The Detroit Red Wings are very good at using their body to shield the puck, getting hits while fore-checking, and hitting while back-checking, but other than Niklas Kronwall, no one is actively looking to lay a big hit.
Back in the Red Wings glory days (late 90′s early 00′s); Darren McCarty, Joey Kocur, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Lapointe, Vladimir Konstantinov, Bob Rouse, Aaron Ward, and Slava Fetisov all looked to punish players for putting their heads down.
Even in 2007-08, The last time the Red Wings won the Cup, they had a few players actively looking to punish players for having the puck on their sticks, but this year there is a serious lack of killer instinct from the team.
Instead of completely leveling Lucic, Glendening stuck his stick in and tried to poke the puck away from Lucic. Lucic ended up losing the puck after Glenedning passed him, but it landed on Torey Krug‘s stick, who gave it back to Lucic to start the break in and eventually scored on the play after a pass from Jarome Iginla.
The video below starts just after Luke Glendening does a fly by on Milan Lucic.
Milan Lucic has four inches and forty pounds on Luke Glendening, but Lucic was standing straight-up and not moving, while Glendening was moving and had leverage on Lucic and could have laid him out.
Glendening would not have felt well after hitting Lucic, but it would have sent a message to one of the most physical players on their team and took him out of the play.
The Detroit Red Wings will never actively look for the big hit and cannot allow themselves to play Boston’s game, but it is time for this team to take advantage of the opportunities given to them and knock down players when the chance arises.