But lines two, three and four? Those are a problem.
“We need more out of more lines,” head coach Jeff Blashill said, per the Free Press.
The chemistry that Zetterberg, Abdelkader and Larkin found almost immediately has eluded other forward groups.
Brad Richards, one of the club’s big free agent acquisitions this summer, had been skating with Tomas Tatar, with middling results — no goals and just four combined assists — so, ahead of Wednesday’s game against Edmonton, Blashill shuffled things up.
Statistically speaking, it’s easy to see what areas of the game Detroit’s secondary (and tertiary) lines need to improve.
The Red Wings’ possession metrics are down (second-worse Corsi, per war-on-ice.com) and the club sits last in the NHL in shots per game (21.4). Blashill also stressed the need for his team to avoid getting pinned into its own defensive zone for such long stretches.
“In three of the five games, it’s been the three-minute and four-minute range where we spend more in our D-zone than our O-zone,” he said. “That to me is the concern.”