The 3-2-0 Detroit Red Wings may have a winning record after five games, but their coach doesn’t like the way they’re trending.
“We told the team [Monday that] if we have the exact same process this five-game segment, we’re probably not a playoff team,” Jeff Blashill said, per MLIVE. “So our process has to get better and that’s what we’ve tried to work on these last two days.”
Shot totals have to be a statistical concern for Blashill. The Red Wings have yet to register more than 24 in a single game. Overall, they’ve been outshot 167-107.
Not surprisingly, Blashill wants his team to have the puck more in the attacking zone. He’s also had the Wings work on the power play at practice.
The Red Wings play the Oilers tonight in Edmonton. They’re in Calgary Friday and Vancouver Saturday.
Five games in and Colorado coach Patrick Roy is already on the defensive about his team’s advanced stats.
“The part I don’t like about the Corsi is you could shoot from the redline, or you could shoot from a terrible angle and your Corsi will look good,” Roy said today (video).
While technically true, we’re not aware of any team that actually does just shoot from wherever in hopes of improving its Corsi. That wouldn’t be very smart hockey. By and large, a team’s Corsi is a reasonably good measure of how much it’s controlling the puck.
Anyway, you probably don’t have to be told that the Avalanche don’t have a very good Corsi. In fact, it’s the worst in the league, according to War On Ice.
On Sunday, the Avs (2-3-0) lost 2-1 in Los Angeles and were outshot 40-23. They’ve been outshot in each of the five games they’ve played this season, by a combined margin of 163-121.
“I don’t think it’s because of the numbers of shots we’ve been giving, it’s more of the shots that we’re not taking,” said Roy, who prefers to track scoring chances rather than measures like Corsi or Fenwick.
Of course, the Avs haven’t been very good in that department either, per War on Ice.
Colorado hosts Carolina on Wednesday.
Radim Vrbata joked the other day that maybe he’d “never score again.”
It’s been that kind of a start for Vancouver’s veteran winger, who’s registered 25 shots without a goal this season. Vrbata led the Canucks with 31 tallies last year. Around a third of his goals were scored at five-on-five with the Sedin twins.
And so Vrbata has been reunited with Daniel and Henrik. The trio was reportedly skating together at practice this morning, ahead of a visit Thursday from the Washington Capitals.
Vrbata has spent most of this season on a line centered by 20-year-old Bo Horvat, an attempt by Canucks coach Willie Desjardins to spread the offense around, while also giving Brandon Sutter a chance to gain some confidence with the twins.
But now it’s Vrbata that needs the Sedin boost.
The other three lines at this morning’s practice had Sutter between Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen, Horvat between Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen, and Adam Cracknell centering Brandon Prust and Derek Dorsett.
Related: Daniel Sedin somehow misses open net
After five games, the Los Angeles Kings are still trying to figure out where Milan Lucic fits.
Is it on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik?
Or maybe it’s the second line with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.
Coach Darryl Sutter isn’t sure yet.
“I mean, I was told that he fits with Kopitar and Gaborik,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “I mean, that’s what everybody that knew everything about hockey in North America told me. You know what? I don’t know where he fits.”
Sutter is fun, isn’t he?
Wherever Lucic fits, he’ll have to produce more than he’s produced so far, which is no goals on just six shots. (At least a guy like Rick Nash can say he’s getting chances.)
During his most productive years in Boston, Lucic averaged around two shots per game. Doing that in Los Angeles shouldn’t be impossible, especially with the linemates he’s been given.
On a two-game winning streak, the Kings travel to San Jose to play the Sharks on Thursday.
Related: Lucic a ‘good fit’ with Kopitar and Gaborik
The headline in the New York Post read:
“Uh-oh, Rangers: October Rick Nash looks like playoff Rick Nash.”
Nash has failed to score in each of the Rangers’ first seven games, so the playoff comparison is an easy one to make. The 31-year-old winger has just 10 goals in 60 career postseason games, with a shooting percentage of 4.8.
“I’m definitely frustrated,” Nash told The Post. “You want to help and you want to contribute, and I’m always aware that for me, that means scoring goals.”
While Nash does feel that he’s “creating chances” — and the 24 shots he’s registered are reasonable evidence of that — “it’s frustrating because I’m not putting pucks in the back of the net.”
Which, again, sounds a lot like the playoffs.
Nash isn’t the only Ranger that’s failing to convert. Chris Kreider has 18 shots and no goals.
Here are the forwards who have managed to score:
Related: Five guys who can’t buy a goal