By Max Bultman (The Athletic)

DETROIT — Before the Red Wings ever hit the ice under Derek Lalonde, the new coach held a pre-training-camp meeting, at which he highlighted the team’s many defensive failings in 2021-22. As netminder Alex Nedeljkovic put it on the first day of camp: “I’ll just tell you that, obviously, they weren’t very good (numbers). Specifically on the D side of the puck.”

The disastrous defense last season might have been the single biggest reason a coaching vacancy was available for Lalonde this summer. And from the beginning, he’s been dead set on fixing it.

So when Lalonde walked into the media room Friday night, fresh off a 3-0 victory in his head-coaching debut, his biggest source of pride was a no-brainer.

“More excited about the zero,” he said, “than the three.”

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