By Ashley Scoby
Turnovers – a concern “most of the year” for the Red Wings – reared their ugly head again, as Detroit dropped a 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes Tuesday night.READ MORE: Belle Isle Park Reopens Giant Slide Friday
The Wings had won one of their last five before Tuesday, and they still couldn’t get off the ground. After starting the year off 3-0, Detroit is now 1-4-1 in its last six games.
Winning one and losing another against Carolina earlier this season, Detroit found itself literally giving the third matchup to the Hurricanes. They finished with 12 giveaways to Carolina’s one, and two of the Hurricanes’ three goals came off turnovers.
Jakub Kindl had poked through an equalizer in the second period Tuesday, but Ron Hainsey’s third-period slapshot from distance provided the difference for Carolina, and Eric Staal’s goal with less than a minute remaining brought in the dagger.
“It’s just mental errors,” Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said of the team’s turnovers. “Either trying to do too much or trying to make the right play.”READ MORE: Woodward Dream Cruise Kicks Off This Weekend: What To Know
The early advantage for the Hurricanes came off Detroit’s goalkeeper doing just that. Petr Mrazek skated out of the net to bring the puck forward, but his pass ricocheted off Victor Rask, and Rask easily took control and pushed a shot into the abandoned net for a 1-0 lead.
“Ultimately I think we’d all like to have that one back,” Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill said. “The one thing about a goalie who plays the puck well is that’s going to happen sometimes.”
To that point, the Wings had held the advantage in shots on goal but had had trouble finishing around the net. And by the end of that second period, Detroit had already tallied eight giveaways (to Carolina’s zero).
Losing the puck has been an issue off and on this season. The Wings have had at least eight turnovers in four games this season, including 12 on Tuesday and 16 against the Canadiens in mid-October. And Blashill said turnovers will be a focus moving forward, as the team works to figure out where it’s gone wrong this month.MORE NEWS: Federal Judge Retains Jurisdiction In Lawsuit Over Enbridge Pipeline
“They’ve been a concern most of the year,” he said. “I think we’re a team, historically in Detroit and myself as a coach as well, wants to use the pop plays, and by pop I mean pop it to the middle of the ice … Historically it’s been judged by using each other and handling the puck up the ice. You’re going to have some turnovers, but it’s got to be manageable and we’ve got to get better at it.”