Derek Lalonde responds to question about whether or not the Red Wings are overachieving
The Detroit Red Wings‘ journey through the 2023-24 NHL season has kicked off with a bang, and the question that's been buzzing in the minds of fans and pundits alike is whether they're overachieving. Following Wednesday's win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde was asked about to share his thoughts.
A Rough Start
On Wednesday night, the Red Wings displayed their prowess by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. The game started with the Penguins taking an early lead, finding the net just 53 seconds into the first period. Lalonde expressed his disappointment, citing a defensive lapse that gave Evgeni Malkin a golden opportunity.
“A really poor mishap on the first goal against,” Detroit head coach Derek Lalonde said. “We have a neutral-zone design to have numbers back and a nice gap. For whatever reason, we backed off and gave (Evgeni) Malkin, maybe the hottest player in the league right now, an unbelievably poor gap.”
Red Wings Storm Back Before Letting Foot Off the Gas
Lalonde commended his team for their resilience, particularly during a second period in which they outscored the Penguins 3-0. However, the third period saw a shift in momentum, as the Penguins clawed back with two goals, reducing the Red Wings' lead to a narrow 4-3. Nevertheless, when the Penguins pulled their goalie in a last-ditch effort, the Red Wings capitalized with two empty-net goals, securing the victory.
“I didn't mind our start. We had a couple looks, could have easily extended it and got a fifth goal. Both goals against were just really poor arrival tracks back into our zone where we just didn't sort it. We gave easy shots through traffic. And then, maybe a little credit to our competition, we got on our heels. I didn't mind the start of it, but didn't like once they scored.”
Are the Red Wings Overachieving?
Lalonde recognized that despite a productive camp, there were simple mistakes in their gameplay leading to easy offensive opportunities for the Penguins. Yet, on the whole, he sees the first four games of the season as a positive continuation of a successful training camp.
“It's tough. It's just so early. It just feels like a continuation from a really productive camp. I think we've played four pretty good games. Not perfect, even tonight we had some simple mistakes in our game that lead to some pretty easy offense. But again, on a whole, I just think it's a good stretch of four games coming off a really good camp.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Red Wings claim a 6-3 victory over the Penguins, despite a shaky start.
- Derek Lalonde credits his team's ability to secure a win against a strong opponent.
- Lalonde sees the first four games as a positive continuation of a successful training camp.
Bottom Line – The Journey Continues
As the Red Wings' season progresses, the question of whether they are overachieving remains a point of intrigue. Derek Lalonde's assessment provides a glimpse into the team's mindset and their determination to build on their positive start. The Red Wings are embarking on a promising journey, and their progress is one to watch closely throughout the season. One thing is for certain, it sure has been a fun start to the season, and we can only hope it continues!