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Detroit Red Wings

Under Lalonde, Red Wings Often go From Bad to Worse

Detroit often follows lopsided loss with another



Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde
The Red Wings are 2-7-1 under coach Derek Lalonde in the game following a 4+ goal setback.

There’s no way to sugarcoat Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers from the perspective of the Detroit Red Wings.

Yes, there were moments when the Wings played some decent hockey. It was 3-3 going into the third period after all.

Then there was an utter collapse over the final 40 minutes. When a team loses and gives up eight goals, there’s no way to put a bow on it.

“We really fell off the tracks there in the third,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said on the team’s website.

It was a bad night. And unfortunately, in the two seasons with Derek Lalonde as head coach, when the Red Wings take a turn to the deep south, they tend to just keep on that downward trajectory.

Tuesday marks the 13th time that Detroit lost a game by 4+ goals under Lalonde’s tutelage. One of them was a 5-0 setback in last season’s year ender at Tampa Bay.

On the other 11 occasions, the Red Wings are 2-7-2 in their next game. Considering that next game is on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks, currently the NHL’s No. 1 team, that’s an ominous trend to consider.

Red Wings Drubbings

Result Next Game
2/13/24 – Lost 8-4 at Edmonton ?????
12-9-23 – Lost 5-1 to Ottawa Lost 6-3 at Dallas
4-15-23 – Lost 5-0 at Tampa Bay End of 2022-23 season
4-8-23 – Lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh Lost 6-1 at Dallas
3-31-23 – Lost 6-2 at Winnipeg Won 5-2 at Toronto
3-18-23 – Lost 5-1 to Colorado Lost 5-2 to Florida
2-27-23 – Lost 6-2 at Ottawa Lost 6-1 at Ottawa
2-28-23 – Lost 6-1 at Ottawa Lost 5-4 to Seattle (OT)
1-4-23 – Lost 5-1 to New Jersey Lost 3-2 to Florida
12-8-22 – Lost 5-1 at Florida Lost 3-2 at Dallas (OT)
11-10-22 – Lost 8-2 to New York Rangers Lost 4-3 at Los Angeles
10-31-22 – Lost 8-3 at Buffalo Won 3-1 over Washington
10-25-22 – Lost 6-2 to New Jersey Lost 5-1 at Boston

As much as Detroit’s 10-2-2 run leading into this four-game road trip has positioned the Red Wings in a playoff spot, it’s hardly a guarantee. Lalonde spoke of the difficult of their impending journey prior to departing for Edmonton.

“It’s tough to win on the road, especially with the caliber of opponent,” Lalonde said. “You’re probably talking the top two teams in the league currently right now in Edmonton, in Vancouver. Calgary has won four straight against some really good opponents, and Seattle we never play well against.

“They’re battling for their playoff lives. Probably be similar to our last couple of road trips where we just got to play the right way, got to stay in the fight, we got to give ourselves a chance to battle and claw every point we can.”

It didn’t start out that way and the Red Wings clearly need to keep the bad performance to a one off.

New Jersey looms just two points back of Detroit for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card playoff spot. The Islanders are three points back. A disastrous road trip could quickly find the Red Wings coming home out of a postseason position.

“You’re going to go through these stretches in your schedule,” Lalonde said. “Everyone is going to go through it. It’s how you handle it.

“We just had a recent south swing just because the nature of the opponent, Florida, Carolina, it’s tough to get points out of. We were fortunate to have a pretty good trip. It got us in the battle.

“This will be one of those. I think we’re just in and out and every game is vitally important.”