Opening Night Has Detroit Seeing Red (7-6 Lightning in OT)

Yes, I will apologize for the headline but it really does fit. The Detroit Red Wings opened their season Thursday night against the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and insanity ensued.

Tyler Bertuzzi Leads The Way With 4 Goals.

What an opening night for Tyler Bertuzzi! 4 goals, including an absolute beauty from Nick Leddy making the Tampa Bay defense look utterly ridiculous. All the lines for Detroit seemed to be clicking, putting 6 goals on a very good goaltender in Andrei Vasilevski. It is a shame that the defense and PK couldn’t hold on.
Tampa Bay ended up winning in overtime, with a goal by Palat (7-6). At least the Wings gained a point for the overtime loss. At multiple times in the game, Detroit had 3 goal lead… ya know what they say, “3-0, 4-1, and 6-3 are the most dangerous leads in hockey.”

Lucas Raymond (1 assist) and Moritz Seider (2 assists) both had points in the first game of the season. Decent debut, not too bad.

I’ve pulled this off in NHL 21, not a big deal…

The Hit On Dylan Larkin

In his first regular season game returning from a neck injury, Dylan Larkin got hit with a deplorable cheap shot from Mathieu Joseph from behind against the boards.. which yes, should have been a boarding penalty. Larkin retaliated with a right hand, Bertuzzi joined in and then came a dogpile. He was shaken up after the hit and literally adding insult to injury, he was ejected. There was no penalty on the hit itself.

In the aftermath, Dylan Larkin had a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety today and will be suspended for one game. Larkin also missed practice today in order to see a specialist for an “unspecified injury.” Most likely his neck. So, he may miss more time. Mathieu Joseph is not facing anything.

When Larkin sustained his neck injury last year from an arguably more dirty and equally unpenalized, clear, cross-check to the back of his neck from Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, there was no hearing, no suspension. Yes, the right-hand on Joseph was wrong, The ref was right to eject the captain. Upon saying that, the hit was dangerous, clearly boarding. Larkin had his wires cross and reacted. I don’t blame him, to be honest.

The sad part is the Joseph hit on Larkin wasn’t even the last dirty hit (boarding) by Tampa that went uncalled in the game. Rasmussen was buried face first into the boards by Ondrej Palat. If the refs and the league won’t police dirty plays, then what’s going to happen? The league needs to take care of this. If you say there will be a focus on hits from behind, and the most important thing is protecting the players… do better.

Night of the Captains

Ending on a lighter note:
Due to the pandemic, Dylan Larkin never really had an official captaincy ceremony after he was given the “C” before the beginning of last season. This took place opening night. Larkin was joined by previous captains, Henrik Zetterberg, Nick Lindstrom, Steve Yzerman, Red Berenson, Mickey Redmond, Alex Delvecchio, Nick Libbett, Paul Woods, and Dennis Hextall for a quick but awesome ceremony.

Pretty cool to see Dylan Larkin’s coach at the University of Michigan and former Red Wing captain, in Coach Berenson, be there to be part of the ceremony.

Kind of interesting that the Lightning decided to start their warm up skating before the ceremony was done..

Author: AP Mazza

Red Wings writer for The Morning Skate. LGRW!

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