The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a notebook article in which he discusses the Red Wings’ need to improve their defensive game:
The Red Wings rank 24th (out of 32 teams) in the NHL allowing 3.24 goals per game. That’s not going to keep the dream alive of possibly stealing a spot in the playoffs.
The Wings have been far too loose for the majority of the season. But victories have masked defensive miscues.
“We made a couple of mistakes and the next thing you know it slips away,” [coach Jeff] Blashill said. “But we’ve got to play better hockey than we’ve been playing. We won a few games in the last little bit that we haven’t been playing quite good enough. We’re giving up too many chances. We have to be a better team defensively if we want to have success.”
What hurt Monday was the fact the Wings appeared to be in control twice, and let Columbus rally. The second time, on Lucas Raymond’s late goal, the Wings enjoyed a 3-2 lead with just over six minutes left. But the Wings collapsed defensively.
“You get the lead late you have to buckle down and at the very least, make them earn it,” Blashill said. “In those last two goals they didn’t have to really earn it. We kind of gave it away. We have to be way better than that. You get the lead at under the six-minute mark, no way should you come away out of it without at least a point and most nights two (points).”