Derek Lalonde: Red Wings won’t dominate upper echelon teams

The Red Wings won't dominate the elite teams in the NHL, according to head coach Derek Lalonde.

The Red Wings won't dominate the elite teams in the NHL, according to head coach Derek Lalonde.

In last night's season opener for the Detroit Red Wings against the New Jersey Devils, who are considered legitimate title contenders, the final result didn't favor Detroit. This outcome was sealed by New Jersey defenseman Dougie Hamilton's tie-breaking goal with less than five minutes left in regulation. Although Detroit displayed some positive aspects in the first period, head coach Derek Lalonde emphasized after the game that fans shouldn't anticipate them having an easy time against top-tier NHL teams.

Red Wings won't dominate

The Red Wings were flying in Period 1

The Red Wings unquestionably dominated the first period of last night's game, outshooting the Devils, who were hosting, by a significant margin. Additionally, they came agonizingly close to scoring on two separate occasions. However, shots from Klim Kostin and Daniel Sprong both hit the goalpost.

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“The first game, you have to play the right way, ” head coach Derek Lalonde said. “You say the same thing of your first road game, it's so hard because you don't know what to expect. You think you're prepared, I liked our camp. Fortunately for us and I give our guys credit, I don't know if we could have played a better first period. We outchanced them 10-2 with two goalposts and an empty net, but didn't find ourselves in the lead and then we didn't handle the second period very well.”

The Devils eventually overtook Detroit and hung on for the win

The Devils regrouped between the first and second periods, coming back out with a renewed effort in the game's middle frame that featured two goals from star forward Jack Hughes, one of two players the Devils were able to select with the 1st overall pick after winning the Draft Lottery twice in three years.

“We got what we deserved, a deficit going into the third,” Lalonde said. “But again, I liked how we handled the third. We're tied on the road with four minutes left, we need a point that could be last night.”

Derek Lalonde says Red Wings won't dominate top NHL teams for 60 minutes

The positive aspect of the Red Wings is that they showed resilience throughout the game. Even though they fell behind by two goals late, as the Devils scored with goaltender Ville Husso pulled for a 6th attacker, Detroit managed to narrow the gap with a goal from Robby Fabbri. Regrettably, the Devils held on for a 4-3 victory.

“I think the average fan base saw what we saw, we played really well,” Lalonde said. “There were points in the game that we were the better team, by far at times. Then there were times that we were on our heels, that's gonna happen. That's what our division is gonna look like when you play elite teams.”

Lalonde had this message for any Red Wings fans who expect dominating performances against Cup contenders:

“I apologize to anyone in our fan base, but we're not going to go in and dominate the New Jersey Devils or the top-echelon teams for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, we did enough to be successful last night but it was not good enough and we need to find more.”

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. The New Jersey Devils managed to overcome the Detroit Red Wings in last night's game, securing a 4-3 victory.
  2. Head coach Derek Lalonde expressed his disappointment that the Red Wings couldn't secure a point in the standings despite being tied late in the third period.
  3. Lalonde also stated that the Red Wings won't dominate Stanley Cup contenders for a full 60 minutes.

Bottom Line: Better luck tomorrow night!

The Red Wings will make their way back to Little Caesars Arena tomorrow night to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in front of their home fans.

It's clear that they will be highly motivated to give their all and secure their first victory of the 2023-24 season.