Wings outscored 12-3; what now?? 🤦

If you factor in the 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs before the trip out west, the Red Wings have been outscored 17-5 in their past four games. 😟

Here's a quick recap of the start to the season: 

Oct. 5, 20198 p.m. @ NashvilleW 5-3
Oct. 6, 20197 p.m. vs. DallasW 4-3 (Recap)
Oct. 8, 20197:30 p.m. vs. AnaheimL 3-1
Oct. 10, 20197 p.m. @ MontrealW 4-2 (Recap)
Oct. 12, 20197 p.m. vs. TorontoL 5-2 (Recap)
Oct. 15, 201910 p.m. @ VancouverL 5-1
Oct. 17, 20199 p.m. @ CalgaryL 5-1
Oct. 18, 20199 p.m. @ EdmontonL 2-1

 

Scoring seemed much easier to come by in those first few games, but then teams realized the Red Wings had three guys doing all of it -- Larkin, Bertuzzi and Mantha -- and they have been shut down. In fact, they have been split apart by coach Jeff Blashill. Bertuzzi was shifted to help bolster the second line. 

Meanwhile, Andreas Athanasiou, who scored 30 goals last season, is without a goal in the third week of October. Yikes. 

The rest of the lineup isn't exactly filled with snipers. Darren Helm probably will not be the answer to the team's offensive struggles, even if Blashill puts him with Larkin and Mantha. 

Mail it in?

Can we just mail in this season now? Seriously, all I can think about is the "Summer of Yzerman" after 11 contracts come off of Detroit's books. Yzerman must be impatient, as well. He knew what he was getting into here. There is no magic wand to turn this mismatched lineup into a real NHL team. 

Oh wait, there is a magic wand: It's called ELEVEN contracts off the books in July. ✨

And so we wait. 

Keep it interesting for now

For Anthony Mantha's sake, let's hope the team can start scoring some goals again soon. Mantha was on pace for a 40-goal season. They were fun to watch in the beginning, before the total dumpster fire of a trip to western Canada. Sure, they had a better game against the Oilers on Friday night, but if you were watching you knew, in the back of your mind, they were going to lose that game one way or another. 

If this team wants to keep things interesting this year, they need their top guys to score. There's no other option right now. There is no "depth" scoring to rely upon. Doesn't exist for this group at the moment. 

Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi, and Athanasiou need to score. I don't know if this is what the coach wants -- maybe Blashill wants more tight games like the one in Edmonton -- or if Yzerman is at all concerned about it at this point, but as fans watching the games we want to see the kids get some pucks in the net.

So let's keep them all playing together, how's that for an idea? 🤷‍♂️

Schedule (view full schedule here) 🗓️

Oct. 22, 20197:30 p.m. vs. Vancouver
Oct. 23, 20197:30 p.m. @ Ottawa
Oct. 25, 20197:30 p.m. vs. Buffalo
Oct. 27, 20195 p.m. vs. St. Louis
Oct. 29, 20197:30 p.m. vs. Edmonton

 

Mailbag 📧

I'm putting the newsletter naming on the backburner right now, but keep sending me your ideas -- dbartkowiak@wdiv.com.

Homemade ice rink note: 

I'm still deciding whether I will have time to commit to building the backyard rink this year. I might wait until next year when my kids (3 and 1) are a year older. 

But I got this nice email from Dan Richmond that may convince me to get going on it: 

Hello Dave, I am the eldest of my siblings and I built my first rink when I was 10 years old. The previous year I saw how the city did it at the corner school by flooding a scrape made by a county road grader and the layered hosing that got from a fire hydrant. The perimeter was a lip of earth and sod from the scrapings to help hold some of the water. It worked but was not maintained, and after a month the ice would get too damaged (from snow and stupid humans of all kinds) to skate.

The next year, one late fall afternoon I saw a pile of shiny metal lawn edging on the curb in a neighbor's trash and got an idea. I'll build my own rink! We had a 21-foot above ground round pool in our back yard and removed it every fall. The spot was now barren and compacted -- perfect!  Sometime in late November (remember this is like 1960 when winters were colder and our snow forts would last for months) I formed a ring around the edge of the compacted "brown spot" that the sod/lawn outside of it held the bargain priced edging in place. I got the hose back out of the garage. The secret was to wait until evening (colder) and have the patience to spray on successive layers of water to build the thickness so the preceding layer didn't totally thaw and permit that application of water to melt the layer below it and bleed through. After about a dozen or so layers in as many days, it got a final fill and as some of our neighbors to the north might say, Voilà! 

Oh, something else -- remember to bring the garden hose into the garage when done with every layer!  

Spray & Play (or in this age of warmer winters, Spray & Pray!!)

Dan Richmond


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.