The Detroit Red Wings kicked off their west coast road trip with a matchup against the Calgary Flames. In what would be a 3-0 loss, Detroit fell short of opening this trip with a win.
Detroit was not able to light the lamp last night but was able to block a stunningly high number of shots on goal. Being outshot 43-19 by the end of the game, the Red Wings only allowed three goals to be scored. The credit for this ultimately falls to Thomas Greiss who had a great performance between the pipes in Calgary. Leaving the night with a .930 SV%, Greiss redeemed himself from the two goals on three shots that he allowed on Tuesday versus Arizona.
Although a majority of these shots were blocked, the defense allowing this many chances is not ideal in the slightest. Giving the opponent, especially one such as Calgary who has been on a tear recently, this many opportunities to rack up points is a fatal mistake. Thankfully, Greiss had his A-game on and was able to be a reliable backboard for the rest of the team but a good goaltending performance is not enough to rely on completely. There were a good number of blocked shots by the Red Wings defense (15) but again, there was not enough there to fully shut down the Flames offense.
Two of the three goals that were allowed occurred when Calgary was on the power play- a theme that has been consistent in recent games. Allowing power play goals has been a weakness in the Red Wings success for a lengthy stretch of the season recently. In last night’s game, Detroit had four penalties for a total of eleven minutes in which the Flames found the back of the net twice. The Red Wings have the 2nd lowest penalty kill percentage in the NHL with a 72.8% and the poor defensive performance of this team definitely is to blame.
So, where was the Red Wings offense? Very good question because it did not appear that they were present for the 1st period in which they recorded one shot on goal versus Calgary’s 19. Things seemed to pick up in terms of the slightest effort possible in the 3rd period as Detroit recorded 14 shots on goal bringing their grand total to 19, which is as many shots as the Flames had in the 1st period alone. Not enough shots were being taken to bring about good chances for scoring goals so the Wings walked away from this one empty handed. The offensive lines were shaken up pretty good with the loss of Robby Fabbri due to a lower body injury and the fact that Tyler Bertuzzi cannot play in Canada due to vaccination requirements. Missing two big goal scorers from the top two lines was a kick in the gut for Detroit and Fabbri will be gone for a bit it appears while Bertuzzi will be back in action on March 19th versus Seattle.
The Red Wings will take on the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton on Tuesday and will be looking to put an end to their sizeable losing streak. Hopefully the offense and defense can find a proper balance without some key players and with the addition of the recent call-ups from Grand Rapids in order to properly challenge Connor McDavid and the Oilers.