Detroit Red Wings try to shake things up with a rare hard practice

Practice makes perfect, right? Well, that's something the Detroit Red Wings haven't had much time to do with their rigorous schedule this season, primarily due to their trip to Sweden in mid-November.
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The Detroit Red Wings must find a way to right the ship before it's too late. It's time for this organization to take a long look in the mirror and determine if they will sink or swim because the ship is taking on water. The Detroit Red Wings are 2-9 since adding a future Hall of Famer in Patrick Kane, yet he's produced at a point-per-game pace, recording six goals and five assists over that span.

As Mickey Redmond mentioned on one of Detroit's recent telecasts on Bally Sports Detroit. 'If you think Patrick Kane is the reason the Red Wings are amid this tough December stretch, you're stupid.' Redmond followed by stating he doesn't like to use the word stupid and doesn't use it often. He quickly claimed that the people driving that particular narrative don't know a thing about hockey, and he's right. Another telling statistic is the fact that the Detroit Red Wings are 0-15-1 on the season when scoring less than four goals in a game. That's how lousy head coach Derek Lalonde's team is at defending a lead and playing in low-scoring games.

The Detroit Red Wings are a measly 4-8-1 in December and have allowed a whopping 55 goals over that span. In turn, they've scored 43 for a -12 differential. Over this stretch, the Red Wings have had too many defensive lapses and struggled with their defensive zone coverage. That includes not only the defensemen but also the forwards who are not getting to the right spots or coverages on a regular basis. Everything has a ripple effect to it. It only takes one player to make the incorrect decision or play, and before you know it, someone else is trying to do their job, which leaves someone else unattended, etc.

Detroit's backend woes are also enriched by their effort or lack thereof in goal. The odd-man rushes, the breakaway chances, the slot chances, and the grade-A chances allowed have been self-inflicted. When a defender is pinching in the offensive zone, he needs to be covered up by a forward; that's basic. The other problem is, why are you pinching in so much in a 2-2 game when you know you're outmatched in goal? This team needs to play a bit more conservatively and less recklessly to overcompensate for their goaltending issues. The Red Wings haven't gotten consistent play in the net; help appears to be on the way. Detroit is expected to have Alex Lyon back between the pipes on Friday night at home against the Predators. Michael Hutchinson was placed on waivers for reassignment with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Red Wings are expected to be without Ville Husso for a while longer, which means Lyon needs to shoulder the load while the Red Wings try to right this ship.

The Detroit Red Wings had a 'hard' practice on Thursday hoping to shore up their backend.

Dylan Larkin mentioned that they are not hard to play against like they were earlier this season.

"“We’ve had some questionable efforts, but for the most part work hard; a couple of their goals (Wednesday) were over-backchecking,” Larkin said. “When you’re fighting confidence you start overthinking things and I think that’s what we’ve been doing as a team. We need to get back to keeping it simple, working smart and hard. We can’t be running around 90 miles an hour and run out of position.”"

Jake Walman talked about the difficult practice and how it felt like a training camp routine rather than a mid-season tune-up. Maybe this is a good thing? Lalonde said it was not a message-sending affair but more of a much-needed hard, competitive practice.

"“Getting back to what we’re good at and just playing hard, tenacious in the D zone,” Walman said. “We’re letting ourselves down a little bit, not doing the right things. Just trying to get back to that with a hard practice. We got way more to give in the room,” he said. “Losing our identity a little bit. That’s what made us successful the first 25 games. It’s not a (case) of needing something else. We have it in the room. We know what we can do. It’s just doing it consistently.”"

In addition to Lyon, the Detroit Red Wings are expected to get Jeff Petry and Olli Maatta back for Friday night's game against Nashville. In turn, Simon Edvinsson, who had been on an emergency loan, was returned to the Griffins. Lalonde mentioned that Edvinsson was good in his two-game stint with the Red Wings but noted that he felt he lacked urgency and appeared a bit casual in the first game against New Jersey but improved and looked pretty good against Minnesota.

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