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Four Takeaways: Familiar Disappointing Outcome For Red Wings On Road



Robbie Fabbri, Detroit Red Wings
Robby Fabbri scored both goals for the Detroit Red Wings in Thursday's 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Just one of those nights. That’s how head coach Jeff Blashill was opting to sum out the latest road failure of the Detroit Red Wings.

According to Blashill, Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues wasn’t as ugly as it was looking, or as how that final scoreline was making it sound.

Four takeaways from a game that dropped Detroit to 4-8-1 away from home this season.

Red Wings Sure Looking Familiar

Blashill felt that the Red Wings were in with as many chances to make something happen on the night as the Blues. It just wasn’t happening for them.

“I think it was one of those nights through two periods where the puck went in for them and it didn’t go in for us,” Blashill said. “I thought we certainly had as many opportunities, if not more.”

That may have indeed been the case but it’s all about making the most of those opportunities. It was the Blues who were the team proving capable of doing that.

In fact, as they found themselves facing another big, heavy team, as was the case in Tuesday’s 5-2 home loss to the Nashville Predators, the script seemed very familiar.

The bigger St. Louis forwards were able to gain inside position on defenders in the Detroit zone. Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic was trying to find the puck while looking around a hulking Blues player on his doorstep on the second and third St. Louis goals.

The Blues got to the front of the net. The Wings, as is their custom, did not.

“I thought they were harder at the net and they had a better net presence than us,” Blashill admitted. “That’s the one thing if you look at all their goals, they did a real good job at the net.”

Wings forward Robby Fabbri was sharing his coach’s point of view.

“I thought we didn’t play horrible tonight,” Fabbri said. “We gave up some things but we worked, we sustained some pressure in the O-zone. We just didn’t get enough bodies in front of the net.”

Fabulous Fabbri

Fabbri was facing his former team for the second time of his career and during this season. He ended up tallying both Red Wings goals.

“I’ve been happy with Fabbs’ game through most of the year,” Blashill said. “He can score. There’s no doubt about it. He knows how to score, so it’s good that he got rewarded there.”

Fabbri’s been skating on the top line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond while Tyler Bertuzzi is in COVID-19 protocol. He wasn’t looking upon his brace of goals as being rewarding in any manner.

“A win would have felt a lot better in this building against that team,” Fabbri said. “At the end of the day, we’ll get another shot at it to come back next year and win in this building.”

Cool Hand Lucas

Both of Fabbri’s goals were the creation of some high-end skill moves made by Red Wings rookie forward Raymond.

On the first goal, he made a clever tap touch pass to drop the puck to Fabbri. The latter drove to the net and beat Blues goalie Charlie Lindgren. The second goal saw Raymond fire a tape-to-tape pass from behind the Detroit goal line to set Fabbri free.

“Certainly he has the ability to make plays in critical moments,” Blashill said. “I thought in those moments tonight that he played real good.”

The two assists gave Raymond 24 points, allowing him to reclaim the NHL rookie scoring lead from Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks.

Not Ned’s Night

During a 4-2 home-ice win over the Blues on November 24, Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic was pulling off one spectacular save after another to preserve the win.

“Certainly the last time we played St. Louis, I though Ned stole the game,” Blashill said.

Thursday, Nedeljkovic found himself pulling one puck after another out of his net. He was chased in favor of Thomas Greiss, who started the third period.

“To me it was one of those nights where the puck seemed to go in,” Blashill said. “It wasn’t necessarily anybody’s fault. We had breakdowns, don’t get me wrong but they had breakdowns where we had chances and the puck didn’t go in. For them it did.”

Greiss figures to get the starting nod Friday as the Red Wings are in Colorado to face the Avalanche.