Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Lidstrom: A matter of getting to the net

Captain says forward pressure is key to reviving offense

Thursday, 11.3.2011 / 5:18 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Lidstrom: A matter of getting to the net
DETROIT – The Red Wings’ path to the net seemed a whole lot simpler in the first three weeks of the season than it has been lately.

And there’s a logical reason behind it, Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said.

“We’re now getting pushed to the outside,” he said. “And we’ve kind of accepted being pushed to the outside. We’re staying out there and shooting the puck, instead of maybe taking that extra step, or driving a little harder to get to the inside where we can get off some better shots.”

Shooting from the perimeter of the offensive zone has resulted in five goals in five games for the Wings. And an analysis of where the Wings have taken shots during the current 0-4-1 stretch backs-up Lidstrom’s assertion that quality chances aren’t there like they were a few weeks earlier.

The Wings started the season with five straight wins and scored 18 goals on 189 shots. But since, Detroit – which leads the league in shots per game (35.8) – has mustered just five goals on 169 shots.

However, statistics on shots on goal are often misleading.

A closer look of the Wings’ last 169 shots shows that 51% of them have been of the low-quality variety, taken from above the offensive zone face-off circles and beyond. In all, the Wings have scored seven goals on 167 shots taken from above the circles this season, and only Niklas Kronwall’s second-period slap shot in a 7-1 loss at Washington found the back of the net from above the circles in the last five games.

“I think that comes with not winning,” Lidstrom said. “I think when you’re not playing well, you want to get those shots through. You don’t want to lose the puck. But when things are going easy, you take the extra step, you take your time, and you’re able to drive a little more to the net. Those are the differences when you’re not playing as well – you’re shooting from the outside.”

Still, the Wings need to create more pressure down low and traffic in front of the crease to increase scoring chances on rebounds and re-directs.

“I think it’s a matter of getting to the net for the other two (wingers), who are going there and stopping,” Lidstrom said. “If the shot’s coming, most of the time they’re going to get rebounds, or a tip. That’s where we have to be.”

The Wings did a much better job of getting second chances and rebounds in the first five games. Then only 42.8% of the team’s shots originated from above the circles, and 12 of 18 goals were from inside the circles and closer range.

Nobody’s hitting the panic button yet, but coach Mike Babcock would like to see some goal-support for goalie Jimmy Howard, who has the league’s fifth best goals-against average (1.84) heading into tonight’s game against Calgary.

“I think Howie's been unbelievable. We've wasted a couple of real good efforts out of him,” Babcock said. “I just know when you're a pitcher in baseball and the team never gets any runs, you go into the ninth inning 0-0. … They need some run support.

“I think our goaltending's been excellent. I think the other goaltending has been good, but you can't let the other goaltender be good, you got to go get him.”

The Wings’ 23 goals in the first 10 games is the franchise’s lowest total since the 1975-76 squad (18). That’s just the parity in the league, Lidstrom said.

“Teams are getting closer and closer and more even in the last two or three years, where on any given night you can win or you can lose,” he said. “In the past you had some easier games with certain teams. But you don’t see that anymore.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NJD 57 29 21 7 125 124 65
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
9 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
15 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89