A Look at the Detroit Red Wings’ Twenty-Sixth Game of the Season: Florida Panthers
This is a game better forgotten after a great road win against Tampa Bay. The energy was low for the Detroit Red Wings. The return of Aleksander Barkov energized the Panthers in all aspects of the game. In addition, Husso, Maatta, and Walman did not play. Playing without three players who are crucial to keeping the puck out of the Red Wings’ goal was not a recipe for success. A 5-1 defeat was to be expected. The depth on the blue line and in goal is not strong enough to give starters a break or withstand injury and illness. Alex Nedeljkovic was not strong.
Detroit Red Wings: Game Twenty-Six Individual Reports
Moritz Seider – Grade C. Barkov and Tkachuk were all over the Red Wings. I am starting to be convinced that the Seider and Chiarot pairing is not working as the first pairing. Being on the ice for so many defensive zone faceoffs against the opposition’s top lines takes a toll. Seider and Maatta would be a strong first pairing. Hronek is playing so well, his defensive game has improved dramatically, and he is now taking charge when he is on the ice. Chiarot and Hronek are worth the experiment.
Ben Chiarot – Grade C. After such a tight and strong game, this game was an undisciplined effort from Chiarot. He chased the play throughout.
Filip Hronek – Grade B. He has been the best player on the blue line. This was a test, as Olli Maatta missed the game with an illness. In a game of poor performances, Hronek played well.
Jordan Oesterle – Grade C. Oesterle is the utility infielder on this team who steps in when needed. He was asked to do a little too much, but he was also solid.
Robert Hagg – Grade D. The third pairing on the blue line was where momentum went to die. Hagg was not strong and had a rough return to the ice.
Gustav Lindstrom – Grade D-. A minus three is a pretty fair summary of Lindstrom’s evening. And it could have been worse. It had been several games since he had been on the ice. He did not make a case for additional ice time.