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Five Takeaways: Detroit Red Wings Finish with Winless Road Trip



Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings wasted a quality goaltending game by Alex Nedeljkovic in falling 2-1 in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes

The Detroit Red Wings finished a horrible road trip by losing a 2-1 overtime decision to the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes have the NHL’s worst record.

Disastrous Trip

The Detroit Red Wings came into the road trip with optimism and came out of it with a realization that they have a long way to go before they figure out how to win consistently.

They couldn’t grow, or hold, a 1-0 lead against the NHL’s last-place team. This is a team that is averaging 1.68 goals per game. The Red Wings allowed the Coyotes to tie the game on a third-period goal and win in overtime on Clayton Keller’s goal.

They were 0-3-1 on this road trip. They were outscored 17-8. The Red Wings are now 3-7-1 on the road this season.

“We’ve got to find a way to play some good hockey before Christmas,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said.

Mental mistake

Small plays can have major consequences. Michael Rasmussen has the puck in the neutral zone. If he moves past center ice, he can dump the puck safely into the Coyotes. Instead, he fires it in early. The Red Wings are called for icing. They lose the defensive zone faceoff and the Coyotes score the tying goal.


Bottom Line

The Red Wings couldn’t build on their lead. They had chances. But they couldn’t cash in. Tyler Bertuzzi has gone seven games without a goal. Robby Fabbri has one goal in his past 13 games..

The Coyotes double-shifted Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller in the third period and it paid off. They carried the play.

“We didn’t sustain enough pressure,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “They had more pressure than we did in the third.”

Larkin Surge Continues

Dylan Larkin scored Detroit’s lone goal, giving him five goals and seven points in the past five games. He is off to one of the better starts of his career, particularly when you factor in that he is helping Lucas Raymond find his way in the NHL.

Larkin has played like he had something to prove. He didn’t play well last season and then was injured. He has nine goals in 16 games this season. That’s the same number of goals he produced last season in 44 games.

Schedule Becomes More Favorable

The Red Wings only play two games next week, offering the team a chance to practice more than they have this month.

Their next game is Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues. The Coyotes beat the Blues 3-2 last Tuesday.

“We can write whatever story we want to write,” Blashill said. “We gotta decide what we want to be. It won’t be easy for sure. It’s a lot of games. I think we had it at 20 games in 37 days. That’s a lot of games and not very much time, especially for young players where this league’s really hard every single night.

“Let’s get back home, let’s get a good practice, let’s find a way Wednesday to have a good hockey game. There’s no one saying that one’s gonna be easy. We just gotta keep building here and keep progressing as a group.”