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Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

WINGS POSTGAME: From snoozefest to thrilling win, Red Wings flip the script with new top-line

The Red Wings and Ducks don’t exactly have the reputation of exciting teams. In fact both are among the worst offensive teams in the league. So this game wasn’t expected to be a barn-burner. You’d have to be heavily invested in either of these teams to sit though the first 2 periods. The First 40 minutes had to be some of the most boring hockey I’ve seen in a long time.

But props to head coach Jeff Blashill, who made the call to unite the Wings top 3 forwards in Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha on the top-line to alter the tempo of the game. Those three got the ball rolling and the team never looked back, winning 3-1.

Worth Mentioning

  • The first 40 minutes were quite uneventful. Aside from the Ducks taking the lead in the 2nd period, the highlight of the first two periods was Jimmy Howard getting a stick caught in his skate. Yes, really.

  • The game became a track-meet to who could reach 20 shots first. Blashill’s decision to change-up the top-line is exactly what they needed to gain some momentum.
  • The newly formed top-line quickly connected on a goal. Mantha was the beneficiary of Athanasiou’s pass across the slot.

  • Soon after Gustav Nyquist deflected his 11th goal of the season past John Gibson.

  • Darren Helm finished them off with a laser shot to make it 3-1.

Final Thoughts

This is the Wings first back-to-back victories since December. It wasn’t pretty but they got the job done against a struggling Ducks team that has now dropped their last 12 games.

I think reconstructing the top-line was the major deciding factor. They finally added the speed the game was mixing and grabbed the momentum.