Wings lose; Green, Athanasiou sit out with trade deadline looming
The most interesting thing about the Red Wings’ 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames at Little Caesars Arena Sunday was not who played in the game but who didn’t.
With the NHL trade deadline arriving at 3 p.m. Monday, Detroit announced shortly before the game that defenseman Mike Green and forward Andreas Athanasiou were being held out of the game due to “asset management.”
So clearly the pair is involved in any trade talks general manager Steve Yzerman was having with other teams.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Dylan Larkin said. “It could be precautionary. That’s what we were told.”
“Nothing is imminent,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It was precautionary.”
But it was a blow to the rest of the team to find out they would be without Green and Athanasiou so close to game time. According to goalie Jonathan Bernier, they were beginning to put on their equipment before being told they would not be playing.
“It’s hard. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through right before a game,” Larkin said. “Two guys who are a big part of this team.”
Said Luke Glendening: “It’s hard. The thing is, we put ourselves in this situation.”
Blashill summed up the situation.
“The message is to control what you can control. They can't do anything about what might happen – emphasis on might – so all they can do is control what they can control,” he said. “Our guys understand this business and we've put ourselves in this spot, so we can't feel sorry for ourselves.”
Larkin scored both Wings goals Sunday night as Detroit was down 2-0 a little over eight minutes into the game.
Johnny Gaudreau (6:46) and Sean Monahan (8:03) scored 1:17 apart in the opening period.
“It’s never easy to give up two quick goals,” Glendening said. “But I thought we battled back. We competed.”
Said Blashill: “Our job is to go out and play our (butts) off. We didn't do a good enough job in the first period, but I thought we got better as the game went on.
Larkin put the Wings on the board with 4:12 left in the second period to make it 2-1. But Andrew Mangiapane scored with just 11 seconds remaining in the middle period to restore Calgary’s two goal lead.
Larkin’s second goal of the game and 17th of the season, with two minutes left and Bernier pulled for the extra attacker, made it 3-2.
But Mangiapane clinched it for the Flames with an empty-net goal with 12 seconds left.
“I thought that we got better at the end,” Larkin said. “… Two guys we could have used there at the end.”
“You’ve just got to show up and do your job,” said Bernier, who made 27 saves.