Many fans felt that the Detroit Red Wings were cheated in 2020 when the team finished with the worst record and finished with the fourth pick in the draft. They’re not complaining now.
Detroit chose Swedish forward Lucas Raymond and the 19-year-old not only made the team this season, he is in the front row. Raymond delivered his first NHL goal and added an assist in the Red Wings’ 4-1 win over Columbus on Tuesday.
The Red Wings have amassed five of a possible six points this season and will try to keep pace when they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday. The game will complete Detroit’s home with four games.
Raymond broke a pointless deadlock in the third period and linemate Tyler Bertuzzi followed with his fifth goal this season. Center Dylan Larkin assisted with the goals.
“It felt great. I had some looks tonight and it was nice (scoring),” said Raymond. “I’m going to save the puck. It’s a special one.”
Coach Jeff Blashill chose Raymond to play in the front row after Jakub Vrana demanded shoulder surgery that will lead him for several months.
“I like the dynamics between the three,” Blashill said. “(Bertuzzi) is really crazy and gets the puck and Larks has the speed and Lucas is a cerebral player. It’s a good combination between the three. We have had a strong four-line presence and we have to do it going forward.”
Raymond hit the boards shortly after Bertuzzi’s goal. He withdrew to the locker room due to concussion protocols, but passed all tests.
If not for a late three-goal flurry of Tampa Bay in the opening, the Red Wings would have three wins to start the season.
“We have to have a really strong work ethic and competitiveness in all games,” said Blashill. “There are two things that really stand out.”
Calgary will seek their first victory. The Flames lost to Edmonton 5-2 in their opening game and 3-2 in overtime against Anaheim on Monday.
Offensive production has been modest despite having a total of 89 shots on goal during regulation in these matches.
“I think we can get better online, of course,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter told the Calgary Herald. “Still, that emphasis needs to be put around the goalkeeper more, and the second and thirds. There are very few goals that are marking goals, when you look at it. Most are a screen or a flash or a tip or a rebound or something like that. And I think we as a group can get better at it. “
The Flames embark on a road trip with five games and eight nights, which also includes stops in Washington, New York, New Jersey and Pittsburgh.
Sutter believes that his team must play smarter and tougher to have a successful journey.
“You have to highlight the positive things and clean up small areas,” Sutter said. “We have some guys who have to be better players for us. Even after the two games, just in the small details of the game, they have to be better. For the type of team we have, they have to be better players in order for us to win. matches. “
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