Detroit played a solid game. Fabrbri scored two power play goals in his debut. Bernier had two assists. Larkin and Mantha both had goals and Bertuzzi notched 2 assists. Jonathan Bernier had some big saves that kept the team in it. Tonight, bounces went Detroit’s way and the special teams stepped up.
In short, everything that needed to happen for Detroit to secure a victory was there. A solid effort for 60 minutes brought some much needed relief to the group tonight.
When David Krejci scored off of a turnover in the 1st period, it seemed like the night was going to be a repeat of some recent lopsided contests. And then, Dylan Larkin got a bounce that made all the difference. To be fair, Larkin earned it. He skated hard into the zone, cut wide and made a tight wrap around attempt. Very similar to a goal he scored in Ottawa a while back. This time, the puck bounced around and off of Patrice Bergeron and in. That moment planted the seed of belief that the team needed. More telling was Larkin finding Bowey and saying, “I got that one back”. Larkin cares about this team, and wants them to move forward together.
Robby Fabbri ripped two really nice power play goals off of feeds from his old teammate Tyler Bertuzzi. Steve Yzerman understands the value of chemistry and relationships. This move has already given the Wings a spark. You could see the joy on Bertuzzi’s face as he congratulated Fabbri after the goals. Somehow, members of the team are getting closer as teammates and friends during an extremely stressful season. There is a lot of passion and heart in that room.
Mantha scored an empty net tally to seal the win. It was an earned tally. Mantha has become a much more complete player. He’s using his strength to get people off of the puck and to maintain possession. Bertuzzi gives everything he has out on the ice. Those two players combined with Larkin are a glimpse at what Yzerman really wants for this team. Passion and compete.
Detroit has had an inexplicable amount of success against Boston in the past couple of years. Perhaps the matchups cause the players to elevate and prepare differently. Whatever the key component in these matches are, this group needs to find a way to replicate it on a nightly basis.
Bernier’s contribution cannot be overstated. A few saves were spectacular, including a cross crease slide to deny Pastrnak. No team can get around needing very good goaltending. This team needs big saves to help them keep growing. The momentum gain was palpable. LCA came alive and the game was fast and physical.
The addtion of Fabbri was more than just his 2 goals. Wearing #14, his game was oddly similar to Gustav Nyquist. He skated hard, and was rewarded. Darren Pang texted some of the broadcast crew to let them know how happy he was that Fabbri scored. It was a great gesture from someone who saw everything that Robby went through in his young career. The opportunity is available for Fabbri to get back on track. Jobs can be taken right now, and tonight was a big shot of confidence for him.
It’s hard to define what a shot of success can do for a team in the midst of a drought. Instead of 2 days of frustration there is positivity building toward the next competition. The post game will be a much happier time for the leadership and the coach. A well deserved break, and sorely needed.
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