8 Observations From the Red Wings 5-2 Loss in Dallas

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The Detroit Red Wings went to Dallas for their second straight road game, and they were handed their second straight loss. The Stars beat the Wings 5-2.

#1: The NHL’s COVID-19 policy is ridiculous. During the matchup, the Red Wings team captain, Dylan Larkin, became mysteriously absent from the lineup. Later, it was confirmed that Larkin left the game due to COVID protocol.

Seriously? The guy had already interacted with his entire team and the staff, but he still gets pulled before the finish? It just does not make sense. That is really the only information out there for fans, so we will have to wait patiently to get the whole story.

#2: Dylan Larkin is essential to this team. Speaking of, Larkin has been fantastic this season. After missing a few games for personal reasons, he is right back to where he started the season: zipping around the ice, speeding past defenders and, of course, scoring goals. He is averaging a point per game (Eight goals and six assists) in 14.

Just as important is the fight Larkin brings to the team. Playing in the third period without their captain, the team seemed to lose all hope, deflating any chance of a comeback. When Larkin plays, the team is visibly tougher.

#3: Filip Zadina found the back of the net. It seems like Zadina gets multiple scoring chances a game and never really finds a way to cash in on them. But he managed to nab one against the Stars last night. It wasn’t an especially important moment, but it is good to see a statistically good player get rewarded for consistently creating scoring chances.

#4: Alex Nedeljkovic has been excellent. Although the scoreboard doesn’t show it, Nedeljkovic had another strong net in between the pipes. Especially early on, Neddy had to work just to keep the game within reach, surviving a barrage of shots in the first twenty minutes. He currently has a save percentage of .913, even with his rough start in Montreal included. Goaltending is definitely one of Detroit’s greater strengths this season, as Thomas Greiss and Nedeljkovic have both been great.

#5: Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond both notched a point. The two leading rookie scorers continued to add to their season totals, both picking up an assist on Larkin’s power play goal. Shocker, they both had great games. Also, Seider destroyed a Dallas player at the blue line, so fans should see that video circulate Twitter for a bit.

#6: No retribution for last year’s hit on Larkin. Unfortunately for the fans looking for blood, the Red Wings seem to have moved past Jamie Benn inflicting a season-ending injury against their team captain. He escaped the ice completely unscathed. Honestly, it is surprising for a team that doesn’t seem to take very kindly to such acts (as evidenced by the bevy of bad blood in the first few weeks).

#7: Back to .500. With that loss, Detroit is back to .500 on the season. It has been a very hot and cold season so far. There are stretches and wins where Detroit looks like they have taken major strides forward – the win against the Golden Knights, the one against the Oilers, etc. However, there are just as many sobering losses to bring fans back down to Earth. Tonight was one of those sobering losses.

#8: It doesn’t get easier from here. The Red Wings are about to enter a brutal stretch of the schedule; eight of the next ten games are against teams with a winning record, including teams like the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders. Detroit is now on a two game losing streak, which means they will have to claw and fight their way through the tough slate just to stay .500. The next ten games should be a good indicator on just how good this team is going to be this season.

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