Central NHL

Red Wings Visited An Old Rival

Red Wings Visited An Old Rival
Dec 10, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) controls the puck ahead of Detroit Red Wings center Vladislav Namestnikov (92) in the first period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night the Red Wings visited an old rival in the Colorado Avalanche. This was the second night in a row of facing off against a storied rival. Thursday night was a painful loss to the St Louis Blues. On Friday they visited Ball Arena to rekindle the rivalry with the Avalanche. Colorado enters the game with a few solid wins on a 5 game road trip. This storied rivalry between these two franchises is always a good show and Friday did not disappoint.

Period One

Detroit’s fatigue and slow legs were evident early. This was to be expected after playing the night before then traveling to the mile-high city. The first goal of the game came on a tipped shot by J.T. Compher to give the Ave’s the early lead. They didn’t stop there as Andre Burakovsky found the five-hole to put them up by two. The classic rivalry broke out a little as the game got physical and all ten skaters got into a scrum. Darren Helm pounced on his former team on a break away and put the Ave’s up 3-0 just over 10 minutes in. Alex Nedeljkovic was called upon to enter the Red Wings net for Thomas Greiss after this 3rd goal.

After the goalie change and some more time, the Red Wings began to find their legs a little. They were able to find some momentum while on the power play. One bright note for the Red Wings was in the waning moments of the period. A two-on-one breakaway allowed Vladislav Namestnikov to pick up his 100th career goal. The period finally came to an end and the Red Wings were down 3-2.

Period Two

Since finding their footing a little late in the first, the Red Wings looked to carry a little momentum into the second. Rather early on in the period Joe Veleno broke up the ice and got one past Darcy Kuemper. This high didn’t last too long the Ave’s Nathan MacKinnon fired a rocket in. After just getting their two goal lead back, Burakovsky tacked on another. Not long after that Samuel Girard drove to the net and got the Ave’s another goal.

The crazy offensive game continued. Filip Hronek got one for the Red Wings during a power play. This game was not goalie-friendly. The period came to a close and the Avalanche lead 6-3 with just 20 minutes remaining.

Period Three

For the final 20 minutes, it was obvious the Red Wings were going to get desperate and take whatever they could get. They got aggressive early and their fatigue cost them as they took back-to-back penalties with 15 seconds of overlap. A great penalty kill kept them alive this game. Now it was a fight against time to get back even with them. They fought hard, pulled the goalie really early, but Cale Makar fired it the length of the ice. Now leading 7-3, they still had time to tack on even more.

Takeaways

Detroit didn’t look necessarily like themselves. Earlier this year, even back just a few games ago during their 5 game win streak, their defense would play more aggressively when they went down. Tighter pinching and shutting down of shooting lanes. It was apparent that they were tired from the night before and struggled to keep up with the explosive play of the Ave’s offense. Their determination and grit didn’t let them get down too badly and they did try to fight back as best as they could. Every game is a learning experience and it’s been said you learn more from failure than you do from success. They travel back home and look to regroup against the Islanders on Tuesday night.

Colorado continued to prove why their offense is so highly rated. The contribution they get from their defensemen is outstanding and has helped them be one of the top teams in the league. Their downfall is the defense itself though, as great as they are at scoring they do tend to allow too many goals for a goalies liking. Kuemper is yet to really find his groove but I suppose you get a little break when your offense helps maintain a +20 goal differential. As they continue to battle through some injuries they will wait at home for the arrival of the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

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  1. Pingback: Red Wings Fighting Covid - Championship Sports Media

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