You kind of get the feeling that teams heading onto their mandatory week off would like to start forgoing that last game before the break.
The Winnipeg Jets lost 4-1 in the game they failed to show up to on Saturday. On Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets got trounced 5-2 in the game before they got a break.
And on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks seemed checked out in a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, a team who played 24 hours earlier and lost handily 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hell, even Jeff Glass couldn’t save the Blackhawks, who got outworked from what seemed like the opening puck drop.
Dylan Larkin gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the first period.
Andreas Athanasiou showed his speed as he worked past Blackhawks’ defenders down low, before sliding a pass out to Larkin, who was perched in the slot.
Larkin made no mistake, given the opportunity, as he notched his seventh of the season.
Mike Green showed why he was named an NHL all-star this past week for the Red Wings second goal, which doubled their advantage just over two minutes later.
Gustav Nyquist gained the Blackhawks’ zone and dropped a pass to Anthony Mantha, who took one look to Green and fed him a cross-ice pass that Green one-timed past and outstretched Glass.
It was Green’s 25th point of the season, and couple with his all-star nod, Green, who is set to become a free agent in the offseason, keeps building a case for himself to be traded to a contender when the deadline comes around.
Mantha grabbed his second point of the game in the third period as he joined the rush off the bench.
Mantha let Henrik Zetterberg know he was flying into the zone starting from the time he jumped onto the ice, and Zetterberg dropped the puck to Mantha, allowing for a nice wrist shot that beat Glass high for a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Bertuzzi, the nephew of Todd who came into the game without his first-career NHL goal, checked that item off his to-do list later in the period.
Bertuzzi parked himself in front of Glass’s doorstep and whacked home a rebound after Nick Jensen‘s shot from the slot was saved.
Meanwhile, Petr Mrazek kept things tidy in the crease for the Red Wings, stopping all 27 shots he faced.
The Blackhawks didn’t test him all that much, but Mrazek, who has struggled this season, turned aside 12 third-period shots en route to the win.
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck