Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Wings Have To Be Better

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Several blowout losses aside, the Detroit Red Wings are better defensively than they were last season. It is the one area in which they have improved.

That wasn’t apparent, however, from their rash of fundamental defensive mistakes in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Blown coverage allowed the Stars unfettered access to the area in front of the Detroit net, leading to three goals. Another was the result of a turnover. Dallas capped the night with an empty-net goal.

“I think this crew has been pretty good defensively. We haven’t given up many Grade A (scoring opportunities) compared to the rest of the league,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Tonight, I thought we were terrible defensively in those situations. We competed like crazy in the offensive zone. We were on them. We worked hard. Then they came down and we gave easy goals away. We have to be a great defensive team. What happened tonight isn’t good enough.”

continued

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

"We try to keep teams to the outside but we let them get to the inside too much, especially in the first (period)," forward Sam Gagner said. "I don't think it's something that's been happening very often but at the same time when you're playing teams fighting for a playoff spot and they're important games, we need to grow in those areas if we're going to be playoff team in the future here.

"You have to do a better job of not giving up those chances."

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier allowed four goals on 12 shots, thanks mainly to the leaky defense, before being replaced by Greiss on Jamie Oleksiak's fourth Dallas goal at 3:36 of the second period.

"Bernie has been fantastic for us this year and he's worked his way back from injury and we need to do a better job of giving him a chance," Gagner said. "Their chances were grade A chances that are going to be tough to stop. We have to do a better job of keeping things on the outside and not giving up those high danger ones."

more

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Comments

Paul's avatar

I’m bored so…

Andreas Athanasiou this year with the LAK.

35gp, 10g, 10a, -6, 14:49toi.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/21/21 at 10:38 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

AA had a bout with COVID, too. About the trade deadline, I read contract talks were ongoing with the Kings.

From my recollection, he was pretty consistently in the 13-14 min range, but has been getting more minutes recently.

https://www.nhl.com/player/andreas-athanasiou-8476960?stats=gamelogs-r-nhl&season=20202021

Its his lowest ATOI since his first 2 years with Detroit (Edmonton’s 12:19 ATOI not withstanding). But he’d be the Wings’ 3rd highest goals and points scorer.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/21/21 at 11:00 AM ET

Paul's avatar

On Veleno playing in Sweden…

Max Bultman of The Athletic,

“I think it’s a really tough league. It’s very tight defensively,” Veleno said. “I think that was honestly the biggest difference is just how hardworking teams are and how coaches focus so much on defense and being good defensively, and then obviously, good defense transitions to offense.”...

“In terms of his individual play, we were happy with a lot of aspects of his game,” Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff said. “I think his overall 200-foot game, which is what we really want Joe to work on, really came a long way. He was able to play some wing there as well towards the end of the year. He’s added that ability as well, to play all situations up front. … It’s not an easy league to get high production in, so I don’t think his numbers are really reflective of just how good of a season Joe had overall.”...

“Very few players in the league just survive on pure offense, right?” Horcoff said. “And we also know that teams that are successful and win championships have offensive players that are reliable in their own end. And not just reliable, but some of them excel there as well and are really hard to play against and are really reliable defensively. So it’s something that we push on all of our prospects — we want them all to have complete games. We feel that’s the way as an organization we’re going to take a step forward.”

Horcoff said he thinks Veleno projects as a player who someday can kill penalties and play in all situations for them. And if he can, it will be a real boost to Detroit’s ongoing rebuild.

more ($$$)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/21/21 at 11:06 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

“I think it’s a really tough league. It’s very tight defensively,” Veleno said. “I think that was honestly the biggest difference is just how hardworking teams are and how coaches focus so much on defense and being good defensively, and then obviously, good defense transitions to offense.”...

This statement got me thinking - how much focus do the “kid’s” leagues in Canada put on Defense?  Or is it not just a Canadian thing, but an age thing?

Then again, I know at Ferris (my alma mater), Defense was HUGE for that team and a lot of their opponents (MSU, UM, etc).

Posted by TreKronor on 04/21/21 at 11:12 AM ET

Paul's avatar

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today reassigned goaltender Kevin Boyle to the taxi squad from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned goaltender Kaden Fulcher to the Griffins from the taxi squad.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/21/21 at 11:33 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Andreas Athanasiou this year with the LAK.

35gp, 10g, 10a, -6, 14:49toi.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/21/21 at 10:38 AM ET

AA is having a decent season for being injured and missing so many games. On a bad team.

I have been keeping tabs on him.too. thanks Paul for your boredom!

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/21/21 at 12:01 PM ET

Avatar

my own personal favorite..calle jarnkrok 41gp – 12g – 10a - +5

NHL’s #1 weekly star 1 month ago..

Posted by rickytarr on 04/21/21 at 12:56 PM ET

Avatar

To add to the fun, Chicago got a 2nd and 3rd
(with San Jose, a minor defenseman, and two 5ths also involved)
for signing Matthias Janmark and playing him more than Dallas did in his last season there.

The funniest thing about Athanasiou is he’s fought a few times and LA announcers
who didn’t know his playing history in too much detail were wondering if he could add some toughness to the lineup with their huge fighter MacDermaid mostly in the seventh spot.

No reason at this point not to sort of root for all these guys to do well

Posted by lefty.30 on 04/21/21 at 06:21 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com