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The Daily Wrap: Red Wings face Carolina, Fleury talk in Toronto, Rangers need D Man



Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings need to reduce the number of dangerous scoring chances to be competitive against top NHL teams

The clock is ticking on the Detroit Red Wings’ long-shot playoff hopes. They need to start winning the vast majority of their games, starting with tonight’s home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Red Wings have lost three of their last four games against top-echelon teams. They gave up 22 goals in those three setbacks against Minnesota, Colorado and Toronto. The Red Wings gave up five goals to the Hurricanes when they lost to them in Raleigh on Dec. 16.

Detroit’s defensive deficiencies came more into focus after last Saturday’s 10-7 loss to Toronto.

“I think every coach wants their team to be defensively responsible because they know that’s how you win over a long period of time,” Coach Jeff Blashill said. “It was more surprising to me that we didn’t have the same kind of compete that we’ve had most of the season. I was probably frustrated at that point on the bench.”

Red Wings Will Tested in Florida

This is a make-or-break time for the Detroit Red Wings because they must travel to Florida this week to play the Lightning and Panthers, two more contenders.

“In order to win long term, just like every single other team in the league, you have to make it hard on the other team to create scoring chances,” Blashill said. “So that’s what we’re gonna continue to focus on.”

The Bruins won again Monday night to give them a 16-point lead over Detroit for the final playoff spot. Boston Globe writer Kevin Dupont pointed out on Twitter that if the Bruins could play .500 hockey the rest of the way, the Red Wings would have to have to post a points percentage of .776 to pass them.

But Boston is no longer the team that Detroit is chasing. The Bruins have moved past Washington into the first Eastern Conference Wild Card. It’s the Capitals that the Wings must catch now.

What else is happening with the Red Wings:


Trade talk

New York: New York Post writer Larry Brooks says the Rangers should go after Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller in the NHL trade market. Meanwhile, long-time Toronto Sun writer Steve Simmons is lobbying that the Toronto Maple Leafs must get Marc-Andre Fleury. Since early December, Toronto starting goaltender Jack Campbell has a save percentage of .892.

Around the NHL

Boston: Are the Bruins really going to trade Jake DeBrusk? The winger is on fire and netted the hat trick in the Boston Bruins win over LA.

Philadelphia  Morgan Frost’s game fell apart, and the Philadelphia Flyers demoted him.

Vegas: The Golden Knights are going sideways lately. They’re not getting enough production from several spots in their lineup (sound familiar?). Vegas needs more from William Karlsson.

Washington: Toronto beat Washington, which has just four wins in its last 10 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins rival has lost three of four. However, look at this “no goal.” Did the refs job the Washington Capitals?