morning.