In a quick post in October, I mentioned Detroit having a three headed monster as the top line - Larkin/Mantha/Bertuzzi. In the season opener it certainly seemed to be true. Each goal (apart from the empty net for Bertuzzi’s second) had a bit of a “wow” factor.
Tic tac goal for Bertuzzi with a quick shot. Mantha weaves inexplicably through Nashville’s defense and gets off a quick backhand shot while falling. Larkin rips a slap shot that he skates into like it’s the all star skills competition. Beautiful.
To keep from having to type each name, I now dub this line LAR-MAN-ZZI. This three headed beast is the brightest spot in the rebuild. However, should this great animal of lore be stifled by injury or superb checking, the team shall fall as surely as the red knight at Medieval Times.
I do have a bit of hope for a second line with Athanasiou and Hirose centered by Filppula or Nielsen. Hirose showed glimpses of being able to create, but needs a high speed/skill linemate. It will be fun to see if they can become a significant producer.
For now, LAR-MAN-ZZI will test its strength against a Dallas team that is probably irritated and angry for being down 2 games. They are immensely talented and if they click, it could be a bad home opener for LCA.