Red Wings Continue To Battle Through Playoff Locks

“Murderers Row” against top teams has been… interesting?
Let’s go with Interesting.

Colorado
Won’t go too deep in this one. Outworked, outplayed and beat by a better team.
Darren Helm returned to Detroit in an Av’s sweater, after being a Red Wing for 14 years. He was part of that epic 2008 Stanley Cup winning team. Still a fan-favorite, Helmer got a great ovation from the Hockeytown faithful.. and of course, he picks up an assist in the first goal by Landeskog… because Detroit.
5-2 loss.

Toronto
What a sh!tshow…
I did say Original 6 games hit different. This game definitely hit.. different. Alex Nedeljkovic started and ended the game in net. At the end of the 2nd period, the Wings were down 7-2. The defense and goaltending, by the scoreboard standard, were almost non-existent by both teams. But the hometown fans that stuck around were rewarded, the Wings exploded in the 3rd period for 5 goals, pulling within a goal. A shorthanded goal by Ondrej Kase was the dagger, and Mitchell Marner with the ENG added insult to injury, his 4th of the night.

The familiar fightback in this team kept me in it. After the natty hatty by Mitchell Marner in the second… being down that much going into the third… having the starting goaltender pulled, and then the backup also pulled, to put the starter back in… they kept pushing and almost pulled an utterly ridiculous comeback. Fun… but come on man, that’s a football score.
10-7 loss.

Carolina
If ever a team needed a bounce back game, right here. Carolina is one of the best teams in the NHL. Detroit is still in the hunt for the second wild card spot. Nedeljkovic was back in net, after getting chased against Toronto. Detroit plays solid for two periods, tied 1-1 after two, they get the lead in the third period… and then they lost it… and then fall behind…
But Dylan Larkin tied it with a little over 3 minutes left in regulation. I’ll let the video tell it about overtime…
4-3 OT W

The soundtrack makes it.. lol

In the state of Florida, man…
The Wings played well against Tampa. Went into the third period tied. Unable to close it out. ENG made it 3-1 Lightning.
The Panthers just absolutely worked the team, 6-2.
Those two teams are both on a different level right now….

Wings get Arizona at LCA on Tuesday.. but back in the fray against playoff locks Minnesota, and Calgary. I’m not going to say the Oilers are a playoff lock but.. Drasaitl and McDavid. Yeesh.

So.. who’s the new guy?

Wings claimed Olli Juolevi off waivers from the Florida Panthers today.
Left-handed defensemen.
Former first round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2016 draft, 5th overall.
Spent 10 games with the Florida Panthers this year, with no points.
In Yzerman, we trust.

Jakub Vrana close to return!

As good as the Wings have been at times this year, I still get the “this isn’t even my final form” vibe. Especially with Steve Yzerman playing his game of chess… in space with the NHL.

This team hasn’t been completely healthy all year and Jakub Vrana joining the lineup for the first time would be huge, especially against Arizona in the middle of a brutal stretch. Last year, in 11 games with the team, Vrana had 11 points; 8 goals and 3 assists. In practice today, he was skating with Fabbri and Suter on the second line… highlight for me, Bertuzzi, Larkin and Raymond back together. That top line kills.

Would love to see Vrana back in the lineup tomorrow.. when I will also be back at LCA.
Red Wings fans, myself included are easily excited, so… LET’S GO!

– Also Danny Dekeyser was put on waivers.. on his birthday, harsh.. but open roster spot looks good for Jakub Vrana.

Author: AP Mazza

Red Wings writer for The Morning Skate. LGRW!

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