Detroit Red Wings Suffering Defensive Lapses During Mini-Series Vs. Stars

Octopus Thrower

The sloppy puck exchange between three Detroit Red Wings defenders was prophetic.

Yes, it was a sign of things to come.

Just follow the bouncing puck.

First, defenseman Marc Staal took a swipe to control it near the blue line.

WHIFF!

Second, normally dependable Luke Glendening failed to control the puck while being pressured near the high slot, allowing it to bounce toward the net.

BOTCHED!

Third, defenseman Troy Stecher allowed Dallas Stars forward Tanner Kero to corral the loose puck and beat goalie Jonathan Bernier from the side of the net.

UUGGHHHH!

Red Wings ‘Gave Easy Goals Away’

“I thought we were terrible defensively,” coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com, following Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Stars. “We competed like crazy in the offensive zone. We were on them. We worked hard. Then they came down and we gave easy goals away”

It’s a formula the Stars effectively utilized during wins Monday and Tuesday over the Red Wings. The teams complete the rare four-game, regular-season series tonight and Saturday at Little Caesars Arena.

Throughout the organization, the Red Wings’ attention to defensive detail improved dramatically this season. But fundamental miscues and blown coverages led to the Stars scoring three times in front of Bernier on Tuesday.

‘They’re Grad-A Chances’

“We could do a better job of giving him a chance in some of those goals,” forward Sam Gagner said post-game Tuesday. “They’re Grade-A chances.”

Or, in other words, Grade-D defense.

“We have to have simple defensive principles of protecting the slot, riding your check back to the net, and when you’re above people stay above people,” he said. “We can’t be a team that’s chasing the game like that.”

Another prophetic statement?

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