“We’re fragile right now,” Lalonde said following Monday’s 4-3 home-ice loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
“You come off two tight games, 2-1 (home-ice loss to Carolina, 1-0 (road loss at Philadelphia), still had some pretty good things in our game. You get a little fragile.”
Detroit was down 1-0 before the game was three minutes old and 4-0 before three minutes had elapsed in the second period.
🚨 Gudas 🚨
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) December 19, 2023
“Two of their first three chances went in and we’re chasing it,” Lalonde said. “I do like the fact we got a little more emotionally engaged from the second period on and gave ourselves a chance in the end.”
Theoretically, this should have been Detroit’s night. Anaheim was playing the secoond game of back to backs, both on the road. But these Ducks weren’t there for the plucking.
“Sometimes you play the night before and you’re already into it,” Detroit forward Patrick Kane said. “You could see that from them tonight. They came out flying, they were winning a lot of battles, creating a lot of chances and obviously got up on us.
“Tough to chase games in this league.”
Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat was equally as abrupt as his coach in assessing the outcome.
“We gotta be ready to play,” DeBrincat said. “Those are two points we gave up, we shouldn’t have.”
More Injuries For Red Wings
Ville Husso has gone to the locker room pic.twitter.com/7qBmPBlVZm
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) December 19, 2023
Two games ago, the Red Wings were rostering three healthy NHL goalies. Today, they have just one in James Reimer. Alex Lyon was injured in Saturday’s loss at Philadelphia.
Lalonde didn’t expect to have Husso for Wednesday’s game at Winnipeg.
“Probably unlikely,” he said.
Bad Habits Returning for Detroit
Slow starts were killing the Red Wings earlier in the season and suspect goaltending has also forced the team to battle harder than they should for many of their victories.
Both traits were back in vogue on Monday.
“With a fragile group, I believe four of their first six chances overall went in,” Lalonde said. “Kind of back to that point where any look we gave up was going in. It’s on the group to buckle it down a little bit better.”
In the midst of a December that will see the team play 15 games, Lalonde knew there was the potential for the schedule to get the better of his team. And that’s exactly how it’s unfolding.
“We knew this would be a tough stretch on us,” Lalonde said. “Obviously we haven’t handled it very well.
“We gotta do a little bit better, find some energy, a little urgency to our game.”