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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Have Too Many Problems, Not Enough Answers



David Perron, Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings can’t seem to figure out how to play with the same confidence and effectiveness they showed in January. They have now lost seven games in a row and don’t seem any closer to figuring out how to solve their issues.

The problem: it’s not one thing. It’s everything.

It’s the team’s defensive play, the inability to generate scoring, lack of jump, slow starts, leaky goaltending, untimely mistakes, loss of confidence, lack of resilience, Dylan Larkin’s absence and pressure forcing the players to press. This is a Detroit squad that has scored 12 goals in their seven losses.

“In your career you go through some things like this,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “It’s just trying to find some answers throughout the lineup. It’s reality. We have not handled our group very well with Dylan out. There’s no reason for that. He’s a special, special player. He’s our engine a lot of nights but we have very capable group, very capable lineup. I think it’s got to be a little more emphasis on those defensive mistakes.”

Not one aspect of Detroit’s game deserved a better grade than D or D+. The offense couldn’t generate 30 shots against a team that has only won six of its last 26 games. Defensive lapses came at the wrong time.

Defensive lapses

“It could be a number of different factors,” Detroit defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “But we need to get this thing going in the right direction. We have to be better defensively. I think you see the chances that we give up. There ones that shouldn’t happen, especially at this time of year, when everything should be rolling in the same direction. It should be like a machine at this point. Just everyone knows exactly where they’re supposed to be and being there at the right time. We’re not there yet and we need to get there in a hurry.”

The Red Wings didn’t have the necessary jump to win a game with playoff implications.

“No doubt it felt like (the Coyotes) had a little better legs,” Lalonde said. “It’s probably a little bit of us pressing. I think our guys want it so much, you saw the effort in practice. We’re trying to press a little bit. We’re getting some of our offensive guys back out there a little more. Probably draining them a little bit. But again, we’re not going to generate a ton five-on-five, we got to be in these low-scoring games and give ourselves a chance.

Running Out of Runway

The Red Wings fell behind 1-0 at 5:10 into the first period by giving up a shorthanded goal. Goalie Alex Lyon shouldn’t have to stop a breakaway in that situation. But Lyon couldn’t make the save and the Red Wings were again in trouble early. That’s been a problem during the losing skid. The odds are with the goalie on a breakaway, but Lyon isn’t playing as sharply as he did when the team was winning.

“I see recently that we get down one and we kinda get . . . it’s a little bit deflating for the group,” Chiarot said. “It was happening earlier in the year, too, I remember. The same kind of thing. We’d give up the first goal, kind of get on our heels a little bit. But when we’re playing well and things are going well for us, it doesn’t really bother us. We know we’re gonna get the next goal. Right now we’ve just kind of lost that confidence that we can do it. Fighting to get that back is what we need.”

Time is running out for the Red Wings who only have 16 games remaining.

“It’s as tough as it gets in the room right now.” Detroit forward David Perron said. “We gotta find a way to bounce back. We gotta find a way to get up, put our pride on the line and be better.”