Morning Khan, HSJ: Building from a defensive template

MLive’s Ansar Khan filed a subscriber-only article this morning, discussing the Red Wings’ belief that their 2-1 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars is, in its own way, a blueprint for success for the upcoming season:

“It’s critical that we play this way,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “In the Columbus game we won in overtime (Jan. 21), there were very few chances both ways. That’s the way we’re going to have to play. We’d love to create tons of chances and not give many up, but if we’re giving up lots of chances it’ll be hard for us.

“We got to make sure we’re a team that’s really good defensively, that protects that critical ice inside the (face-off) dots, that’s good structurally, and then we get our offense from having the puck more. We still got to find ways to create more offense, but it starts by making sure we’re good on the defensive side of the puck.”

Luke Glendening wasn’t satisfied with one point but was pleased with his team’s work ethic and compete level.

“We would love to score more goals, but we got to make sure we’re tight defensively and limit their chances as best we can to give ourselves the best opportunity to win on a nightly basis,” Glendening said.

Continued, with praise for Givani Smith (paywall); I don’t think that the Red Wings executed anywhere near the level that they need to in all three zones, offensively, defensively, or on special teams last night…

But Blashill and Glendening have a point.

Update: The Free Press’s Helene St. James found that Vladislav Namestnikov made a similar point:

“We want to be a tough team to play against,” Vladislav Namestnikov said after scoring his first goal since joining the Wings. “A lot of people don’t believe in us, but in the locker room we believe in each other.

“We weren’t very good in Chicago. It was way too wide open. We talked about it during these days here in Dallas and we wanted to come out and make it hard on them and play a tight defensive game and I thought for 60 minutes we did that.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.