8 Observations from the Red Wings Loss to Los Angeles

Dylan Larkin. Captain of the Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Larkin. Captain of the Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings recorded a loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings with a score of 5-3, with the last two of the Kings’ goals being empty-netters. Here’s a closer look at what went right, what went wrong, and some things in between:

#1. Gemel Smith plays his first game with the Red Wings:  Smith was added to the lineup tonight in the place of his brother Giavani. Gemel was recently claimed off of waivers from Tampa and is now playing on his childhood favorite team alongside his brother. He is also the first Red Wing to wear the number 64 on his sweater, welcome to Hockeytown!!

#2. Michael Rasmussen capitalizes on his fourth shot in 1st period. Filip Zadina set up a great play and made the pass to Rasmussen to finish it off- proving that Zadina seems to have a pep back in his step after scoring vs. the Penguins. The wide-open net was a can’t-miss shot for Rasmussen, bringing the Red Wings the only lead they would hold all game.

#3. Power play looked questionable. In a second period power play, the Kings were able to get the puck out of the zone six times. Being able to keep the puck in the zone and take shots on goal is the most important aspect of a successful power play unit and it seems that Detroit still struggles to maintain that control for long durations. Detroit’s power play had been on a solid scoring streak (scored in 3 of the last 5 games) but is seeming to experience difficulty once again.

#4. Ned with a huge save night as Kings led with shots the entire game. The reason the Wings were even kept in the game given the shots on goal ratio was because of Alex Nedeljkovic. L.A.  took 45 shots on net, only three of which were with Ned in net, giving him a .930 save percentage. First period shots on goal were 13-5 in favor of L.A. 22-8 in favor of L.A during the second period., and then 12-10 in favor of Detroit in the final frame. Although having a solid goaltender in Ned , the rest of the team has to convert on the offensive end of play to win these games.

#5. A visit from an old friend. Andreas Athanasiou was drafted 110th overall by Detroit back in the 2012 draft. He wore the Winged Wheel from 2015-2020, then played a handful of games in Edmonton before ending up in Los Angeles. He did not record any points against his former team in tonight’s matchup but it was good to see him back in town.

#6. A special eight-legged guest after Bertuzzi tied the game. Bertuzzi redirected a shot from Lindstrom to tie the game 2-2 which prompted an octopus to be thrown. This goal was Bertuzzi’s 22nd of the season, which is a career-high for him. In the words of Mickey Redmond:: “And why is there an octopus on the ice? I have no idea.”

#7. Fighting a Lemieux? What else is new? In his first-ever game as a Red Wing, Gemel Smith not only carried on the family tradition of throwing punches but against none other than Brendan Lemieux. Detroit has carried bad blood with the Lemieux family since the 1996 Western Conference Finals in which Claude Lemieux (father of Brendan), sucker punched Slava Kozlov after a harsh hit on Adam Foote. It ignited after he cross checked Kris Draper into the boards.

But we all remember that Lemieux got his at the hands of Darren McCarty on March 26, 1997.

All I’m saying is that it is always fun to see that the Detroit-Lemieux rivalry is still going strong.

#8. Joe Veleno nets his first goal in 18 games, and fourth of the season. Right when the game was about to be over (47 seconds remaining), Veleno sneaks one in past Jonathan Quick, giving Sam Gagner his 11th point of the season and Gemel Smith his 1st as a Red Wing. Veleno is another one of those young players that a lot of people are overly critical of, so seeing him get goals and points under his belt is a great sight to see.

More. Griffins Scuffling a bit with a five-game winless streak. light