The Detroit Red Wings’ prospects were just a little too fancy and just a little too fine on Friday night, going 1-for-8 on the power play and losing 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild’s prospects.
The Wings started strong and their top players were good-to-great, but the Wings’ prospects seemed to be missing a little cohesion and a lot of net-front drive, and between getting out of flow due to the 12 special teams situations (8 PP’s and 4 PK’s) and the loss of Vili Saarijarvi (undisclosed) for the third period, the Wings were just unnerved enough to be kept on their heels by an opportunistic Wild team.
Patrik Rybar was superb in the Wings’ net despite giving up 3 goals on 34 shots (the Wild’s final goal was an empty-netter); Filip Zadina scored a brilliant one-timer goal, Jared McIsaac snuck one in from the center point, and Dennis Cholowski and Joe Veleno had 2 assists apiece.
To their credit, the Wings’ leadership group stuck around in the locker room after the game, but the boys weren’t in a talkative mood, so I only snagged a couple of interviews:
Filip Zadina is an emotional guy, and he was down in the dumps after Friday’s loss. Zadina didn’t feel that the level of play was something he wasn’t prepared for, pointing out that his Halifax Mooseheads played at a high level and a hard quality in the QMJHL, but Zadina admitted that he and his teammates needed to shoot first and ask questions later, especially on the power play. Zadina was relatively happy with his linemates’ performances as well (he played with Michael Rasmussen, and for most of the game, Givani Smith), but he agreed when asked if this was a game the Wings need to flush now and focus on Saturday’s tasks at hand:
Dennis Cholowski is wearing an “A,” as are Rasmussen and Saarijarvi, and Cholowski speaks like a veteran, poised and measured in his remarks. He was disappointed about the result and felt that the Wings’ effort was a little too skittish, despite their power play chances. While he pointed out that the Wings were trying to get to know each other while playing in their first game together, he felt that there were enough returning players that the team should have been a little more cohesive:
Finally, coach Ben Simon suggested that his team did fairly well, but was too eager to pass and too eager to make the complicated play when the simple one would do, and as a result, when mistakes happened, they tended to pile up. Simon felt that the team did well despite losing Saarijarvi on the blueline, and he suggested that the players will treat Saturday’s game vs. Dallas as a must-win affair:
Update: DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji also spoke with Jared McIsaac after the game:
“I thought we played pretty well. A couple breakdowns, which are fixable. Those things we can tie up and be fine for tomorrow.”@McisaacJared following tonight’s #DRWPT game. pic.twitter.com/kEVLzve8pM
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 8, 2018