8 Observations from the Red Wings 6-4 Loss to Chicago

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 04: Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal with Filip Zadina #11 while playing the Chicago Blackhawks during a preseason game at Little Caesars Arena on October 04, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 04: Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal with Filip Zadina #11 while playing the Chicago Blackhawks during a preseason game at Little Caesars Arena on October 04, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings fell into an early 3-0 hole—and dug themselves out with four (4!) power play goals, only building the case for the some of players Wings fans have been clamoring for to make the team. Though they ultimately lost 6-4 to the Chicago Blackhawks, a strong case was made for two Red Wings to make the opening night roster.

Those two would be Lucas Raymond and Bobby Ryan.

We’ll start with the powerplay because my goodness, it’s like an an entirely different team.

#1: The powerplay is a revelation–at least in the preseason. It’s not an overreaction at this point to be intrigued by what the Red Wings are doing on the man advantage. To recap, Chicago was playing what will most likely be their regular special teams units and the Wings lit them up for four goals on the man advantage. Marc-Andre Fleury was also in the net for all four of those tallies.

The biggest shift that’s noticeable is the passing. There is very little hesitation on passes whether it’s cross ice or to the point. The idea appears to be not holding it for long  before finding the next open guy to fire a shot or make another quick pass. Filip Hronek was even teeing up one-timers. But it was Raymond who was drawing all the attention–and still scoring when he did.

#2: Lucas Raymond is a lock to make this roster. At this point, what else does he have to show?

An assist on one. And then the patience, coupled with the shot really makes you wonder how he doesn’t make the roster. Before the scoring chance even happened, it was Raymond who rocketed the puck around the boards to keep the play in the zone. Larkin corralled it and then fed him for the goal.

Raymond’s performance was discussed heavily by both broadcast crews, including NBC Chicago’s Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk. There really isn’t much else to be said. 6 points (2-4) in three games.

Blash, you know what to do.

#3: Bobby Ryan should sign that contract at any point now. He isn’t the superstar he once was but he’s a right hand shot who generates offense and has been noticeable on the ice in every game he’s played. He looks comfortable on the powerplay as well, and at this point, would only help the likes of Raymond, Zadina and even Larkin as the team continues to grow together.

#4: It was nice seeing Moritz Seider notch his first goal of the preseason on a rocket from the point. He had some hiccups in the game, including a dangerous pass in front of the net that nearly resulted in a goal against but those moments of learning will happen. His steadiness on the powerplay, responsibility in his own end, and calm play–even in the midst of the rookie mistakes that will inevitably happen–speak to a rookie ready for a full NHL season.

#5: The Yzerplan that has been debated at length seems to be enjoying some of the fruits of those scouting and decision making labors. The decision to take Seider at six was certainly met with skepticism at the time, but now looks like it could provide a massive foundational piece for the rebuild. Nick Leddy, whose appearance in Detroit was also questioned in some regards–specifically for yielding a second round pick–has turned out to be  another very nice piece in pushing the offensive progress this preseason. There are countless numbers of hits, and also some misses, but it can be agreed that things appear–based on early returns–headed in the right direction.

#6: Which brings us to Jeff Blashill. In his seventh season, there hasn’t been a more important season than this one. Regardless of what you think about the head coach, the last two seasons were not a fair ground to judge him upon. Yzerman himself said that Blashill had done an impressive enough job and that they worked in close tandem on the development of the younger players. The powerplay has revealed a massive improvement, thanks to new coach Alex Tanguay’s more efficient system. But the pressure heightens come October 14th, when Detroit opens up its season.

The team should in theory show some kind of improvement–but just how much improvement remains to be seen.

#7: Because as exciting as the younger players have been to watch, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for Detroit to get one final crack at the draft lottery and snag a top three talent if the odds would finally roll their way. There has been a palpable excitement in Red Wings hockey for the first time in a long while–with the likes of Seider and Raymond knocking on the door of the NHL and inching closer to making the impact Wings fans have dreamt about.

So now it will become an argument of what you’re rooting for as a Red Wings fan. But can’t you have both–the subtle improvement that comes with one final shot at a lottery victory? I still view this team as a bottom ten–especially in what will be a tough division and conference. But it’ll be fun to see them win some more games along the way with the younger talent rising to the occasion.

#8: The latest on Tyler Bertuzzi was highlighted by the Athletic’s Max Bultman:

Regardless of how you read it, it’s business as usual and as Blashill said in an earlier press conference, they’ll be careful with Bertuzzi coming back. Hanging over all of this, of course, is the whole issue with Bertuzzi’s vaccination status, which puts a microscope on just about everything little thing he does–or doesn’t do.

For now, it appears Bertuzzi won’t compete again until the season opener.

Must Read. Red Wings fall to Blackhawks 6-4, but Raymond Impresses Again. light