Some games are barn-burners, this game was a whole farm-burner. Goals left, right, and center – if you like goals this was the preseason game for you.
The veterans took over the game while the prospects took the backseat in this 8-6 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Red Wings are still undefeated in the preseason.
- Andreas Athanasiou had some hell of a game. A total of 2 goals and 2 assists in just this game alone, he is eyeing that top-6 center role. It might just be preseason, but Athanasiou looks like a different player. Faster with his hands and his vision as well.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 26, 2018
- Partly to blame for Athanasiou’s success this game was Thomas Vanek. Scoring a beautiful breakaway goal on a forehand-backhand deke from a pass from his centerman. This was his second goal of the night and he also tallied an assist. Looks like the foretold chemistry between these two might be in effect this season.
Five points for Athanasiou, and a breakaway goal for Thomas Vanek. pic.twitter.com/hOFVnC97c2
— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) September 26, 2018
- None of the potential young blueliners really made a case for them to make this team on opening night, tonight. It could be fatigue, but Sulak, Cholowski, Hicketts, and Hronek, all had pretty quiet nights. Hicketts was the only one able to get a single point.
- Even with Libor Sulak having 21:28 of icetime, he was unable to register a single shot attempt and he absolutely got shelled at even-strength. A 28.95 CF% at 5v5 is not something that anyone should write home about. He made some nice zone entries and carried the puck up the ice, but that was it.
- Among the forward group, the heavy lifting was done by the veterans tonight. Zadina, Svechnikov, and Ehn were unable to get on the scoresheet. Givani Smith was able to register one assist though, and only in 9:37 of icetime.
- The Red Wings played really poorly despite the scoreline. They were able to score on their high-danger scoring chances, but aside from that, the Hawks were able to control the game. Finishing the game with only a 37.63 5v5 CF% is not what you want to see when most of your skilled players are out on the ice. It helps when the other goalie is Cam Ward.
- Giving the Blackhawks five powerplays for some pretty unnecessary penalties is not ideal. They were able to convert on two of them.
Athanasiou really impressed tonight and now I hope that Blashill gives him the opportunity to play more minutes than he has in the past. To have a Larkin-Athanasiou partnership as top-6 centerman will be like a bullet train coming straight at the opposing netminder.
All of the prospects proved to be disappointing in the end. None of them made a huge splash in the game or was able to successfully defend against this Blackhawks team.
It will be an interesting week before the regular season starts, that’s for sure.
The Red Wings are back at it tomorrow against the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.