The first six games of the season for the Red Wings could be considered as a game of “hot and cold”. After winning their first three games, the team has now fallen victim on the scoreboard in their last three. They have been out-shot on average by a margin of 33-23 in those six games. While there isn’t particularly one certain area that needs to be singled out, head coach Jeff Blashill has decided to use this as an opportunity to try and get the defensemen going offensively, which might bring about some changes in the defensive pairings.
“We’re not sure what we’re doing tomorrow with the D corps, so I wanted to explain that to them,” Blashill told Mlive.com. “We’re not sure about the pairings yet. I just think, as a team, we’ve got to be better and the D corps has got to be better. I just wanted to make sure they knew that.”
To this point, the Wings have used seven defensemen in their six games. Niklas Kronwall, Kyle Quincey, Mike Green, Jakub Kindl, Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith, and Danny DeKeyser. They have combined for 29 shots and six points as a unit. It was anticipated that the defense would be more active offensively this season, especially after signing the offensive minded Green.
“I think two things, I know for sure are Mike’s got elite talent and Mike cares a bunch,” said Blashill. “He wants to win. He wants to be part of a winner, and he wants to improve.”
Quincey has accounted for the only goal from the Red Wings blue-liners, which was scored on an empty net. Blashill also indicated that Smith would be re-inserted into the lineup in at least one of the team’s next two games, after being a healthy scratch in the last two.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg doesn’t think that the problem has been adjusting to new coaches.
“It’s more execution. It’s up to us,” Zetterberg said. “We have to be better when we get our chances. Turnovers will happen; we just have to minimize them.”
What are your thoughts, Nation? Do the Red Wings have the blue-line corps to right the ship?