After an awful performance Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Detroit Red Wings came into Saturday’s game looking to bounce back. They had just 14 shots in the season opener and needed an offensive spark to come from somewhere. That spark came from their young Czech winger, Filip Zadina. His aggressive forecheck and great passing got the Red Wings going and led them to a 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes.
Filip Zadina’s Forechecking Effort Increases
During training camp, you could tell that Filip Zadina had been working on his forechecking. He got into the corners better and looked like he could provide more of a two-way game than was initially thought out of the 2018 sixth overall pick. That forechecking was on full display on Saturday night as he had three takeaways during the game. For reference, the entire Red Wings team only had two takeaways in the season opener.
Not only was he consistently getting into the dirty areas, but his effort led to a goal. The first Red Wings goal of the season was scored by Bobby Ryan after a beautiful forecheck by Filip Zadina. He snuck up behind Warren Foegele and lifted his stick to come away with the puck. He then went below the goal line and found Ryan in front, who put the puck past goaltender Petr Mrazek.
The goal provided a much-needed spark and ended a goalless streak of 82:44 to start the season. From that point on, the Red Wings looked significantly better than they had in their first four periods of the season. They started getting more pucks towards the net in general. It led to the second goal when Dylan Larkin fired a pass towards Anthony Mantha from below the goal line. However, Vincent Trocheck got his stick on the puck but mistakenly put it past his netminder to give the Red Wings the 2-1 lead.
A Big Bounce Back for Zadina
Filip Zadina providing the spark was huge after an abysmal performance from him on Thursday. In 14:31 of ice time, he had no shots and had three of the team’s 16 giveaways. In a game where most of the team struggled, he was on the lower end of Red Wings performances in that game. He cleaned that up on Saturday with no giveaways and two assists on the night. Seeing him bounce back the way he did on Saturday was fantastic to see from a player with a lot of potential to become an offensive force in the league.
He not only provided the spark for the team, but he helped finish it as well. With just under three minutes remaining in the game and their power play coming to a close, Filip Zadina found himself below the goal line with the puck once again. And once again, he was able to find his man in front of the net as Robby Fabbri put it past Mrazek to give the Red Wings the 3-2 lead. After Larkin added his second with an empty netter shortly after, the Red Wings came away with a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes.
This season will be rough for Red Wings fans. As expected, they’ll finish near the bottom of the league again. The biggest thing they can find enjoyment in is their young players contributing to the few wins they will get and showing up in their losses. Filip Zadina did that last night as he was one of, if not the best, Red Wing on the ice on Saturday. Red Wings fans will hope to see more of this from Zadina and the other young players on the roster.
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