Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

WINGS POST-GAME: Too little too late as Red Wings come up short

Its been a rough start to the season for the Red Wings. They failed to pick up a victory in their first three games of the season and entered tonight’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs with all signs pointing to a fourth straight loss. The Leafs scorching hot offense is off to a historic start and the talent differential was quite obvious. Detroit gave them too many opportunities on the powerplay, resulting in a 5-3 defeat, leaving the team without a win on the year still.

Worth Mentioning

  • The game started off well. Midway through the first period, Nick Jensen joined the rush to form a 3-on-1 and sniped one for his first goal in eighteen months. Christoffer Ehn also picked up his first career point with a secondary assist on the play.

  • Toronto would tie the game at one with a shot off the rush from Morgan Rielly. Filip Hronek had a brutal sequence here, as he gave up the puck and then became too aggressive, allowing the setup pass to slip right past him.
  • After the Leafs tied the game at one, the Wings had a golden opportunity to reclaim the lead. A give and go between Andreas Athanasiou and Thomas Vanek lead to a point-blank shot that Frederik Anderson somehow managed to stop, leaving Double A looking skyward.

  • The second period is where is started to get bad. The Leafs scored back-to-back goals to take a 3-1 lead.
  • The Red Wings had what could have been the worst powerplay I have ever seen. Maybe twice the puck reached the offensive zone, no shot attempts, and a lot of sloppiness. They lacked awareness and confidence in what was a complete waste of two minutes.
  •  Detroit brought some pressure early in the third. Athanasiou nearly scored a highlight reel goal, than later on both Thomas Vanek and Dylan Larkin would hit the post on the same shift.

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  • The hard work would eventually payoff with Jensen scoring his second goal of the game. Anthony Mantha’s shot created a rebound that Jensen pounced on. Anderson made the first save off Jensen, but he would put in the rebound to make it a one goal game. He had three total shots on this shift.

  • Jensen’s performance tonight showed he means business. After being scratched in the season opener he has come back and taken back his spot in the lineup. He was by far the Wings best defensemen in this game.
  • Toronto’s powerplay struck again to take a 4-2 lead. However, the Wings responded with their own powerplay goal shortly after. Larkin throws the puck on net and gets rewarded. Hronek picked up his first career point with an assist.

  • Toronto added an empty-net goal for a 5-3 victory in their favor. Despite the loss, the Wings looked like a different team in the third. They played with determination and kept the foot on the gas. They could have easily given up after the Leafs 4-2 goal.

Final Thoughts

Well, the loss may suck but some positives can be taken out of this.

Athanasiou played very well and generated multiple scoring chances. Larkin looked like his regular self and could have tacked on an extra point or two with some more puck luck. The defense was also surprisingly active, despite Dennis Cholowski being out with injury.

It’s a rebuild. They are going to lose. At least there was some stretches where the team played with some energy, particularly the third period.