The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t come away with a win against the Anaheim Ducks in the second game of a three-game road trip out west. Let’s extract some observations from the shootout loss.
#1: The rookies were solid. Lucas Raymond had his best performance in a while, aggressively forechecking, keeping pressure on the opposing defense taking some shots on goal. He was rewarded with an assist for his strong game. Moritz Seider also notched on assist on the power play goal after a strong showing.
#2: The defense is still spotty at best. The Wings had plenty of defensive lapses against the Duck, which seems to be the norm this season.
#3: Detroit scored on the power play! It took them a few tries and it didn’t look pretty at times, but the Red Wings finally managed to scored on the power play. Filip Hronek cashed in on a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi. Now let’s see if the team can string together a few more conversions on the man advantage.
#4: Top line was good. The aforementioned Raymond wasn’t the only top line forward buzzing. Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin both had strong nights (although Larkin’s night was cut short), with the former netting a goal and tacking on an assist. This looked much more like the top line fans have grown accustomed to this year.
#5: Larkin and Bertuzzi better not be out long. Larkin suffered a lower body injury during the game and did not return to the ice. Bertuzzi was cut by a skate and also left the game. It’s unclear how long the two will be out (considering the injury, Bert shouldn’t be out too long), but it’ll hurt Detroit even if its just for a couple of games. The two forwards are essential to this team’s offense – without them, the Wings will have a very, very hard time finding the back of the net.
#6: The team had some fight to them. Even after Anaheim controlled the first ten minutes of the period and converted on a power play, Detroit looked determined show some fight – unlike the their performance against the Kings. The Red Wings outshot (36-27) and outhit (28-19) the Ducks, but they couldn’t seem to make something out of the chances generated.
#7: Thomas Greiss didn’t look the greatest. Another Greiss start and another loss. The veteran goaltender had a sub .900 save percentage in the loss (although, to be fair, defensive lapses were fairly frequent for Detroit). He was especially rough in the shootout, where the Ducks beat him twice. Greiss looks a lot like he did at the beginning of last season – does he have it in him for another turnaround?
#8: This road trip sucks. Nate said it best on Twitter – this road trip sucks. First a postponement, then a miserable showing against the LA Kings and finally, a shootout loss to the Ducks. Well, the trip isn’t over quite yet – the Wings head to San Jose on Tuesday for a rematch against the Sharks. Will the Wings go winless in the west?