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Blackhawks Beat Red Wings: Where Is Detroit's Defense?

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2009

DETROIT - DECEMBER 9:  Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck against Barret Jackman #5 of the St. Louis Blues during the game at Joe Louis Arena on December 9, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Like all Wings fans, I think that I'm a little bit nervous about the next month now that Henrik Zetterberg is gone.

I knew that we were going to have a tough time against the Blackhawks last night.

Defense has been a weakness for Detroit for a while. It was a weakness last year when they went to the Stanley Cup finals. Thankfully, our goalies were able to cover for it.

I'm not going to bother asking where the offense is. That's pretty simple—it's healing on the sideline.

Last night, the Hawks took advantage of the inexperience of the rookies. This may be the best team that some of them have ever faced. Take that little mishap six minutes into the game, for example, where the defense left a Hawks player open in front of the net and Ozzie had to make a great save.

Don't get me wrong; I think that Ozzie played a great game, although he should have had that third goal. But I still think that he was getting no defensive support and was being relied on to make a lot of saves.

Even if he had saved that third goal, it wouldn't have mattered. The Hawks were playing too well last night against an injured Red Wing team.

I still think that we're going to make the playoffs, but I think that it's going to be a late-season comeback. It pretty much has to be. If our rookies play too terribly, we probably won't make the playoffs at all.

I have to admit, I'm pretty worried about the rest of the season.

See more of my NHL opinions at Tips for Hockey

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