Red Wings Notes: Forwards Getting Back to Basics to End ‘O’ Drought, Score ‘Dirty Goals’

Octopus Thrower

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill didn’t need a reporter to shout out the question. He asked himself.

“How do you manufacture offense?”

He quickly answered on Red Wings TV.

“You spend more time in the other team’s end,” he said. “You grind them down, and they chip it in your zone and try to make a change because they’re tired, you jam it down their throat.

“That’s how you create offense most of the time in this league, by grinding the other team down, kind of like they (the Hurricanes) did over the course of the game (Thursday).”

Blashill asked the offensive question and answered it because he hasn’t seen enough of that dogged style from the Red Wings recently.

“We’ve talked about it a lot, but we have to find a way to get dirty goals.”

-Luke Glendening

Since erupting for seven goals on April 22, the Red Wings have scored just two goals in their past three games.

Lost for the season are Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen and Bobby Ryan and Adam Erne (COVID-19 protocol) and Robby Fabbri (upper body) remain sidelined and listed day-to-day.

Arguably, those players could comprise two top scoring lines.

Taking the spots of those proven veterans are rookies and third- and fourth-line skaters moving up to the top two lines.

Opening a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Lightning today at 3 p.m., fourth-line center Luke Glendening said on Red Wings TV his teammates need to get back to the basics and “get more pucks to the net (and) get traffic in front (of the goalie).

“We’ve talked about it a lot, but we have to find a way to get dirty goals.”

How about any type of goals?

Red Wings Must Match Championship Intensity

In third place in the Central Division, the Lighting enter the two-game series trailing the second-place Florida Panthers by one point, with two games in hand, and the first-place Carolina Hurricanes by three points.

Blashill expects to see championship intensity from the defending Stanley Cup-champion Lightning. The Red Wings coach also anticipates his young players will continue to grow from the experience, attempting to spoil the weekend for GM Steve Yzerman’s former club.

“I think it’s great for our younger guys to see the level of play,” Blashill said following Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes. “I think for our young guys to understand how much it ramps up as the season goes along, how competitive it is every night, it’s an every-night league, you got to make sure you do a great job every single night.”

Ice Chips

During 10 games in April, goalie Thomas Greiss, who is expected to start Saturday, went 4-1-4 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. … Despite the rash of injuries and lack of scoring, the Red Wings enter Saturday with a 10-10-6 mark since March 9. … Defensemen Filip Hronek and Marc Staal are the only Red Wings to have appeared in all 52 games.

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