Red Wings Weekend Report: Road Stretch will be Telling

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The Red Wings have struggled away from home sweet home. Now is a better time than ever to start looking for success on the road.

The Red Wings have a slate of games against Los Angeles (tonight), Anaheim (tomorrow night) and San Jose (Tuesday) before returning home Thursday to play Winnipeg. The back-to-back on the west coast swing could certainly tire the Wings, but since they’ve had time to acclimate after pounding the Sharks 6-2 on Tuesday,

The news did get better as well:

Seeing Vrana skating is definitely a good thing and could be something that helps Filip Zadina down the road. Though Blashill was pretty non-comital about a clear date for return, seeing him skating around is hope that the offense will get another shot in the arm. The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote about it yesterday and confirmed that a date of return is still unknown.

Rasmussen Revving up?

Alex wrote about the new year bringing in a great game from Michael Rasmussen on Tuesday. Rasmussen has been the prospect with the least amount of fanfare in the straight first round line of Zadina, Seider and Raymond. He might not have the breakaway speed or the hockey IQ the latter two were blessed with, but there’s still raw talent that can be developed there.

Rasmussen’s shift that led to Pius Suter’s second goal Tuesday night was an example of this. He used his frame and strength to overpower the Sharks and get two chances near the goal before dishing a pass back to Suter that was buried in the net. (Also, Ken Daniel called this like CBC legend Bob Cole–maybe it’s just me).

Some offensive instinct there by the former ninth overall pick in 2017. Keep it up young man–it’s fun to see.

What about the Power Play?

Well the good news is that the Red Wings penalty kill impressed with Suter and Bertuzzi both getting shorties 37 seconds apart. But now, the struggling power play needs to get rolling.

The good news is that Raymond is off the bumper and back on the left flank. Teams have started paying more attention to him and he’s now nine games without a goal. But the rookie has adjusted where he’s had to and one was the beauty of a pass he had that launched a hell of a goal from a flying Dylan Larkin.

A new wrinkle or two could help the ailing power play. But after another season where Detroit struggles with the man advantage, what will it take to finally get a functional unit?

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