Bultman offers ten thoughts regarding the Wings’ opening-night loss

Among The Athletic’s Max Bultman’s “Ten Thoughts” regarding the Red Wings’ 7-6 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night:

5. But hockey games are not 53 minutes long, and as the game got into its crucial final moments, the Red Wings couldn’t close it out.

Not having Larkin — a crucial matchup player for them — didn’t help, but the unwinding started on Filip Hronek’s failed chip up the boards, which Erik Cernak fielded then found Ross Colton on the back door to make it 6-4. From there, Detroit took a penalty, Nikita Kucherov scored on the ensuing power play (a six-on-four power play after the Lightning pulled the goalie), and then Alex Killorn tied the score 76 seconds later, with Nedeljkovic still getting back into his net after he had come out to play the puck.

Of the final goal, Blashill said, “Ultimately, to be honest with you, our ‘D’ is supposed to report to a spot and he’s supposed to be able to play the puck there.”

6. Regardless, even against the two-time defending champs, even without Larkin, this is a game the Red Wings have to win when leading by three that late.

The Red Wings never touched the puck in overtime, but they shouldn’t have had to. It never should have gotten there, with that kind of lead, that late.

Detroit’s not built to score six goals regularly, so to lose despite scoring that many goals is a huge missed opportunity — for an extra point in the standings, and also for a huge early-season confidence booster in front of that crowd.

Continued (paywall)

Published by

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.