The month of October is officially over and the Detroit Red Wings have finished their first month of hockey this season, finishing the month with a 7-4 record. While some fans feel the Red Wings have a performed solid, there are still plenty of things they need to work on going into November.
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It all starts with the turnovers when you talk about the Red Wing offense, they must do a better job of taking care of the puck. In any sport, turnovers hurt especially in hockey, mainly because the Red Wings are allowing their opponent to have quick scoring opportunities in the clear and putting pressure on the goalie to make up for their mistakes. To fix this, they mainly need to do a better job with their decision-making.
Red Wings must also do a better job with scoring the puck. It’s not surprising the Red Wings struggle to score, their offense has consistently decline the last couple of years. Then you have to consider that gaining chemistry takes a while to develop but the Red Wings need to be more patient on offense. Red Wings are limiting themselves to one shot, not allowing themselves to get second chance opportunities. They also need to have some fun with the puck and try to create some more power play opportunities. Outside of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, others Red Wings players like Drew Miller, Dan Cleary and Stephen Weiss, must step up when it comes scoring.
I think the main problem is the line-up changes, I understand that coach Mike Babcock is looking to see what works but he is also hindering the team’s chemistry. He should at least give each line-up three or four games together before changing it up, because he is definitely not going to figure out if a group works well together through one or two games and neither are the players.
Defensively, the Red Wings defense must do a better job of rebounding the puck and helping out their goalie Jimmy Howard. So far this season Howard has shown he is an elite goaltender and goalie Jonas Gustavsson has been right there with him protecting the net. However, the Red Wings need to do a better job of limiting second-chance scoring opportunities, they are constantly putting the goalies in a horrible position and that won’t happen if they get better positioning and rebound the puck better. If the Red Wings do these things, there is no doubt they will see better results on both the offensive and defensive end.
Overall, these are all problems that can be fixed, while they probably won’t be fixed immediately, they should be fixed by mid-December if not sooner. I honestly believe if it wasn’t for goalie Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings power play moments, this team would be in a worse position. The Red Wings face-off against the Calgary tonight at 9pm (ET) to start the month of November and going into this game, I hope to see some much-needed adjustments.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com