The Detroit Red Wings are looking to bounce back in the upcoming two game series against the Dallas Stars. Detroit had a rough previous two games, getting dominated at the United Center to the Blackhawks. The Wings allowed ten goals with 3 of which coming on the power play. The Stars on the other hand, are coming off a strong opening series against Nashville, going 2-0 and outsourcing the Predators 10 to 2. The play of Anton Khudobin between the pipes has been flawless, allowing only 2 goals on 51 shots. The Red Wings will have their hands full between the Stars and players still missing due to Covid protocols.
Detroit had their fan base excited after the 2-2 start, however the previous series against the Blackhawks have shot those hopes down. A lot of the same issues that plagued the team last year have shown up once again. There truly were not many positives to take away from the two game series. Dylan Larkin did continue to show you why Steve Yzerman named him the captain of this team at the beginning of the season. Larkin made a beautiful solo effort in Friday night’s contest that had Wings fans jumping in the third period. Their joy was short-lived as the Blackhawks would push the game back to 4-1 just five minutes later. One image that will stand out from the weekend series was a goal scored by Mattias Janmark. Anthony Mantha appears to not give a full effort when it came to tying up the forward, which the NBC national announcers were quick to point out. As fans of the Red Wings don’t want to see Mantha drop the gloves anymore, they do want him to use his 6’ 5”, 230lbs frame to be more physical, especially in hard working areas like in front of the net.
Covid-19 has affected many teams throughout the NHL, maybe none more than the Dallas Stars. The Stars were forced to postpone their first four games of the season while the team got the outbreak under control. At one point the team confirmed 17 players and personnel had tested positive for the virus, which forced a shutdown of the teams already shortened training camp. The Red Wings have had to fight their own battles regarding Covid-19 lately. Names like Fabbri and Zadina have been missed dearly as this team continues to struggle to find secondary scoring. The only positive regarding the Detroit Covid situation is no one else has been added to the list since Filip Zadina was added last Friday.
Red Wings fans, I challenge you to maybe not pay attention to the score of these next two contests, but to the grit and tenacity of this team. Detroit must make both of these next two games competitive or it could be the start of a very long season. The Wings at times last year carried a nine and twelve game losing streak. This is something Coach Blashhill must prevent from happening again or he may find himself as one of the first coaches on the hot seat.
Photo via Paul Sancya/AP