MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a “the morning after” notebook article which reflects upon the Red Wings’ 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. Khan notes that both coach Jeff Blashill and captain Dylan Larkin suggested that the way the Wings played in Friday’s game is in fact the way they need to play to win games regularly:
“That’s the formula for us to be successful,” coach Jeff Blashill said following his team’s 3-1 loss at Amalie Arena. “We just have to make sure our preparation is great. Our guys know we can play this type of hockey and have a chance to be successful. Do we need to find ways to score? Yes. But we have to be in games like this every night, and if we are, you give yourself the best chance to win.”
The Red Wings (2-7-2) are winless in seven (0-5-2) but felt much better about their effort than two nights earlier in a 5-1 loss to the Lightning.
“I’m proud of the way we showed up after a tough night,” Dylan Larkin said. “We played hard. You saw guys all over the ice finishing checks. It makes a difference when we’re bumping them. They’re a skilled team. They want to play with the puck and when we’re finishing them and making it hard on (goaltender Andrei) Vasilevskiy and going after their defensemen, they don’t think as much about offense and playing with the puck. We have to continue that gritty style of game and be hard to play against.”
Continued (paywall); I’m sticking with my argument that the Wings’ current style of play can be modified to be more assertive. As I see it, right now, the Wings are still far too comfortable waiting for a good break to happen instead of dictating the pace of play or the outcome of the game themselves.