The Detroit Red Wings returned to action and earned a major win. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday thanks to a Jake Walman penalty shot in overtime. Detroit has won 10 of their last 15 games, and are in good standing in the playoff race. However, head coach Derek Lalonde knows improvement is needed.
The Red Wings head coach spoke with the media after the game. And he made a rather sobering admission. Detroit has a lot of come-from-behind wins under their belt. As the games get tougher, the Winged Wheel needs to tighten things up and play a more complete game.
“We have had a crazy number of third-period comebacks to get points and wins,” Lalonde said, via NHL.com. “I think we’re tops in the League, but that’s not a recipe for success, especially against an elite team like this.”
Derek Lalonde, Red Wings beat Canucks on Jake Walman winner
The Canucks led Detroit 3-1 at one point in this game. However, Vancouver allowed their Eastern Conference opponent back in the game during the third period. The Red Wings scored twice in the final regulation period to force overtime.
In overtime, Walman drew a penalty shot. And the Detroit rearguard made the most of his opportunity. He scored his 11th goal of the year to clinch the important second point. After the goal, Walman hit the griddy in front of Canucks goalie Casey Desmith. It's the second time Desmith has had to watch Walman griddy after an overtime winner.
The Red Wings clearly have the ability to withstand defensive lapses. And some on the team believe their comeback victories aren't inherently a bad thing. “We win in a lot of different ways,” Detroit forward David Perron said, via NHL.com. “That’s what makes us special. Once we got the second goal, we knew we had a shot.”
The Red Wings hold on to the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. If they continue playing as they did in the month of January, Detroit could return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Winged Wheel takes to the ice again on Tuesday when the Edmonton Oilers welcome them to town.