Blues and Red Wings looking some defense
The Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues share common traits after their most recent games, but it’s not something either team is going to be celebrating as they prepare to meet Wednesday night in Detroit.
Both the Wings and Blues scored a bunch of goals in their last game. Detroit scored five on the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis potted four goals against the Winnipeg Jets. The problem was, they gave up a whole bunch more. The Wings were outscored 7-5 on Monday by the Blue Jackets, while the Blues were doubled 8-4 by the Jets on Saturday.
Another slow start, a malady that’s been afflicting the Wings much of this season, got them again Monday, as they fell behind 5-1 before staging a rally.
“It was not nearly good enough,” Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “I think we didn’t win enough of the 50-50 battles and we gave the puck away a little too easily in some areas.
“We made it interesting at the end in the third, but we just couldn’t find a way to get it back. Unfortunately, it’s tough to win games when you spot them seven. You’re not going to win like that.”
Detroit (10-11-3) is now on a three-game skid (0-2-1) after losing just once in the previous seven games.
“The first period, we got outworked,” Detroit center Frans Nielsen said. “They skated more than we did. We got outworked, basically and I mean we don’t have the talent in here that we can afford to get outworked.
“We’ve got to show up every night for 60 minutes if we want to win in this league.”
The Blues (8-11-3) fell behind 6-2 against the Jets — the same score they beat the Nashville Predators by in their previous game.
“This is a tough one to swallow, especially after the effort we gave (against Nashville),” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo told NHL.com. “We’ve got to be ready to play.”
Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine put five pucks in the St. Louis net, becoming the first NHL player to score five goals in a game since Detroit’s Johan Franzen did so against the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 2, 2011.
The Blues have lost four of five and six of eight and were booed off the ice by their own fans for their dismal performance on Saturday.
“I think we haven’t given them that much,” Blues forward Patrick Maroon said. “We haven’t given them St. Louis Blues hockey.”
On the road, the Blues have one win in their last five games (1-3-1). They are 1-2 since Craig Berube replaced Mike Yeo as coach. One of their few bright spots has been the play of right-winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who has 5-7-12 totals in his last 14 games.
For Detroit, right-winger Anthony Mantha scored twice and registered a season-high 10 shots in Monday’s setback. He has three goals in the last two games.
“Mo, he’s a rare breed in a sense that he can score from anywhere with that shot of his,” Kronwall said. “He’s been playing well lately for quite a while now. It’s nice to see him get rewarded for it.”