Finally. Opening night has come and gone.

After waiting four days the Red Wings have been so eager to hit the ice in 2019-20. Taking on a Western Conference contender in the Nashville Predators is no easy task, but the Wings put in a strong, consistent effort. The top-line was buzzing all night, and combined for 9 points.

Out of the lineup, however, was Andreas Athanasiou, who going in was a game time decision. Despite losing AA, the Wings still found away to win 5-3. A huge way to start the season, they’ll need to carry this momentum into tomorrow’s home opener.

Thoughts and Highlights

  • The Mantha-Larkin-Bertuzzi line picked up right where they left off, notching the Wings first goal of the season. In tic-tac-toe like fashion, Mantha found Larkin, who found Bertuzzi, who found the back of the net. 1-0 good guys!

  • Not to long after, Mantha went coast-to-coast like buttered toast (shout out to Ken Kal), going through four Predators, and scoring a highlight reel goal from an awkward angle. This guy is DIALED IN this season. You’ve been warned, NHL.

  • Less then a minute later the Predators responded with a goal of their own. But after further review, their was cleared goaltender interference on the play. So as of right now, Jeff Blashill is perfect on challenges. Enjoy it, folks, it won’t last long.
  • The Wings slowed down a bit in the second period, allowing Nashville to make a comeback and tie the game at two. That set us up for a wild third period.
  • The first of many third period highlights: Mantha circled the offensive zone and his patience paid off, finding Larkin for a clapper. Bingo. 3-2 Wings.

  • Once again tied, another call was answered. Luke Glendening came down the wing and sniped one off the goaltender to reclaim the Detroit lead. Yes, you read that correctly.

  •  Finally to close the game out, Glendening and Bertuzzi combined for a dominate shift down-low, looking to waste time in the final minutes. A path opened up and Bertuzzi tucked in his second of the night into an empty-net. That’s four points in the game for Bertuzzi to start the season.
  • The unsung hero of tonight was Jimmy Howard. He made timely saves in the final five minutes that preserved the lead. Overall, Howard made 39 saves.

Gif of the Game

Trying to figure out if Bertuzzi can sustain his 328 point pace:

Motor City MVP

Anthony Mantha

There were several candidates for tonight’s Motor City MVP. The aforementioned Howard was spectacular, Larkin made plays all night, and Glendening stepped up in key moments. But the most impactful player of the night was Mantha.

The “Flying Frenchman” had a 3 point game, but could very well have had 5 or 6. The most memorable miss was a chance right from the net mouth, but a Ryan Ellis defensive stick prevented him from getting the shot off.

Overall, though, this was a great team win and a statement to start the season.