Niklas Kronwall is going to have to realize, if he hasn’t already, that he and other Detroit Red Wings defenseman have to play better if their team is going to have much success in the NHL this season.
It’s not that they aren’t playing well. Kronwall and his fellow blue-liners have been doing a solid job for the most part, but the Red Wings continue to lack in timely scoring, putting more pressure on Kronwall and his teammates to step up their game a few notches.
In his first 16 games for the Red Wings, Kronwall had one goal and nine assists after surviving a mild concussion last month. He would love having the type of season he enjoyed for the Red Wings in 2011-12 when he played all 82 games and scored 15 goals while having 21 assists for 36 points, or even the season before when he had 11 goals and 26 assists in 77 games.
When the Red Wings lost 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, it marked the third straight overtime game that the team lost. The Wings lost to the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers in recent overtime games, allowing goals with 19 and 13 seconds left in overtime.
That’s terrible defense in the clutch, and Kronwall knows it. He admitted to reporters after the game that his team is making too many turnovers and creating miscues on various parts of the ice. The Wings are giving the opposition too many chances, and it’s up to a veteran defenseman like Kronwall to put a stop to it with his leadership and overall play.
The Wings haven’t recorded a win in five straight home game for the first time in 17 years. That’s not a good sign for this team, although the season is still very young.