Kulfan’s notebook: Wings’ defensive habits improve

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a game-day notebook article discussing the Red Wings’ improved defensive play on the road:

The Wings’ 2-1 victory was a testament to a different-looking Wings team.

“A week ago, I don’t think we played as mature as we did tonight,” said coach Jeff Blashill after the victory. “Again, some of it stems from the fact that we had a chance to practice, got a chance to get our habits back and get our structure back.

“But also, we’ve got a lot of young players in important roles, and I even as a team sometimes, veteran players have to kind of remind themselves what it takes to be a winning-type hockey team. We took steps forward that way.”

Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic continued his recent hot streak with 41 saves, but Blashill didn’t feel many of those Bruins shots were quality scoring chances.

After a brief defensive dip on the trip through Columbus, Dallas, Vegas and Arizona — the Wings didn’t win any of those games — Detroit has rediscovered its defensive structure with some time to practice and rededicate itself to that part of the game.

“From a defensive standpoint, with the exception of a little bit in the second period when we left the puck in our zone when we should’ve got it out, we did a much better job of playing good defensively, of managing the puck at our line, and overall being pretty disciplined,” Blashill said.


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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.