When Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill saw the San Jose Sharks defeated the Arizona Coyotes in an 8-7 shootout Tuesday, he wasn’t surprised by the number of goals.
“When you’re off for a long period of time, things can be chaotic,” Jeff Blashill said.
He expects the post-Christmas NHL to look more disorganized than usual until teams rediscover their defensive rhythm.
“When you’ve been off an awful long time, your defensive habits aren’t as good,” Blashill said. “It’s just like when you don’t practice much. Your defensive habits aren’t as good. So now you got a whole league whose defensive habits aren’t quite there. When that happens, I think you see higher scores.”
That’s been true thus far. Of the first nine games played after the COVID-induced break, the winning team scored four goals or more goals in seven of those games.
This is not good news for the Red Wings: Before the break, the Red Wings gave up the third-most dangerous scoring chances among all 32 NHL teams.
Rumor of the Day
Vancouver Canucks will have salary cap issues this offseason. Director of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford will have some challenging decisions. Ian MacIntyre writes that forward Brock Boeser as the most likely trade candidate.
Around the NHL
Detroit: Opponents know all about Lucas Raymond now and they are concentrating defensive coverage on him. But Raymond has also successfully altered his game too. The DHN story about Five Red Wings Storylines goes into detail about it.
NYI: The Islanders could also move players on the NHL trade market. Could the struggling Semyon Varlamov be a trade possibility for the New York Islanders?
Washington: Evgeny Kuznetsov delivered for The Washington Capitals in a 5-3 triumph against Nashville. The Caps need Kuznetsov to keep his game at a high level in the second half of the season.
Carolina: The Carolina Hurricanes ruffled feathers and made waves in the offseason when they overpaid Jesperi Kotkaniemi to lure him from the Montreal Canadiens. Kotkaniemi has seven goals. GM Don Waddell discussed the Kotkaniemi move with TSN.
Florida: The New York Rangers fell to the Florida Panthers, 4-3.
Pittsburgh: Full video included. Evgeni Malkin had some fun with media while reporting he will be playing again in seven to 10 days. It was his choice to rest and come back for the playoffs instead of having surgery last season, and he’s not thinking about money,
“I’m a pretty rich guy,” joked Evgeni Malkin.