The Detroit Red Wings hit the road once again on Dec. 16 for a matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Red Wings looked to get back on track after dropping four of their last five games but took on a Flyers team that has been surging as of late. A three-period offensive struggle once again for the Red Wings led to another loss, though, this time a 1-0 shutout.
Offense Stays Cold
Even though the Red Wings tallied a total of 33 shots on Flyers goalie Samuel Ersson, they were unable to get anything past him. Thanks in large part to a mix of solid defense by the Flyers and the fact that the Red Wings did not get themselves traffic in front of Ersson, the Flyers kept the Red Wings offense quiet.
The offense did see a couple of players have solid showings, with Daniel Sprong, Robby Fabbri, and Patrick Kane all having four shots on Ersson. While Fabbri has been on a tear this season while healthy, Sprong and Kane have not been able to get themselves on the scoresheet as much as they had hoped, and that continued in the loss to the Flyers. Kane seems to be snake-bitten after having a couple of high-quality chances on Ersson but just could not find the back of the net. Since signing with the Red Wings, he has tallied only one goal and one assist.
While the entire team seems to be in a funk offensively since their six-goal outburst on Dec. 12 against the St. Louis Blues, players like Fabbri, Kane, and Alex DeBrincat have been expected to help carry the load, with both David Perron and Dylan Larkin being out of the lineup. The latter of the three has seemingly failed to do so, and that continued against the Flyers.
Husso Looks Solid in Relief
About halfway through the second period, starting goalie Alex Lyon went down with what looked like a lower-body injury. He had looked solid outside of the lone goal of the game being on his record (thanks to an accidental deflection by JT Compher) but stopped 14 of 15 shots before the injury. Ville Husso held down the role of relief guy for the Red Wings and looked rock solid for the rest of the game. He stopped all 14 shots he faced in the period and a half that he played for the team and helped keep them in the game when the defense in front of him seemingly collapsed.
Two solid performances in his last two games are a welcomed sign from Husso, and the hope is that he can continue to play solid (and hopefully avoid blunders like he had against the Hurricanes). If Lyon, who has been solid since signing a two-year deal with Detroit over this last offseason, is out for any extended time with his injury, the likely scenario is that Husso will be relied upon heavily once again with James Reimer backing him up.
Seider’s and Walman’s Struggles Continue
After last season saw Moritz Seider and Jake Walman become the Red Wings’ top pairing on defense while becoming solid shutdown defensemen, the two have struggled mightily as of late. The loss to the Flyers was no different.
Latest News & Highlights
While their offensive numbers have both looked good in the box scores, there is an argument that these two have been the team’s worst defensemen over the last few games. Against the Flyers, they seemed to be lost in the defensive zone and were caught running around the zone. Leaving their positions in the defensive zone led to several chances for the Flyers that should not have even happened. Luckily, between Husso and Lyon, they were able to bail their defensemen out and keep the game to a one-goal deficit.
The top pairing for the Red Wings will be looked upon to improve their defensive play and help lead the way if the team wants to have any continued success for the remainder of the season. On top of that, with Seider looking for a contract extension this offseason, he will have to pick up his all-around play if he wants to get paid what he feels is fitting for himself. Not that he has completely fallen off, but his play in the defensive zone as of late has not helped his case.
Other Game Notes
- The Red Wings remain the only team in the NHL that has not been able to win a game in which they have scored three or fewer goals.
- The hope is that captain Dylan Larkin can either return for the team’s matchup against the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 18 or the Dec. 20 contest against the Winnipeg Jets.
What’s Next for the Red Wings
The team hits the ice three times this upcoming week (Dec. 18- Dec. 24) when they play the Ducks on Dec. 18 before hitting the road on Dec.20 against the Jets. They will welcome back David Perron from his six-game suspension on Dec. 22 when they look for revenge against the Flyers before finally finishing off a busy week in New Jersey on Dec. 23 when they take on Jack Hughes and the Devils.