Detroit Red Wings Blue Line Report for the Week of October 23

Octopus Thrower
Detroit Red Wings, Dylan Larkin

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings had three games last week. A last-minute tying goal and OT loss, a blown two-goal lead and OT loss, and a dominating performance in the home win.

Highlights include a perfect penalty kill for the season and strong defensive play. Gaining four points out of a possible six is a good week for any team. The blue line looked strong.

A Look at the Detroit Red Wings’ third game of the season: Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles was the first playoff team on the Detroit Red Wings’ schedule. This was also the Wings’ third game in four days. This was not a great game for the team, but they managed to get a point. The penalty kill continues to be aggressive and is a significant improvement over last year.

The positive side is that many of the problems in the first period were corrected in the second and third. The speed and skill of the Kings kept the Wings hemmed in their own end for far too long. Also, the puck movement of the Kings opened up large gaps in the defense. The ability to adjust and a positive response to coaching are good signs.

Honorary defenseman of the game: Dylan Larkin. That is a play-of-the-year candidate to break up a sure empty net goal—a captain’s play.

Detroit Red Wings: Game Three Individual Reports

Ben Chiarot – Grade B. Chiarot continues to clear the crease and be an impressive physical player. He continues to be slow in skating the puck out of the zone.

A highlight was drawing a penalty to end a Kings power play simply by being a pest and goading Kevin Fiala. It would have been nice if he had planted Kopitar on his backside on the lead goal, but that would be a lot to ask.

Moritz Seider – Grade C. Two goals were scored against the Seider-Chiarot pairing as they spent too much time in their own zone for a first pairing. Seider is trying to drive the play instead of letting it come to him. He is pushing a little too hard on offense. Yet, his hustle and skill were on full display as he kept the puck in the zone on the tying goal.

Ollie Määttä – Grade A-. Two more assists. A stay-at-home defenseman is a scoring machine this season.

Filip Hronek – Grade B. Hronek had an eventful game. He communicated well with Maatta. He is the point man on the first power play unit. He made a subtle and excellent pass for the primary assist on David Perron’s third-period power-play goal.

Yet, his shot continues to be inaccurate. His diving follow-up to Larkin’s heroics on the empty net save put his hustle and instincts on display. The overtime goal bounced off his take and knee before entering the net. He played the two-on-one well as he took away the big shot and made the pass a low-probability play. The goal was a bad break.

Robert Hägg – Grade A-. Hagg is a big man and a quality shot blocker. He was solid and sound. And this is what he is asked to do.

Gustav Lindström – Grade C. Lindstrom made some good pinches in the first period to keep plays alive. Yet, overall he frequently loses puck battles, gets out-quicked, knocked down, and finds himself scrambling to get to the right position.

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