We got a win! Now that i got that out of my system, The Red wings were able to put together a very competitive series against the Florida Panthers. The spark of Givani Smith in the lineup for Detroit has finally given the team two forward lines that can contribute offensively. Head Coach Jeff Blashill made a decision to have Anthony Mantha a healthy scratch for Sunday’s victory that raised some eyebrows. However the most important note of the two game series, is for the first time in 464 days a goalie other than Jonathan Bernier got a win in net for Detroit. The Red Wings are still trending towards the bottom three teams in the NHL but seeing some fight in them is always good to see.
The Red Wings were able to capture two points in the game on Sunday with a 3-1 win against the Panthers. Givani Smith was able to capture the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” of a goal, an assist and a fight. Smith dropped the gloves with Aaron Ekblad and held his own against the big defenceman. Dylan Larkin is starting to develop some chemistry with Filip Zadina that has produced more pucks on net from the top line. One thing that remains true for this team is Bobby Ryan continues to make the players around him better. His creativity and aggressive forecheck forced the turnover that allowed Givani Smith to put the eventual game winner past goaltender Chris Driedger of Florida.
A decision that had fans a little puzzled this weekend was the benching of Anthony Mantha for Sunday’s victory. Mantha has come under a little pressure with his early play this season, however you started to see more spark and jump in his last few contents. Mantha landed on the 3rd line, paired with Namestnikov and Helm for Tuesday’s contest. He ended the night with four shots and three hits on 17:43 TOI. It will be something to monitor for the upcoming series against Nashville.
Thomas Greiss was able to capture his first win as a Red Wing on Sunday, breaking a terrible streak for anyone not named Jonathan Berneir. Greiss stopped 36 of 37 shots against the Panthers as both teams put a lot of rubber on net. The Wings themselves ended up putting 39 shots on Chris Driedger a season high. Game two was a much tighter contest with the Panthers scoring two goals on 22 shots against Greiss. It appears as of now its Thomas Greiss net until Jonathan Berneir returns from his upper body injury. No timeline has been established for his return as the wings placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 28th.
Photo via AP/Photo Wilfredo