Red Wings get offensive boost from blue line
New York — The defense is helping provide the offense again for the Red Wings.
In Saturday’s victory over Carolina, defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Trevor Daley both scored goals in the 3-1 victory.
For DeKeyser it was his fifth goal of the season, which already surpassed his season total of four last season.
Daley’s goal was sixth — he had five with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
“Anytime you get a chance to chip in on the offensive side, it’s always a bonus, especially on a night we get two points (in the standings),” Daley said.
After the All-Star break, coach Jeff Blashill and his staff made it a point to get the defensemen more involved in the offensive attack.
For much of the schedule, at that juncture, Red Wings’ defensemen had struggled to put up any sort of offensive numbers.
“Coming out of the All-Star break it was just a real point of emphasis, not to say we didn’t talk about it early, but we looked at our scoring and from a defensive standpoint our points were one of the lowest totals in the league,” Blashill said. “We were looking for ways to produce more offense and that screams (defensemen).”
Blashill wanted to see his defensemen thinking offense, and that has taken place.
“They’ve really grabbed onto it,” Blashill said. “We’ve done a way better job on the rush of getting them involved and as a result, we’re able to score some goals.”
There was much discussion about Red Wings’ legend Ted Lindsay Saturday given captain Henrik Zetterberg tied Lindsay for fifth on the Wings’ all-time list with 335 goals.
Lindsay, 92, remains active as ever, and regularly comes into the Red Wings’ locker room, mingling with players.
Dylan Larkin, 21, offered to reporters his first experience, as a Red Wing, meeting Lindsay in the locker room at Joe Louis Arena during Larkin’s rookie season.
“About once a month he comes in the locker room and walks around, wears a shirt and tie, and shakes everyone’s hands,” Larkin said. “He looks you right in the eye and asks you how your day is going.
“The first time I met him, I was pretty nervous. We were talking about the equipment he played with back in the day. We talked about Red Berenson (Larkin’s coach at Michigan).
“It’s special to have him around, special that he still comes around. It’s awesome to have him here.”
Zetterberg’s accomplishment Saturday was something he never dreamed would have been possible at the start of his NHL career.
“For me to think that I would last this long, and had a chance to play with all these great players, I would never think that,” Zetterberg said. “It’s a pretty cool list and an honor to be up there.”
Said Blashill: “Winners can be the guys that can carry teams to win, guys that play complete games. He’s got to be one of the best of his generation.”