Red Wings Preseason Update
The Red Wings have finally hit the ice for the 2017-2018 season. With still no Andreas Athanasiou or Henrik Zetterberg on the ice, the Wings are looking to see who clicks with who for the regular season.
Coming off missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 seasons, the Wings are looking for answers. Will coaching step up, will the powerplay improve? All these questions are going to be critical if the Wings want to have a successful season in the upcoming year.
Bruins 4, Wings 2
Game one in Boston at the TD Garden, saw the Wings missing a step in the first 20 Minutes; as Petr Mrazek had to stand on his head to weather the storm. They escaped unharmed as the period ended at 0-0. However, the Bruins pumped in 3 straight goals on the Wings in the second and left them deflated. Anthony Mantha broke the goose egg on the scoreboard and brought the Wings back within 2 at the end of the 2nd period.
Mrazek left the game saving 19 of the 21 shots he faced and very much kept the Wings in the game. Dylan Larkin scored at the 3:39 mark of the 3rd, closing the gap to 1. Late in the third, Teddy Purcell added some insurance; putting the Bruins up 4-2 and closing the door on the Wings.
Mantha and Larkin stepped up for the Red Wings, but still lacked production from the 3rd and 4th lines.
Penguins 6, Wings 5 (OT)
In the second game in as many nights for the Wings, they took the ice in Pittsburgh. Jimmy Howard got in between the pipes for Detroit and turned away 22 out of the 25 shots he faced. Darren Helm notched his first goal of the preseason early in the game giving the Wings a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Two goals in the first minute of the second period by the Penguins quickly gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. Long time AHL player Ben Street tied the game up at 2, shortly after. The game went back and fourth as the it ended up tied 5-5, at the end of regulation; following a late, Gustav Nyquist game-tying goal.
The Red Wings ended up falling 6-5, in overtime; at the hands of a Justin Schultz goal 27 seconds into the extra period.
Blackhawks 6, Wings 1
Not much to say here. The Wings lacked urgency, speed, and defensive awareness the whole game. The Blackhawks quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead halfway through the game. Shortly after the Hawks scored their 4th goal, Red Wings 2017 first round draft pick, Michael Rasmussen, notched his first career NHL goal. Albeit, it’s preseason.
The Wings, in their third straight game, fell 6-1; moving their preseason record to 0-2-1.
Not too promising.
Bruins 1, Wings 5
This was the night. The first game at the new and gorgeous Little Caesars Arena. The Red Wings came to play. However, they were not the first to score in their new home. As Bruin, Austin Czarnik, let a snapshot go that beat Jimmy Howard on the powerplay.
With a quick talk between periods, the Wings stepped on the gas. Pumping four straight goals in on Zane McIntyre, with Frans Nielsen being responsible for two of those tallies. The arena was alive and fans were excited to watch their team do well in the preseason home opener.
Martin Frk, a young star looking for a roster spot; was able to bury his second goal of the game early in the third, to put the Bruins away.
Penguins 1, Wings 4
In the second straight game at LCA, the Wings and their young stars started to show life. They welcomed the Penguins into Detroit and showed them the door a couple hours later. Michael Rasmussen scored his second of the preseason, 13 minutes into the first period. The Wings took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
They played a fast and smart second period; getting goals from Anthony Mantha and Tomas Tatar. Jimmy Howard played two periods, stopping 11 out of 12 shots he faced; than Tom McCollum came in to shut the door on the Penguins.
The Wings kept the Penguins chances at a comeback minimal, as they shut out the Pens in the third; and got a late, empty net goal from Defensemen, Xavier Ouellet. Ultimatly beating Pittsburgh 4-1, and moving their preseason record to 2-2-1.
The two brightest spots for the Wings as of now, seem to be Martin Frk and Michael Rasmussen. Both have produced early in the preseason; and odds are looking good for them making the NHL squad.
Featured Image Credit – Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports
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