Four games against stiff competition for the Detroit Red Wings this week. A 3-1 record is an amazing result for this team. Except for one period against Buffalo, the Red Wings looked tight in their own zone. Solid forward play coming back, defense with tight gaps to the forwards, and engaging in quality defensive zone coverage is working.
The players are getting comfortable and buying into the Lalonde system. Even with massive injuries and man-games lost, this team is playing well and within themselves. This is a sustainable winning pace for this team.
A Look at the Detroit Red Wings’ ninth Game of the Season: Buffalo Sabres
A poor game all around that is best forgotten. After such tight defensive efforts, this was sloppy on all fronts. The team defense was just terrible. The lack of game-breakers and goal-scorers was glaring. When Matt Luff is one of your most dangerous offensive players, that is not a good sign.
Buffalo played well and had a lead going into the third, and then the wheels fell off the Detroit Red Wings. Buffalo maintained the pressure and kept the Wings hemmed in their own zone through much of the game. This is the first game where a lack of effort showed up on this team. It happens in a long season; time to move on.
Detroit Red Wings: Game Nine Individual Reports
Ben Chiarot – Grade C. His delay of game penalty hurt the team a lot in the second. This penalty led directly to the fourth goal and started the avalanche of awful.
Moritz Seider—Grade C-. A slow start to the season for Seider, and this game was especially poor. The giveaway that led to the third goal was a major decision error. A nagging injury or being asked to play a role that he is not yet comfortable with may be the reason. I have confidence that he will come around. Also, his assist on the Perron goal was a nice and aggressive play.
Olli Määttä – Grade B. Looking dangerous. Ollie scores again. Copp and Hronek with excellent plays on the goal, and Perron with the screen.
Filip Hronek – Grade C+. He is looking better and better. The results were not there, but he was strong in the first two periods.
Gustav Lindstrom – Grade D. Excellent defensive coverage as the team was hemmed in on the first goal. But he struggled to get the puck moving out of the zone throughout the game. He was broken down after spending more than a minute in his own end and was beaten by a great one-timer in the first period. The second half of the game was a disaster. He missed coverage over and over. Usually, Lindstrom knows what to do but gets beat physically. The second half of this game made a great case to bring Oesterle back.
Robert Hägg – Grade D. Left his man wide open on the 2nd goal. This major defensive mistake was one of many. But this coverage error was as the Wings had worked their way back into the game—a very poor game overall for Hägg.