The Detroit Red Wings removed some of the sour taste from the mouths of fans after Thursday night’s collapse against the Tampa Bay Lightning by earning their 1st victory of the 2021-22 season tonight, a 3-1 triumph over the visiting Vancouver Canucks at Little Caesars Arena.
Goals from Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina powered Detroit’s offense, with Sam Gagner hitting the empty net with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Meanwhile, goaltender Thomas Greiss turned in a particularly strong performance, stopping 40 of 41 Vancouver shots.
For head coach Jeff Blashill, it was the play of Greiss that aided in the win for Detroit, who were outshot by their guests 41-20.
“There were chances both ways, we may have had the majority of chances, but certainly in the 3rd they pushed hard, and he made some outstanding saves,” Blashill said of Greiss. “He made that big save in the 2nd where we had the turnover in the neutral zone; he was a big piece of the win.”
The Red Wings have also seen an injection into their power play units, which are now run by new assistant coach Alex Tanguay after the departure of Dan Bylsma. Zadina’s power play goal in the second period proved to be the winner, and the special teams unit continues to show signs of improvement, albeit in a small sample size.
“I’d start by saying it’s a small sample size, we’ll keep working at it,” Blashill said. “It wasn’t good the other night, but it was good tonight. We have to keep proving it night after night – we have a lot to prove before we start talking of how it turned the corner.”
Meanwhile, rookie defenseman Moritz Seider continues to prove he belongs in the National Hockey League. He led all Red Wings skaters in ice time tonight with 22:55, playing in all situations and doing his part to earn the trust of the coaching staff.
“He’s earned some trust coming into here in the 1st place with his game at the different levels he’s played at, he’s done a good job,” Blashill said. “He’s a gamer, he wants those types of minutes. He’s big, he can defend, and he can play offense. Overall, he’s done a good job. There will be growing pains and learning to do, but in the meantime, we’re going to put him out there and let him learn and go through the trials and tribulations young players go through.”
The Red Wings continue their four game home stand to open the season on Tuesday when they welcome in the Columbus Blue Jackets.
– – Quotes via Bally Sports Detroit Link – –