Postgame: Red Wings @ Flyers – 3/15

I don’t want to hear anything about how the leadership group of the Detroit Red Wings won’t let the team’s playoff streak end on their watch.

In 2013, much was made of captain Henrik Zetterberg leading the Red Wings to victory in the final game of the season against the Dallas Stars. Zetterberg factored in all three Detroit goals that night as they clinched a playoff spot for the twenty-second consecutive season.

With the twenty-fifth season of that streak on the line, the Red Wings came into Philadelphia and were completely embarrassed in the first period. Against a team trailing them by just three points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Detroit was outshot 23-3. After twenty minutes they trailed 2-0 and would never recover.

The 4-3 final score was closer than the Red Wings deserved. Perhaps more terrifying is that the team seemingly believes they were in it all night.

Zetterberg’s first postgame comment? To call it a “back and forth game.” He followed up praising the team’s start.

Yes, the start that left them down a pair of goals and outshot by twenty is apparently praiseworthy.

The Red Wings could be up five points on the Flyers right now. Instead they’re up one. It’s entirely because the team did not come out prepared in the first period tonight.

That falls on team leadership. That falls on coaching. And with how tonight went, I don’t think we can count on that group to carry the team to the postseason.

Red Wings Call Up Mantha

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Monday the call-up of forward Anthony Mantha from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Mantha, 21, will make his NHL debut on Tuesday as the Red Wings visit the Philadelphia Flyers. In doing so, he will become the 900th player in franchise history.

Selected in the first round (20th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, Mantha has 45 points in 56 games for the Griffins in his second professional season, good for third place on the team.

Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill had previously stated that Mantha would only be called up if he could slot in on one of the top two lines. As the team says there are no injuries to announce, it is not yet clear where Mantha’s spot in the lineup is.

Mantha’s promotion is unrelated to a knee injury suffered by defenseman Niklas Kronwall during Saturday’s comeback win over the New York Rangers. The Red Wings have said that a blueliner will be called up for the team’s upcoming four-game road trip but that move has yet to be announced.

Red Wings to Visit Maple Leafs Outdoors in 2017

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet outdoors in 2017 the National Hockey League announced on Wednesday.

The matchup, dubbed the Centennial Classic and scheduled for Toronto’s BMO Field on January 1, 2017, is a rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic. The Maple Leafs won that game, 3-2, in a snowstorm-delayed shootout at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium.

While the first outdoor meeting between the teams set an NHL record for attendance with 105,491 attendees, BMO Field – home of Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League – will be the smallest venue to host an outdoor NHL game with a capacity of 30,991.

The game will kick off the NHL’s celebration of its centennial. Founded in 1917, the host Maple Leafs are one of two teams from the league’s first season still active.

It will be Detroit’s fourth outdoor game and third on the road. Following a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Denver’s Coors Field last month, the Red Wings are 2-0-1 outdoors. The Maple Leafs will be making their second outdoor appearance.