Realistically, all we could demand from the Red Wings this season was a more competitive 60-minute effort.
That’s what we’re getting so far -- minus that debacle in Montreal, of course. But at least they bounced right back from that game the next night in Chicago.
Overall, this is a fun Red Wings team to watch right now.
5 points from Capitals game:
- Dylan Larkin is a really good hockey player, let’s not forget. He’s looking much healthier this season, and his confidence is back. He’s finishing well. The overtime snipe to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win was a ton of fun to see from him. Fantastic finish.
- Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are gifts for us to enjoy. If you know someone not watching the Wings right now because of, well, because of the past few seasons, tell them to start watching right now if only for these two players. The two rookies set up Larkin’s winner. I can’t believe how confident they look out there, especially during the 3-on-3 overtime. They are both so strong on that puck. Both are fun skaters to watch, too. I love all of it.
- Adam Erne is one of my favorite players on this team. I wrote that fanboy piece about him in the offseason. It was a little over the top, I will admit, but I stand by my point. He can be a difference-maker for this team, as he was in Washington with a goal and an assist. This guy plays hockey the right way.
- The Red Wings don’t go away. They were losing this game 2-0 in the second period, but they never let up and kept up a strong forecheck. They were not rattled much and stayed very committed to their 5-on-5 game plan -- in fact both of Washington’s goals were on the power play. Last year’s team most definitely would have folded after falling down 2-0 on the road against the Capitals.
- Mitchell Stephens is here to sacrifice his body for wins. He blocked an Alex Ovechkin slapper in the 3rd period on the penalty kill. Just brutal. The puck hit him in the leg in an area without much padding, if any. He was in obvious pain but stayed out there until stoppage. That was some real heart. I thought for sure he wasn’t getting back up off the ice, but he was a true pro about it. He got back into position and kept the 4-man PK box in tact. That’s the kind of intangible quality that we know Steve Yzerman was hoping Stephens would bring to the lineup. It’s the kind of thing we used to see players such as Darren Helm or Luke Glendening do when they were on their A-game.
Full game recap: Red Wings erase two-goal deficit, beat Capitals in overtime