Detroit Red Wings look to stay on the defensive


The Red Wings played by no means an exciting, open and offensive game in Dallas on Tuesday.

If anything, it was a defensive game between the two Wings and Dallas Stars, in which the Stars ultimately won 2-1 in extra time.

It probably wasn’t the most exciting hockey game fans have seen lately, and it may not be the most exciting or easiest game for wings players.

In order for the wings to be successful in the short and long term, coach Jeff Blashill said that the team must keep playing.

“It’s the kind of game we have to play no matter who is on the line-up and certainly with the people we don’t have on the line-up it is important that we play that way,” said Blashill. “When you think back to the Columbus game.” In the extra time we won (January 19), there were very few chances either way. That’s how we have to play. We have to make sure that we are a good team defensively that protects the critical ice and is structurally good, and we get our offense when we have the puck more. “

After two below average defensive games in Chicago, which resulted in two defeats, the Red Wings were much better in this area against Dallas.

Blashill was pleased with the defensive structure and the defense of key areas of the ice.

Blashill was also pleased with the patience and maturity his team showed in a close, low-score game and the Wings content of being in such an insistent game.

“It sure is a mentality,” said Blashill. “I’m going back to (former Wings captain) Henrik Zetterberg. They always said:” You have to be okay if nothing happens in a shift, and that’s okay. “

“You can’t force anything. You have to attack, if the opposition is vulnerable, then strike. When you force it, bad things generally happen.

“We showed a pretty good maturity during the game (Tuesday). Just play pucks behind them and agree to it. We didn’t try to force games. We were in the position we want to be and we need to be comfortable in that position. “

Larkin not in training

A big piece was missing from the Red Wing training session in Dallas on Wednesday.

Forward Dylan Larkin did not participate, Blashill said during a Zoom media call. Blashill said he was optimistic that Larkin will be in the line-up when the Red Wings play in Dallas on Thursday.

Larkin’s absence has nothing to do with the COVID-19 protocol, Blashill said, so it was some kind of assault.

“Again, I don’t think there will be anything that will force him to miss the game, but we’ll see,” said Blashill.

Larkin played a season low of 17 minutes and 4 seconds during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat in Dallas after missing part of the time in the second half.

If Larkin missed Thursday’s game, it would be a slap in the face to miss the team’s top scorer in seven games (six points) but also weaken a middle position the depth of which has been lost.

When Larkin can’t play, “everyone” has to contribute more.

“If you miss guys, and again, I don’t expect to miss Dylan, but if you miss guys everyone has to play great,” Blashill said. “We have more to give.”

Ice chips

Forward Vladislav Namestnikov The Wings have taken to heart the need to play better in several areas after losing in Chicago.

“We weren’t happy with the way we played in Chicago,” said Namestnikov. “We talked in meetings about how we want to be a tough team to play against. A lot of people don’t believe in us, but we believe in each other in the locker room.”

… The Wings are still fighting for the power game (3:20) and failed to take advantage of three attempts on Tuesday, including an opportunity for the late third period.

“It’s probably a puck execution more than anything,” said Blashill. “On our submissions, we were in a good position to determine possession time and we didn’t do the execution we needed.” We had to do a different piece than we did. “

… For the second time in a row Blashill was happy with the strikers’ game Givani Smith and Taro Hiroseand could try to extend their playing time.

Red Wings at Dallas Stars

Allusion: Thursday, 8:30 p.m., American Airlines Center, Dallas.

TV / radio: Fox Sports Detroit-plus / 97.1 FM

Outlook: The Red Wings are so far 0-2-1 on this four-game road trip looking to save a win in this final of a two-game series in Dallas. … The Red Wings are still without injuries Darren Helm (Day by day) and Adam Erne, Robby Fabbri, Sam Win, Filip Zadina and Jon Merrill, all on the COVID-19 protocol list.

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Twitter: @tkulfan