There were plenty of occasions last season when the Detroit Red Wings defense was downright offensive. During the month of November, Detroit’s defense has also been in an offensive mode, but as Filip Hronek put it, this version of offensive defense feels much better.
Hronek and the Red Wings defense were at it again on Friday at Little Caesars Arena. He counted a goal and an assist and Jordan Oesterle also scored in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 26, 2022
“I think we’re playing better like a hockey team,” Hronek said. “The forwards are using us, that’s why we are getting into the chances.
“We’re playing good all around.”
Last season, Detroit got 20 goals all season from the team’s rearguard. Meanwhile, the club finished 31st in the NHL in goals against.
Red Wings D Contributing Mightily
The current brand of offensive defense is much more palatable. During the month of November, the Red Wings defense has accounted for 26 points. Through the club’s current four game win streak, the D has delivered nine goals and 15 points.
Hronek is good for 5-2-7 numbers during the winning run. He’s potted six goals in his last six games.
Hronek scored in his fourth straight game and matched the longest goal streak by a defenseman in Red Wings franchise history. He’s joining Mathieu Schneider (2005-06), Nicklas Lidstrom (2000-01) and Reed Larson (1980-81) in this select company.
Goals in each of his past four games and points in each of his past six (5-4—9) for the @DetroitRedWings. There's no stopping Filip Hronek right now. #NHLStats: https://t.co/5B3KyupAjM pic.twitter.com/QPQZrsBqtG
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 26, 2022
Additionally, Hronek became the first Red Wings defenseman to record six goals in a six-game span since
Larson did so from Jan. 29-Feb. 8, 1981. Extending his point streak to six games, Hronek became just the third Red Wings defenseman in the last decade to record a point streak of at least that length, joining Moritz Seider (8 games in 2021-22) and Niklas Kronwall (six games in 2017-18 and in 2013-14).
“It’s like everything he shoots is going in,” teammate Lucas Raymond said of Hronek. “Everyone knows he has a great shot. He’s been getting it off now and I guess everyone is seeing it.
“I feel like we’ve seen it for a long time. We see it every time in practice. It’s fun. We’re just trying to feed him the puck.”
It isn’t just Hronek who’s contributing from the back end, though. Seider, Oesterle, Ben Chiarot and Jake Walman also scored during the past four games. Seider (1-3-4) is averaging a point per game during the win streak.
“Offense from the D, it’s going in right now but we’re playing the right way.,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said “Our D are not chasing offense. They’re joining the rush properly.
“We have some structure we want in the O-zone, they’re doing it. Maybe (there’s) a little confidence now. Obviously, I don’t think the shooting percentage from our D is sustainable, but it’s going in because we’re playing the right way.”
Facts And Observations
- Detroit’s victory ended Arizona’s four-game win streak against the Red Wings. Their previous win against the Coyotes was on November 13, 2018
- Captain Dylan Larkin netted his his fourth career shootout-deciding goal to seal the victory
- Arizona’s second defense pairing was consisting of former Red Wings Patrik Nemeth and Troy Stecher
- Michael Rasmussen recorded a fighting major in his 200th career NHL game. It marked Detroit’s first fighting major of the season
- Detroit is 8-for-20 (40%) on the power play in the last six games