Red Wings offense stifled in first game back: A few bright spots

Detroit scoreless in first game of season

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Nino Niederreiter (21) scores on Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss (29) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Detroit. ((Paul Sancya), AP)

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings were a team without any real offensive threat in their first game in about 10 months Thursday night.

Detroit struggled to get many quality scoring chances while they were outshot by the Carolina Hurricanes, 43-14, en route to a 3-0 loss. The Hurricanes were overwhelmingly in control of this game from start to finish, keeping the Red Wings away from goalie Petr Mrazek for the majority of the night.

However, there were a few bright spots for the new-look Red Wings, a team with a list of additions to the lineup.

Mathias Bromé

Mathias Bromé, the 26-year-old winger who is making the jump from the Swedish Hockey League, nearly had his first NHL goal when he hit the crossbar in the 1st period. He made a strong play behind the net and handled his way into shooting position, only to find iron.

Bromé saw 12:16 of ice time including 0:49 on the power play. He tallied a shot on goal, two hits and a blocked shot.

He signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings this past spring, then scored 20 points in 23 games with Orebo. Hopefully he can help the Red Wings find the back of the net.

Thomas Greiss

Thomas Greiss made 40 saves in his debut with the Red Wings -- what more can you ask for? He kept the Red Wings in this one, giving them a chance in the 3rd period to try to make something out of it.

The Wings eventually pulled him with just more than a minute remaining in regulation -- Carolina scored their third goal on an empty net.

Greiss finished with a .952 save percentage -- impressive. Detroit clearly will need this kind of effort between the pipes while trying to figure out an offense.

Adam Erne

Adam Erne is not the flashiest player, but he did show some wheels Thursday night. Erne, 25, only saw 10:41 of ice time, but he was noticeable in the offensive and neutral zones on more than one occasion. He took the puck hard to the net later in the game, but failed to get a shot off.

If anything, he looked like he was in good shape to start the season. He finished the game with 3 hits and a shot on goal.

Drafted 33rd overall by Steve Yzerman when he was GM in Tampa, Erne played a minor role with both the Lightning and Red Wings.

Sam Gagner

Sam Gagner, the veteran winger who joined the Red Wings late this past season, showed some sign of life when he dropped the gloves with Carolina’s towering defenseman Dougie Hamilton. This was after Gagner threw one of the bigger hits of the game on Jordan Staal.

At least he tried. The Red Wings needed a spark one way or another. Perhaps they can try to build on that kind of energy from 31-year-old Gagner.

Top line woes

The top line of Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha could not find consistent pressure in the o-zone. Mantha only had one shot on net.

It’s not the performance Larkin was looking for in his first game as Detroit captain.

This will need to change quickly if the Red Wings ever want to, well, score a goal.

What’s next

  • Saturday, Jan. 16 -- vs. Carolina at Little Caesars Arena -- 7:00 p.m. (FSD PLUS)
  • Monday, Jan. 18 -- vs. Columbus at Little Caesars Arena -- 12:00 p.m. (FSD/NBCSN)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19 -- vs. Columbus at Little Caesars Arena -- 7:30 p.m. (FSD)

About the Author:

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