The Detroit Red Wings came into Montreal on Monday looking for their first win of the season.
- Martin Frk made his season debut Monday, as Michael Rasmussen was a healthy scratch. He played on the fourth line with Justin Abdelkader and Christoffer Ehn. He recorded no shots but was a 65 Corsi for percentage at 5 on 5, according to Natural Stat Trick.
- The Canadiens were awarded a penalty shot early in the first period, as Jonathan Drouin got behind the Red Wings defense and was hacked on the shot attempt. Drouin took the puck wide right and shot low blocker side on Jimmy Howard to put the Canadiens up 1-0.
Jonathan Drouin puts the Canadiens up 1-0 on the penalty shot. pic.twitter.com/7LjF7aOXZz
— Tom Mitsos (@tom_mitsos) October 15, 2018
- After so many close calls, Andreas Athanasiou finally notched his first goal of the season. Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Hronek assisted on the play. Athanasiou scored again in the third period. He was the Red Wings’ best player, not only for scoring two of their three goals but for creating a plethora of offensive chances.
Andreas Athanasiou gets the proverbial monkey off his back and notches his first goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/uKsx6M5PAU
— Tom Mitsos (@tom_mitsos) October 16, 2018
- Tatar scored in his first game against the Red Wings as a member of the Canadiens. It was a flukey goal that popped up in the air off of Howard’s shoulder and into the net. He also added assists on a Brendan Gallagher goal and a Drouin goal.
- Jimmy Howard was yanked after the Canadiens took a 5-1 lead early in the second period. He allowed five goals on 15 shots. There wasn’t a goal I could point to that I thought was his fault. He had no help in front of him, as has been the case for pretty much every recent game. Jonathan Bernier didn’t fare much better in relief, allowing two goals on 15 shots.
- The Red Wings, once again, got into penalty trouble. In addition to the penalty shot, Detroit was called for five infractions, three of those coming in the second period. The Red Wings were 4 for 5 on the PK.
- The power play continues to hum, as the Red Wings were 1 for 2 with the man advantage and are 5 for 17 on the season (29.4 percent).
- Anthony Mantha played just 2:32 in the second period, according to Fox Sports Detroit. John Keating and Chris Osgood dissected a couple of plays they think led to coach Jeff Blashill giving Mantha reduced ice time. As you can see in the GIF below, he coasts on a couple of plays, one of which was the Tatar goal at the end of the first period that put the Canadiens up 3-1. He had six shifts and played about six minutes in the third, so it appears he got Blashill’s message about taking plays off.
This is what fans have been clamoring for for the past two to three seasons. The young players on defense are getting plenty of ice time, but there will be growing pains, and this is just the beginning. With that being said, the veterans aren’t exactly pulling their weight, either. The team, as a whole, is not on the same page.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Red Wings, as they travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who should be once again contending for a Stanley Cup.