Wings Postgame: Canucks, Eh?

What a weekend it’s been! Not only did the Red Wings agree to a one-year deal with speedy winger Andreas Athanasiou on Friday, they made two smart trades on Saturday, sending Riley Sheahan to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Scott Wilson and Ryan Sproul to the New York Rangers for Matt Puempel. With the news of Ken Holland doing something, all of Wings Nation was excited and filled with hope when the puck dropped for the Wings and the Vancouver Canucks in Little Caesars Arena Sunday night.

The Rundown

The two teams battled it out to start the first period, with Detroit getting chances from Anthony Mantha, Trevor Daley, and Luke Witkoski, and Vancouver getting chances from Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat. Detroit took the first penalty, with Green going to the box for slashing, but would kill it off.

The Canucks would draw first blood at 14:34 of the first period when Sven Baertschi dangled around Jimmy Howard in the slot and buried it off his backhand.

Detroit didn’t stew for long on it, though. A mere four minutes later, Anthony Mantha sniped a shot from the top of the circle. It was an absolutely beautiful shot that Jacob Markstrom had no chance of stopping.

Absolutely beautiful goal and it would be the last of the period. Detroit was outshot 11-9, but at least they headed into the second period tied.

The second period was… well it was something. It certainly looked like nap time for the Red Wings as they watched the Canucks skate around them and rattle off 18 shots to Detroit’s 6. The Canucks added three goals from Derek Dorsett, Sven Baertschi (his second of the game), and Jake Virtanen to make it 4-1. Here’s the worst of the goals:

Not only did Xavier Ouellet pass the puck right to Baertschi, Justin Abdelkader let him walk right by him! Probably the most forgettable period the Red Wings have had this season, they headed to the dressing room to do some soul searching and figure out how they could crawl their way back into this game.

The third period didn’t get much better for the Wings. Tatar took a hooking penalty, only the second penalty of the game, and Detroit killed it off once again. Halfway through the period, the Wings only had one shot on net.

I’m not gonna lie – it was a boring third period. Tomas Vanek took a hooking penalty at 13:33, but the Wings only got one good chance on the powerplay. Later in the period, Mantha took a big shot from the blueline, but Markstrom covered it up pretty quickly. Blashill didn’t even pull the goalie at the end of the game.

It would end 4-1 for Vancouver, with Detroit extending their losing streak to four games.

The Stats

The Wings actually didn’t have too bad of a first period, escaping it in a 1-1 tie. Things really started going south in the second period, when they were outshot 18-6 and gave up 3 goals. It sucked all of the wind out of the team, the crowd, and the game. They couldn’t recover from it. They improved a little bit at the end of the third period, but they only managed to put up six shots again. It’s not enough to win a hockey game.

Motor City MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Anthony Mantha for scoring a beautiful goal in the first period and leading the team in Corsi. Both by the eye test and the stats, Mantha was the best player for the Red Wings with at least three scoring chances. He’s been a consistent force this season, which is encouraging for the Red Wings who need players like that to make a difference.

What’s Next

The Wings will hit the road now as they take on almost half of the Atlantic Division this week. Tusday, they’ll be in Buffalo to face off against Jack Eichel and the Sabres. Detroit will be looking to grow the gap between themselves and the Sabres in the standings before rolling into Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers later this week.

Game time on Tuesday is 7:30 P.M. and you can catch the game on NBC Sports. As always, Brock Seguin will have the pre-game report early Sunday afternoon on WingsNation.com.