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Kekalainen embarrassed his team, his coach, and his goalie twice

May 8, 2021, 9:56 PM ET [15 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Detroit so far - 19-27-10
0 games remaining
My prediction from January - 19 wins
Current place - 25th
First round pick without lottery win - between 7 and 9 *Seattle will have a pick, possibly in the top 3. This could push Detroit back one more spot

Detroit’s win on Friday was an eye opener, but not for the right reasons. Detroit exploded in the second and goalie Matiss Kivlenieks, in his first start of the season, was lit up. After that outing, CBJ put the fringe AHL goalie in again, leaving Elvis on the bench. It was clear that Tortorella wasn’t calling the shots.

Normally a 4 - 4 game is somewhat entertaining. Of Detroit’s goals, only one was a “nice shot” (Dekeyser) that would be stopped by an NHL goalie. The other three were pucks that slipped by a goalie who had no business being on NHL ice. Compared to the CBJ shots, the odd tip by Vrana, the chop by Gagner, and the crease crash by Filppula were disjointed and strange. Kivlenieks almost stumbled every time he tried to handle the puck. He had almost zero ability to stop and hold a shot. Putting that kid in twice in 24 hours was an embarrassment to the sport.

Torts would have made the change if he could have. It’s clear that things have soured somewhat. CBJ was able to get past Pickard in overtime, give something to the fans. I love this sport. When I see a team hang a goalie out to dry, knowing that the coach is a fierce competitor, it is inexcusable. Whatever their reasons, CBJ management made the game a joke.

This is not how you want the season to end. There was no reason not to have two NHL goalies battle it out. Kivlenieks deserved better than to be shoved out for a back to back like that. If you’d seen CBJ play Nashville, you’d understand that this team looked like it had been just emasculated in the final two.

However we face these games, we owe it to the “best league on earth” to put the best team we have out there. If you remember Shawn Hunwick’s call up, he was allowed to play in just the final minutes at the end of the season, and the team made sure he didn’t see any shots. That was a pat on the back. What Kekalainen forced on Torts and Co didn’t help anyone. By the end of the game Kivlenieks looked like he was physically shaking on every single play.

I’ll do a season wrap up for Detroit tomorrow. This team did face adversity with some pride. They showed up and gave what they had to give. Greiss had the night off and Pickard was up. This was his 6th contest, and the shots that beat him were, for the most part, pretty nice shots. Full marks to Detroit for playing all the way to the end. Jarmo, who for the past several years has made some admirable and bold decisions, disgraced the sport forcing a kid in net who wasn’t ready. Not once, but twice in two days with an NHL goalie available. Columbus as a team deserved better than that. You could see the coaching staff just tensed up at the end, not much reaction. It feels like things have already been taken out of their hands.

What do you think? Do you have any issue with the decisions made? Or did you just enjoy seeing a whole bunch of goals in the final two games? Let me know.

Check out my previous blogs:

Columbus vs Detroit pregame

Bobby Ryan not ready to retire

Svechnikov Mic’d up

The Final Stretch

Wings vs lightning post game

Wings vs Lightning Pregame
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