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It’s not often a hockey team sends a message while it is switched off.
That’s what Detroit Red Vings did or at least tried to do, while they were bleeding for the first time this season.
When Colorado Defenseman Ian Cole delivered a big body blow on my ice against Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi sought out Cole. They fought in the Avs zone and Bertuzzi got better with the duel, although Cole landed a couple of punches.
A few minutes later, Anthony Mantha’s turn was to play the role of guardian. Avs defender Patrik Nemeth shot Dylan Larkin’s head first on the boards. Nemeth paid a prize for this hit because Mantha delivered some blows to Nemeth’s head before the officials came in.
The wings (12-12-3) fell back to .500 with the loss but felt they won the battle, literally and figuratively. They want to establish themselves as a tough team that does not come back down from anyone.
“We will go much further apart than any disadvantage of losing guys (on the fight against punishment),” coach Jeff Blashill said. “They are really good players, but we will win in this room as a group and we will win to fight each other. We are talking to each other. We said it from Day 1”.
Their 4-2 victory in Boston on Saturday – their first there in over 5 years – was also marked by some fisticuffs. Luke Witkowski beat Joakim Nordstrom after Bruins took exception to a pure battle Witkowski delivered on David Krejci.
It led to a bigger scrum with Bertuzzi who played the main character. Everyone on the ice dropped their gloves and the goalkeeper had to be prevented from going on it.
After a few quiet days sunday, the wings blinked their knees again.
“I thought we did a good job all night with the physical game,” said Larkin. “We are stuck to each other, that’s what we have to do. We have to play that way. It started yesterday with Whitter in Boston and it took over tonight. “
Larkin was frustrated that he was required to get into the brainwashing protocol after he put his hand in his head after Nemeth’s stroke.
” I’m fine I’m fine, “said Larkin, who returned later in the period.” I suppose it’s league protocol but it’s not fair when he’s out for 5 minutes to fight but there’s no discipline for him (for the battle). There is no penalty on the ice, so I do not know why I have to get off It hurts me, it’s a critical time in the game. “
Larkin was angry with himself to waste a chance to give Wings a lead in the opening seconds. They had a rare 3-in-0 situation but Larkin was missed after Mantha slipped his puck. turned out to be their best chance to make all the matches.
“Anthony did a good role for me and I have to bury it,” he said. “(If I make a goal) we get up 1-0 at the first shift and we are fine about ourselves.”
The wings also had their only two power games during the opening period. Witkowski and Danny DeKeyser were both victims of high quality but Wings did not get much pressure on Av’s goaltender Semyon Varlamov. They are 4 in 34 on the power game in the last 14 games.
The wings need to be improved with the man’s advantage if they want to make an unlikely playoff push. But when it comes to creating a reputation as a physical team, the wings feel that they are making inroads.
“It gives us confidence,” said Larkin. “It gives us a swagger, I suppose. We see.” If you want to play, we’re not afraid and it shows. “
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