Kulfan’s off-day notebook: Wings flop defensively vs. Avs

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan has already filed an off-day notebook which focuses on the Wings’ defensive struggles over the course of last night’s 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche:

“It was a litmus test for us defensively and we know we have to grow and get better,” coach Jeff Blashill said. 

The Wings (13-12-3) have lost their last three games, and have been outscored 18-7 in the process. They continue to have difficulty winning away from Little Caesars Arena, with a dismal 4-9-1 record.

“I’ve talked about it a lot — when you’re on the road you have to be great defensively and you have to manage the puck great to win,” said Blashill, who added the Wings haven’t been overly great in those two areas lately at LCA either. “Those two areas, if we want to be a team that can with both on the road at home, we have to do better at. It’s a lesson our guys are learning.”

To have any sort of success Friday, it was important for the Wings to have a good start and keep the Ball Arena crowd — which, incidentally, had a large segment of Wings fans, Detroit natives who arrived early for the Lions’ game here Sunday — out of the equation.

But the Avalanche scored three quick goals in just over 10 minutes, and the rout was on.

“They’re a premier offensive team, you give them time and they’ll roll around and make plays,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “You have to find a way to grind out your shift and stay tight and we just got beat on our assignments, and especially early. It was a disastrous start and you can’t have that kind of start in this building.”

Continued; Kulfan also reports that Tyler Bertuzzi and Marc Staal *may* return from COVID protocols in time for Tuesday’s game vs. the Islanders.

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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.