An 0-2 start for the first time since 2009 has Red Wings fans in a frenzy and bench boss Jeff Blashill has only liked two of his defenseman’s play writes the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. Only Jonathan Ericsson and Xavier Ouelett have played well enough to garner Blashill’s praise and for the Wings, it’s been a brutal stretch early as they’ve struggled to score goals, generate shots on goal, and be responsible in their own end. The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan reports quoted captain Henrik Zetterberg as saying that the Wings’ efforts haven’t been good enough:
“We’re not really connected right now. We should be able to create more than we have been in these two games. Can’t blame it on chemistry. We’re supposed to be better hockey players than that and should be able to create more.”
Positives are free agent pick ups Thomas Vanek and Frans Nielsen have been effective in the first two games, and Petr Mrazek has kept games from getting completely out of control. But there is a glaring need on defense, and it will be interesting to see if the Wings address it soon.
With the early woes, many fans have already begun calling for the heads of anyone in management, but fan blog Winging It In Motown writes that a steady course is the best bet for Detroit. Though the Red Wings have struggled out of the gate, and looked poor through stretches of both games, the column states that Blashill can only do so much. As stated by Zetterberg, time and familiarity could bring success.
In other Wings news:
- Evgeny Svechnikov and Anthony Mantha both scored goals in Grand Rapids’ 3-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves, making the calls for Mantha’s promotion louder. Mantha has now scored in both Griffins victories, with one goal coming on the power play. Mantha was on the bubble of making the final roster, but the spot went to Andreas Athanasiou, who spent considerable time with the Red Wings last season. Mantha, who bulked up in the offseason, continues to make strong impressions in the hope of getting a longer stay with the big club. Svechnikov, who wasn’t expected to make the roster, has shown his own flashes of brilliance and while the team is struggling in Detroit, there still appears to be a solid pipeline of talent that could come up should the season turn disastrous.