Red Wings Lose Their Edge, 4-2 to Coyotes

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The Red Wings put up a pathetic 2nd and 3rd period effort and pay dearly, losing 4-2 to the Coyotes.

The Red Wings came out and dominated the entire first period. The pressure in the offensive zone was great and kept providing scoring chances for all of the forward lines. They opened the scoring only 1:56 into the game, converting on yet another power play chance. In the midst of a scrum for the puck in front of the Coyotes’ net, Valtteri Filppula was able to backhand home their first of the game, and his first goal in nine games. Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith were credited with the assists on Filppula’s 7th goal of the season. They took a few penalties in the period, but the pressure on the puck in the penalty kill was amazing and kept the shots on net to a minimum. They left the period up 1-0.

A completely different team took the ice going into the second. Phoenix scored just as quickly into the 2nd as Detroit did into the 1st. At 1:47, Michael Stone fired a slapshot from the blue line that whizzed past Jimmy Howard as Jakub Kindl offered up a bad screen at just the wrong moment, tying up the game. The defense continued to crumble through the period, as at 8:08 the Coyotes caught the Wings bunched in the corner of the offensive zone, scrambling for the puck. A few passes into the neutral zone and the Coyotes had a 2-on-1 attack that Chris Conner was able to convert on, putting his team up 2-1. Heading towards the end of the period, the Red Wings took a very badly timed line change with Shane Doan lurking at their blue line. He took a pass and went in alone into the zone and put a move past Howard at 16:01 to take a 3-1 lead for the period. Shot totals at the end of the period were 31-20 in favor of the Coyotes.

The same offensively-depleted team took the ice for the third period, still giving up bad scoring chances around their own zone. The Coyotes pressured them through all three zones and ended up getting good shots on net because of it. The Red Wings got a good chance late in the period, as the Coyotes took a delay of game penalty. They pushed the 6-on-4 on the power play and were able to convert at 18:47. The tip-in was credited to Daniel Cleary, who brought the score to 3-2. On a last-minute faceoff, the Coyotes cleared the puck out of the zone, and it ended up going into the empty net, putting them up 4-2 on a Martin Hanzal clearing, which would be the final score.

The Good: They had a strong first period. For one of the first times this season. That’s really about it.

The Bad: They refuse to score goals. They get one or two decent goals, and then the foot completely comes off the throttle. The shots get blocked, they go wide of the net, they get cleared from the front of the net because whoever is by it isn’t paying attention. Fundamental newsflash: you will not win if you do not score goals.

I don’t feel like doing a third portion. 75% of this game was “ugly”, so just pick something.

They travel to Colorado tomorrow to take on the Avalanche for the second time this week. Let’s hope Babcock beats them around the ears and jars their brains into working order again.

-Nate’n Webb