Greetings there Wings fans! 2018 is almost here, and like most people, I think it is safe to say we are all looking forward to a fresh start and a new year. I do however think that our beloved Red Wings are ready to throw 2017 into the vault and to never have to open it up ever again.
We all know what a discouraging year 2017 has been to Hockeytown. We lost Mr. I, we lost the playoff streak, we lost the Joe; we lost a lot. I think the hardest part of 2017 has been having to handle all of these major loses consecutively. The team and the fans, we didn’t get a break in between these major loses. They just kept coming; a flesh wound that never got the chance to properly heal in a sense.
So far in this 2017-2018 NHL season, we have had some ups, but plenty of downs. December has not been kind to our boys. With their 3-2 shootout victory against the New York Rangers last night, the Wings have a 4-7 record this month. This was their first win since playing the Islanders back on December 19th and they won 6-3.
The Wings played back to back nights that week of December 19th, they met the Flyers on their home ice on the 20th. It was a hard fought game between both teams, and Detroit looked like they could win the game. But in typical Detroit fashion, dumb errors and silly bounces worked in the Flyers favor and Philly won the game 4-3.
On December 23rd, the Wings had a chance to redeem themselves before the Christmas break with a matinee meeting with the Bruins. Sadly, the Bruins dominated the game from puck drop and Detroit never had a chance to find their groove and they lost to the Bruins, 3-1.
One would hope that a nice three day break would have helped our boys shake off this losing mojo, and you guessed it – that did not happen. The boys flew out to play against the New Jersey Devils on December 27th and came up short with a final score of 3-1.
Somehow, someway, the boys pulled it together last night against the Rangers. The home crowd at LCA was rocking. A friday night matchup in downtown Detroit against an Original Six team, what more can us Hockeytown faithful ask for? The Wings looked like a team who finally had their right stuff together from puck drop. Jimmy Howard held his own against the Rangers, and the Wings did everything right in conquering the King, Henrik Lundqvist. The intensity of the game could be felt to those watching at home, for the first time in a while, the home crowd erupted in “LETS GO RED WINGS!” chants.
The end of the game was when things were getting dicey, all of us were wondering when the Wings would blow their chance. A penalty shot awarded to Rangers defenseman, Brady Skjei with just two minutes of overtime hockey remaining, left everyone hoping and praying Jimmy could do that hockey thing…and Jimmy did just that. He stopped Skjei, and the home crowd went wild.
Since overtime just was not enough hockey for everyone at LCA, we were graced with a shootout. Frans Nielsen was the first man up, and he did not let Hockeytown down. His shootout goal was all the Wings needed to grab that second point of the night and a victory on home ice.
Lets hope our boys can continue to do that hockey thing and close out 2017 with another hockey victory as they host the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, tomorrow night at 7pm.
On the December 20th game against the Flyers, the Wings had one casualty. Luke Glendening left the game with an upper body injury. It appeared on the tv broadcast that Glendening injured his hand/wrist while blocking a shot. He is expected to miss at least four weeks.
With Glendening being out, that means a Griffin was called up. Tyler Bertuzzi is back up with the Wings, and he has played a consistent role thus far. He earned his first point in the NHL against the Devils in a 3-1 loss.