After an impressive win against the Hurricanes, the Detroit Red Wings had a bit of a stinker against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Let’s extract eight observations from the loss.
#1: A typical Lightning-Red Wings game. The Lightning controlled most of the game, outshot the Red Wings and were clearly the better team. This has been the case for the better part of a decade now. To be fair, most teams have struggled against the Lightning – it just seems especially bad for the Red Wings.
#2: Penalty kill was terrible. The Red Wings gave up three power play goals. Yes, Tampa Bay’s power play is excellent, but three in a single game is just unacceptable. It was a very poor showing from the unit.
#3: Zadina barely got any ice time. The young forward finished with just over 10 minutes of ice time. He went from top line a few weeks ago to barely getting a role in the lineup. Jeff Blashill’s deployment of Zadina is starting to get really confusing at this point.
#4: Alex Nedeljkovic looked like himself again. For the past few weeks, Detroit’s “rookie” goaltender has been just ok. But against the Lighting, Nedeljkovic was downright excellent. He was named the second star of the night, finishing with 35 saves and a .946 save percentage. Nedeljkovic will have to be consistently this good down the stretch if Detroit wants to finish strong.
#5: The Guelph Line got somewhat active again. Only one Red Wings scored on the night, and it was Robby Fabbri (Tyler Bertuzzi earned an assist on the goal). After a quiet couple of games, it was reassuring to see the second line find the back of the net again. Secondary scoring is certainly a must for the Red Wings.
#6: Michael Rasmussen on the wing is a good thing. Since his move to the wing, Big ‘Ras has looked really strong. While he didn’t earn a point against the Lightning, he had a few good chances on the night, finishing with a couple shots on goal. Could this be the change that Rasmussen needed all along?
#7: Moritz Seider’s point streak alive. Seider was credited with an assist in the lone goal of the game, which extends his streak to eight games. The current streak has broken a previous franchise record for consecutive games with points from a rookie defenseman.
#8: Doesn’t get easier from here. Unfortunately for Detroit, the road doesn’t get any easier. The team is staying in Florida for a game against the Florida Panthers – one of the best teams in the league. It might be hard to stop the bleeding.