The Detroit Red Wings looked to build off a much-needed win against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 29 when they took on the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) but ended up being stymied by the Bruins and strong goaltending from Jeremy Swayman. While the Red Wings took the loss, there were some positive takeaways from the game.
A Complete Game
One of the Red Wings’ biggest problems this season has been not being able to play a full 60-minute game, which most of the time has led to games getting away from them. But against the Bruins, they seemed to have played one of their most complete games of the season. Even after falling behind by two in the early stages of the second period, they showed the fight and resolve to get themselves back in the game and tie the game up by the end of the period.
The team also has had noted issues with their team defense through the last month, but there were very few unforced errors and mistakes that led to scoring chances for the Bruins. But, the one miscue that did happen in the defensive zone did lead to a Bruins goal thanks to a defensive lapse by Jeff Petry being in no-man’s land after a rare faceoff loss by Dylan Larkin. Petry has not been quite the boost the Red Wings hoped he would be when they acquired him in the offseason.
The fight and resolve to come back in a game against a team the stature of the Bruins is a step in the right direction for the Red Wings but they sadly learned that there is a small margin for error against a team like them as well.
Defense Getting Offensive
Two of the three goals that the Red Wings scored in the game came from their defensemen, with Jake Walman and Ben Chiarot both getting in on the action in the loss. Walman has been on a tear the last two games, scoring three times for the Red Wings and showing off his lethal shot. This is a much-welcomed sign for a player who seemingly struggled over the last month and could serve as a confidence booster for him going forward.
For the 2022 free-agent signee Chiarot, he has shown a willingness as of late to jump into the offense and his strong play was rewarded with a goal against the Bruins thanks to jumping into the play from the point. After receiving a good pass from Andrew Copp, Chiarot was able to get a solid shot off that beat Swayman.
The defensemen being able to get involved in the action offensively is surely a continued welcoming thing for the Red Wings and helps out in cases when the forward group has not been able to get themselves “going”.
Lyon Looks Solid
Playing in his second straight game, offseason acquisition Alex Lyon looked solid for the most part in between the pipes for the Red Wings. While he did allow a goal that he quite possibly would want a second chance at, he also made several big saves for the team to keep the game close and has strung together two games where he has looked like a component goalie for the team.
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After the Bruins’ first goal of the game, Lyon took on a hard collision with Trent Frederic and looked as if he would be coming out of the game with an injury (much to the worry of Red Wings fans). But he was able to stay in and continue to look solid and healthy for the remainder of the game. If he can continue to hold down the fort with Ville Husso remaining out with injury, there is a chance he could be in line for even more chances in the net as the season treks on. He will be a major asset to the team if he plays up to his potential.
Other Game Notes
- Patrick Kane’s six-game point streak came to an end in the loss but had another solid game with a team-high five shots on goal. He also created numerous chances in the offensive zone for the team per usual.
- The Red Wings finished the month of December with a 5-9-1 record while allowing a league-worst 4.27 goals per game.
What’s Next for the Red Wings
The team looks to leave the struggles of December behind them and get some revenge against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 2 when they travel to San Jose for the first game of a three-game West Coast road trip.