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Coach Lalonde “Not Concerned” About Lucas Raymond Slow Start

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Lucas Raymond, Detroit Red Wings

When an NHL player experiences a scoring slump, the problem is usually in his head, not his hands. That’s particularly true when he’s a younger player like Lucas Raymond

Raymond, 20, has gone the first seven games without a goal. Last season, Raymond scored four goals in his first six NHL games. However, if you combine the end of last season with the start of this season, Raymond has one goal in his last 21 games.

“Lack of some detail in his game, which is understandable of a young player,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde explains. “He’s so competitive. Now he’s channeling it incorrectly. He’s pressing now. It’s typical of most players, let alone young players. It’s not going in for hm offensively. I think he believes he needs to help the team with offense. Now it’s looping, now it’s cheating, now it’s not taking care of the wall and now he’s being stuck in his D-zone instead of doing the things he can do in the offensive zone.”

Raymond Pressing?

Lucas Raymond is a young player who is dealing with a new coach, a new system and new linemates. Last season, he primarily played with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. This season, Bertuzzi is injured and Larkin is now playing with Dominik Kubalik and David Perron. Andrew Copp has recently been Raymond’s center and Copp hasn’t scored yet easy. Everyone on the team is trying to adjust.

“Not concerned at all,” Lalonde said. “Typical of a young player pressing a bit. Now it’s our job to get him playing the right way. ”

No one probably understands where Raymond is at more than Dylan Larkin. He faced change in his second season with the Red Wings.

“I went to the World Cup and came into training camp, felt good about myself,” Larkin recalled. “Wasn’t on the first power play, wasn’t playing with Henrik (Zetterberg) anymore. I was playing with Luke Glendening and no offense to him, it’s not Henrik. You have to figure it out. Have to work. You come in your first year, you’re so excited, you’re going out as hard as you can every night. You have to find that. It’s hard to do. That’s my experience. That’s what I went through.”

Larkin registered 23 goals and 45 points in is rookie season and managed 17 goals and 32 points in his sophomore season. Today, he’s a two-time 30+ goal scorer.

Larkin Can Relate

The Red Wings’ home game Saturday will be their eighth game of the season. They won’t even be 10% into the season. Lucas Raymond has two assists in the seven games. Last season, Raymond netted 23 goals among his 57 points.

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“It’s not anything to be panicked about. He’s gonna play a lot of hockey, he’s gonna go through a lot of ups, a lot of downs,” Larkin said. “You gotta go out there and win battles. That’s what I say to him, because that’s what I think about when things aren’t going well for myself. It’s think about the simplest thing that gets you going and go as hard as you can at the and give it all you can. He’s a very talented player. I was in this position but he’s much more talented than I was at that age, and much more mature. He’s gonna find his stride and we need that for our team to get going.”

It’s almost an NHL tradition for young scorers get down on themselves when they slump. They don’t want to let down their teammates. Usually, teammates have a better understanding of what they are going through.

“One hundred percent,” Lalonde said. “It’s a natural reaction from those young guys. On top-type teams those players aren’t leaned on. I think they feel they have to do it for us to be a good team. That’s certainly understandable, and there might be some truth to that. It’s our job to reel him in, look at the big picture, manage their game. It’s been the same forever.”

 

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