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Red Wings Notebook: Puck Luck Bucks Detroit’s Chances

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There’s something to be said for puck luck in the sport of hockey. The Detroit Red Wings might even have a few things to say about it after falling 6-3 to the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night.

Every Red Wing had some instance doing the exact opposite of what was intended. Be it Michael Rasmussen making a strong defensive play, only to see Filip Hronek fan on a clear. It ends up right on Jeff Skinner’s stick and seconds later, over Magnus Hellberg’s shoulder.

It was the first of many instances where the puck bounced the wrong way in Buffalo. But those are the breaks, and Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik expressed as much postgame.

“Obviously, the start wasn’t that bad,” Kubalik said on Bally Sports Detroit following the game. “A couple mistakes (but) I think maybe we deserved a little better, it is what it is. I like the push we had there in the third, but it was kinda too late. You gotta take a lesson from that, shake it off, and be ready for next time.”

Detroit needed a couple pucks to flutter its way, and nearly had it late, but they fluttered further away from the net.

“I appreciate the comeback, we gave ourselves a chance there in the third,” head coach Derek Lalonde said on Bally Sports Detroit. “The playbook on them is just you can’t give them easy offense.”

Puck luck be damned, Buffalo converted when it did bounce its way while Detroit couldn’t dig out and would run out of time.

But when it comes to the puck bouncing the wrong way, boy did it ever on Filip Hronek.

Hronek’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good Night

The defenseman has enjoyed a charm-filled season where he’s set some new franchise firsts and contributed at a high clip.

Thursday night harkened back to a reminder of frustrating games past. From a puck that bounced into the net off his stick, to the aforementioned giveaway, to another that led to the fifth goal, Hronek’s night was littered with some personal gaffes but also some that were just some terrible, horrible, no good puck luck.

Heck, even trying to slam his stick over the crossbar after that fifth goal didn’t result in the desired outcome.

It was more uncanny than anything else that for a player who roared into the 2022-23 season, he experienced a game that literally couldn’t have gone any worse for him.

But Hronek should simply listen to his teammate when it comes to shaking it off. The positives have far outweighed the negatives this season and the team will have a day to recover before they finish off 2022 with their New Year’s Eve clash with Ottawa.

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Record Reversal Against Buffalo This Season

The Red Wings were a perfect 4-0 against their divisional rival last season. What a difference a season makes. Not only is Buffalo fourth in the league in team goals, but the Sabres are also 2-0-1 against the Red Wings through their first three meetings. Thanks to the lopsided 8-3 win on Halloween, the Sabres have outscored Detroit 19-10 in the three contests.

“It looks like a team excited to play,” Lalonde said of the Sabres. “They play with tempo, they play with skill. For the most part, we gave up a lot of puck possession in the first. But we didn’t give up a ton.”

Though they’ve conceded defeat in the first three games, Detroit will have one final crack at earning a victory when they host Buffalo April 6.

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Gordon Cheswick

Good teams make their own ‘luck’. This wasn’t a bad game by Hronek – it was just downright ‘disgraceful’ by everyone. Forwards standing around while Sabres cut to the net with four guys standing there – not even an attempt at a ‘hit’. WTH!

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