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Detroit Red Wings

Duffer’s Dabbles: Having Something To Play For Exciting For Red Wings



Jeff Blashill, Detroit Red Wings coach
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill's team is excited to stlll be playing meaningful games in mid-February.

On the surface, it sure seems as though the Detroit Red Wings are in with a chance for a position in the NHL postseason. They are seven games behind the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

There is the small matter of Boston holding on to three games in hand over the Wings. As well, were Detroit to look in the rear-view mirror, that’s the Columbus Blue Jackets just three points back, and also with a trio of games in hand on the Wings.

In fact, Columbus shows more wins (23-22) and a higher point percentage (.511-.510) over Detroit. No matter. The Wings are playing meaningful games well into February, something that hasn’t happend in these parts since 2015-16, Jeff Blashill’s first season as coach of the team.

Red Wings Taking Forward Steps

“I think it’s more exciting when you’re going into games that if you play your best you can put yourself in a position to win,” Blashill said. “It’s more exciting to know to really challenge yourself to try to take that next step, whatever that next step is.

“It’s better when you win in this business. That’s just the reality of it. I think we’ve done a decent job here over some really tough years of fighting through frustration and trying to keep our heads focused on moving towards a better tomorrow.

“I think our guys are recognizing an avenue of us being a better team. Between an influx of talent, which I’ve talked about and also just kind of growing as a group in terms of what it takes to win. That’s part of the learning process and I think we’re learning it.

“You want to take steps forward. We’ve taken very few steps backwards and we’ve done both this year. We’ve just got to try to keep taking as many steps forward as we can.”

Around the NHL

Boston: While the Red Wings were beating Philadelphia 4-2, the Bruins kept pace with a 2-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators.

Philadelphia: the viewpoint from the Flyers side of the argument of Saturday’s 4-2 Detroit victory.

Pittsburgh: Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden will undergo knee surgery following a snow shoveling mishap.

NY Islanders: Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov was pulled from Saturday’s start against Calgary following the warmps after testing positive for COVID-19.

Washington: Finding his footing with the Capitals, Daniel Sprong is emerging as the best NHL player who was born and trained in the Netherlands.