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Maturing Red Wings Finding Ways To Win

Detroit 4-1 since returning from Sweden



Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde didn't like how his team played, but loved that they won.

The latest Detroit Red Wings victory wasn’t their prettiest effort of the season, although the final scoreline – a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks – certainly was tasting sweet.

“Probably our least-detailed game since we got back from Europe,” was the assessment of coach Derek Lalonde. “But a good sign is we scored five goals and won.”

A very good sign, as a matter of fact.

One of the many positive traits good teams are tending to exhibit is the ability to locate ways to win on nights when their A-game is found to be wanting. In the second game of back-to-backs, coming off Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, that was clearly the case for Detroit.

“It’s just funny, we played so much better last night,” Lalonde said. “You look at the game tonight, our best player was our goalie (Alex Lyon) and we finished.

“They out-chanced us, they outshot us. Every underlying category is going to say they were better than us.”

Winning Ugly A Sign Of Red Wings Maturity

The Wings did indeed finish and they do in fact have finishers. Robby Fabbri would score twice. His tally is now seven goals in 10 games. J.T. Compher would also score a pair of goals. He’s up to six on the season.

“I saw a lot of battle,” Lyon said. “I thought they played really hard. Tough situation, especially last night. I think when you have an emotional loss like that it makes things a little more difficult always.

“Just gotta give a lot of credit to the guys. They battled really hard. We just got the job done. Showing signs of a mature hockey team.”

Lalonde was sending a lot of that credit Lyon’s way. He made 34 saves, improving to 3-1 with a 1.26 GAA and .958 save percentage.

“Quiet, confident,” the coach said of his goalie. “Tonight, arguably his best performance. If you look at the volume, the type of chances, the type of Grade A chances and the timing of his saves, he was probably our best player.

“When we’re playing well we don’t give up odd-mans. We gave up two 150-foot odd-mans to some really high-end skill. We’re very fortunate. Alex probably bailed us out there.”

The coach was also finding himself in agreement with his netminder in terms of the maturation of the Red Wings into a club that more often than not, is finding ways to win games.

“I think it’s maturity,” Lalonde said. “We talk about it all the time. Judge yourself on performance over outcome.

“Last night we don’t get an outcome, our performance was pretty good. Tonight, our performance wasn’t very good. We got the outcome. I think the guys have a pretty good understanding of that.”