Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Wings Stuck To Their Game Plan

10/15/2022 at 11:44am EDT

from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press,

The Canadiens were the NHL’s worst team last season and there’s little reason to think they’ll make much of a leap this year. But they stuck to their plan of falling back on defense and protecting Allen, who was peppered with pucks all night.

Still, the Wings were tied with a bad team through two periods in the season opener at home, with Vladimir Konstantinov in a suite and the Calder Trophy in the building to recognize Moritz Seider’s excellent rookie season.

Were the Wings really going to lose this game? Was this the way a season with so much hope and promise was going to start?

Then Lalonde did something in the second intermission that might be the hardest thing for a coach to pull off. He asked his players to believe in what they were doing, even though they couldn’t see the results of that work. He asked for their faith.

“Just stay on task, and that’s all we talked about,” he said. “You know this early on there's so many little things you can pick apart in the game, and that’s what tomorrow morning will be for.

“But just staying on task with it. Don't chase it, you don't need to chase it. Because there's a couple times in the second (period) — and that team will make you pay — we were close to a couple of turnovers. We're close to mismanaging the puck.”



I don't think the Canadiens are going to be as bad this year as Carolos intones. They gave a highly skilled Toronto team a defeat in Montreal on Wednesday, and made the game vs the Wings much closer than the score at the end dictated. Like the Wings, Montreal under a new coach is also an improved team. How much, we'll see by mid season I'd guess.


"He asked his players to believe in what they were doing, even though

they couldn’t see the results of that work. He asked for their faith."

I believe that Blashill asked pretty much the same thing from Wings players during his tenure. But I also believe that very few of his players bought into it. Why? Who knows. Phrasing of the message? It's delivery? The actual message itself?

But for whatever reason, this group of Wings players has bought into the message that Lalonde is delivering. Larkin said as much during training camp and actually gushed about how excited he was to implement Lalonde's process, er, I mean approach.

Why are they listening to Lalonde? Maybe it's because he wants his players to call him "Newsy" instead of coach. Maybe it's his calm and confident demeanor. Whatever it is, it's damn refreshing to see the change in guys like Ras and Veleno. They obviously not only "get it," they seem to love it.

I told a friend of mine in Detroit who's been a "casual" Wings fan: "Watch every game and watch it closely, buddy, because you're about to see something really special unfold right before your eyes in the next couple of years."

He called after last night's game and said, "Wow. That was exciting." Now he gets it too.

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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.

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