No New Year's Party: Detroit Red Wings frustrated over ‘missed assignments' on the defensive front in their loss to the Boston Bruins.
The frustrating trend continues for the Detroit Red Wings, extending their streak to 16 games without a win when scoring less than four goals. Despite battling back to tie the game in the 2nd period against the Boston Bruins, defensive errors haunted them in the 3rd period. The Bruins secured a 5-3 victory, concluding a challenging December for the Red Wings.
The Red Wings once again lost when being held to three or fewer goals
The Boston Bruins gained a 2-0 lead against the Red Wings, courtesy of two goals by Bruins forward Trent Frederic, occurring late in the 1st period and early in the 2nd. An alarming moment ensued during Frederic's first goal as he made contact with goaltender Alex Lyon after scoring with a backhand shot. Lyon remained on the ice in visible discomfort for over a minute, receiving attention from team trainers, while backup James Reimer readied himself to enter the game. Lyon, however, deemed himself fit to continue.
Defenseman Jake Walman maintained his impressive form, netting his third goal in two consecutive games to narrow Detroit's deficit. Soon after, Detroit's blue line struck again as Ben Chiarot found the net, leveling the score at 2-2.
However, a lost faceoff in their defensive zone during the 3rd period set the stage for Charlie Coyle‘s one-timer past Lyon. The Bruins extended their lead with a late 3rd-period empty-net goal. Despite a subsequent power-play goal from J.T. Compher that sparked hope for a New Year's Eve comeback, Boston sealed the game with another open-net goal, securing a 5-3 win.
Ben Chiarot talks missed defensive assignments
Chiarot addressed the team's defensive status, acknowledging the necessity for improvement due to costly missed defensive assignments.
“It was better tonight, still a couple of missed assignments that cost us, but better for sure,” he said. “Not as frequent in the breakdowns, but still could be better.”
Scoring a pair of second-period goals, particularly from defensemen, is always a bonus for Detroit.
“It's great, any time you can get offense from the back end, it's going to help you win a game. But it wasn't enough tonight, obviously. As defensemen, we're always looking to jump in and contribute.”
He then stated that he doesn't feel that Detroit is “shooting themselves in the foot” but rather needs to pay better attention to detail, especially against a dangerous opponent like the Boston Bruins.
“I don't know if we're shooting ourselves in the foot, but it's just a little bit of attention to details, knowing that you have your guy in our zone or five guys in front of you if you're a defenseman, or whatever the case is,” he said. “Just knowing you're in a sound defensive position, especially against a team like Boston, they can make you pay so fast. Just a little more attention to detail I think would be helpful in being a stronger defensive team.”
“Those are things we’re working on here and it takes time to know and be comfortable in how to play those games,” he concluded. “That’s something we’re figuring out still.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Red Wings fell tonight on New Year's Eve against the Boston Bruins by a 5-3 final score.
- The frustrating trend of Detroit being unable to secure victory when held to less than four goals continued into a 16th straight game.
- The missed defensive assignments left the Detroit Red Wings frustrated, and they must pay better attention in their defensive zone; especially against a tough opponent like Boston.
Bottom Line: California-bound
Heading west for a California road trip against the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks, the Red Wings are gearing up for crucial matchups.
To reignite their playoff aspirations, they'll need to shake off December's challenges and kick off the new year with a fresh start. It's a pivotal moment if they aim to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.