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Five Takeaways from the Detroit Red Wings’ Fifth Preseason Game

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Jeff-Blashill, Detroit Red Wings coach
Jeff Blashill will have a difficult decision about whether to keep Lucas Raymond or send him to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League

The Detroit Red Wings lost a 6-4 decision to a strong Chicago Blackhawks’ roster Monday night. But there was plenty for coach Jeff Blashill to contemplate after that game.

Lucas Raymond Making a Case to Stay

Rookie Raymond scored a power play and set-up Bobby Ryan to give himself six points in three games. Detroit Red Wings Coach Jeff Blashill said if Raymond, 19, wanted to make the team he needed to distinguish himself in every game he plays. He has done that. His shot and offensive instincts fit well with Dylan Larkin’s speed

Blashill is not ready to tip his hand, although a decision has to come soon. The opener is a week from Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Obviously, we don’t have to make that decision yet,” Blashill said. “But he did a good job tonight and he’s played good in the games he has played so far and that’s all he can do…He has a mature game for a young guy.”

Detroit Red Wings Might Have a 1A and 1B Line

Robbie Fabbri had two more points to give him five in three preseason games. He was also robbed of a goal by a brilliant save by Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury with 2:40 remaining in regulation.

It is clear he and Pius Suter have chemistry. Larkin will likely be back with Tyler Bertuzzi. Raymond has played well with Larkin, but it’s too early to know who will be the third player on either of those lines. Bobby Ryan will be in that mix if the Red Wings sign him.

But no matter how the lines shake out, the Red Wings could end up with an A and B line, meaning it is not unthinkable that Suter-Fabbri could match the production of Larkin-Bertuzzi.

“Robbie Fabbri has played his ass off so far, in the preseason games and in practice,” Blashill said. “He’s a great example of the competitiveness we are going to have to have if we are going to be successful.

Is Alex Tanguay a Miracle Man?

The Detroit Red Wings scored four power play goals in Monday night’s game and moved the puck around in an entertaining fashion.  After ranking 30th last season, the Detroit Red Wings are now 8-for-19 (42.1%) on the power play in this preseason.

What’s the difference?

First, New assistant coach Alex Tanguay has brought in a new approach, asking players to take what’s there until a passing seam opens up.

Second, Raymond’s shot and instincts make the Red Wings more dangerous and a bit more creative.

Finally, Nick Leddy makes a difference on entries into the zone and controlling the puck. On one power play, he shot the puck in deep. The Blackhawks retrieved the puck, but Leddy knew where to be and intercepted their clearing attempt. The Red Wings then controlled the puck for almost a minute.

Moritz Seider Scored a Goal, But…

Seider scored on the power play. He guided the puck nicely into the open side of the net. He also had an assist. It was his best offensive game and it showed fans that he can put up points.

But  neither he, nor Nick Leddy, were strong defensively against the Blackhawks. Seider was -3 in 22 minutes of playing time.

Bad Reality, Good Reality

In the first period, a veteran Chicago Blackhawks team, which included Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews,  Seth Jones, Alex DeBrincat and Fleury among others, reminded everyone watching that the rebuilding Red Wings still have a long way to go.

But the Red Wings didn’t cave in after the Blackhawks stormed out to a 3-0 lead. The Red Wings used the power play to mount an impressive comeback. Even though they lost on a late goal and empty netter, they showed spunk against a much-improved Chicago team.

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