Inability to convert on power play continues to plague Red Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — There was one area Sunday which failed the Red Wings miserably.

The Wings' power play didn't score in four attempts, not even close. It was a huge factor in the 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Any sort of positive momentum would have been helpful. But the Wings never were able to generate opportunities with the man advantage.

"We have to find a way to get to our spots," forward Dylan Larkin said. "When the puck is on our stick, we can't force it. We forced it way too much. Every defenseman in this league has a good stick and breaks up plays. We had too many plays broken up by forcing it and not moving it around the outside."

Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) is pursued up the ice by Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) during the first period.

The Wings didn't generate shots on the power play and seemed to lose confidence as the attempts progressed.

"Quick puck movement," said coach Jeff Blashill, noting one ingredient the Wings didn't possess on the power play, but then adding some others. "Being efficient with the puck and not turning the puck over. Not having unforced errors."

Blashill added confidence is a big ingredient evens special teams, and the Wings didn't have enough of it Sunday.

A positive outlook, said Larkin, is also important for a unit that has struggled for the majority of this season. And the last several seasons, for that matter.

"We need to do more of what's made us successful and not dwell on how it's not going well and all the negative energy and pressure," Larkin said. "We need to stay focused on the positive and get to our spots and move the puck quick.

"We need to spread it out, set up and get the shots we want."

Seider's toughness

Defenseman Moritz Seider showed his physicality Friday against Washington, making consecutive big hits on one particular shift against the Capitals' checking line.

Seider's toughness appears to be growing as the season progresses.

“He’s got a definite toughness to him, a physicality side to him would be the way I would describe it,” Blashill said. “If you search the Internet, you’ll see a loop of huge kind of (Niklas) Kronwall-type hits last year in the Swedish Hockey League (where Seider played). He’s got to get stronger and thicker to do that in the National Hockey League, but he’s got that edge to him for sure and he can punish people from a physical standpoint.”

Positioning, and learning where to be on the ice, is crucial, Seider said.

“It’s just being at the right spot,” he said. “Sometimes if you do things well, you don’t even have to kill a guy or even make the big hit because you can just outskate him and take the puck.

"We'd all agree we would always like to have the puck on our stick than chasing it. It's just a timing thing and I’m just trying to figure that out day by day.”

Struggling line

The Michael Rasmussen line, centering Filip Zadina and Adam Erne, is struggling.

The players are coming off being on the protocol list, and not playing up to their level, Blashill said.

"They're just not playing well as individuals," Blashill said. "They have to play better as individuals and if they play to the level they're capable of, they can grind teams and do those types of things. They're making mistakes defensively and haven't played well enough. Some of that is, Erne only is on his second or third day back and he has to get his feet back a little bit."

Ice chips

Defenseman Nick Leddy missed his second consecutive game since being removed from COVID protocol. As Leddy's conditioning returns, he's day to day.

... The Wings suffered their first home loss against Boston since Feb. 6, 2018, ending a streak of four straight victories over the Bruins at Little Caesars Arena.

... The Red Wings have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since Feb. 17-19, 2021.

... Tyler Bertuzzi's goal Sunday gives him four in his last four games. Bertuzzi continued his success against the Bruins, with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 13 career games.

... Danny DeKeyser tallied the primary assist on Bertuzzi’s goal to snap a 15-game pointless streak.

... Vladislav Namestnikov registered his first fighting major with Detroit and only the eighth of his NHL career, when he fought Brad Marchand in the second period.

Twitter: @ tkulfan