Wings Post-Game: Ghosts Of Our Former Selves

Kris Draper and The Players Tribune rocked the hockey world this morning when they released an article that explored the late 90s rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. Those were the days when Detroit and Colorado were Goliaths of the hockey world. Tonight, we had a glimpse into teams that are in stark contrast to what they once were. Oh how the times have changed!

After a heartbreaking loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday evening, the Red Wings traveled to Colorado to take on the last place Avalanche. Recently eliminated from playoff contention, the Avalanche had nothing to lose going into tonight’s game. The Red Wings, close to being eliminated from contention themselves, needed a victory to stay alive. Let’s see how they did.

The Rundown

As the better team, it was expected that Detroit controlled the flow of the play. And that’s what they did for the first period, driving the play into the Colorado zone. Though the teams closed out the period with 10 shots apiece, Detroit had the edge in goals as Andreas Athanasiou scored on another beautiful breakaway off a pass from Dylan Larkin.

In the second period, the Avs woke up! They were able to build some momentum on a couple of powerplay opportunities early in the period. They finally solved Jimmy Howard, who was having a fantastic game, at 12:08 of the period when Matt Duchene scored his 17th of the season, ending a twelve game goal drought.

The period would end with another Red Wings penalty – Tatar for interference – but they outshot the Avs 10-7. Still, it wasn’t the type of period they were hoping for against the last place team in the league.

The third period was more of the same. The Wings started on the penalty kill and couldn’t build up any momentum. At the ten minute mark of the period, the Avs were outshooting the Wings 9-3. They had also added two goals to their tally – one from JT Compher and one from Carl Soderberg. The excitement wouldn’t end there for Avalanche fans as Gabriel Landeskog would get a penalty shot with eight minutes remaining when Robbie Russo took him down on a breakaway. His penalty shot was denied by Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings weren’t able to get their offense going and they would drop this one 3-1. When all was said and done, the Wings were outshot

The Stats

The Wings got off to a good start here, but it got really bad really fast in the second period. The Avalanche were skating circles around them and Detroit just couldn’t get anything going. They are going to need a much better performance tomorrow in Phoenix.

Motor City MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Andreas Athanasiou. In addition to his highlight reel goal, Athanasiou had three shots on goal and a 55.00 all situations CF%. He’s been playing spectacularly all season, as pointed out by Dimitri Filipovic’s in-game tweet storm:

Up Next

In another back-to-back, the Wings will travel to Glendale tonight to face the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow. The Wings should be able to collect two points against the Coyotes, but who knows anymore after tonight’s showing. Puck drop is 10 PM EST and you can watch the game FSA or FSD. As always, Brock Seguin will have your pre-game report right here on WingsNation.com tomorrow afternoon.