When it comes to contending for a NHL playoff spot, actions do speak louder than words.
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said recently the players have been talking about what needs to be done to get Detroit into the playoffs for the first time since 2016. But those discussions have not created the results needed to make a push for an Eastern Conference wildcard spot.
Monday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche leaves the Red Wings six points out of a playoff spot.
This is a make-or-break portion of the Red Wings’ NHL schedule. They are midst of a 15-game stretch when they play 10 road games.
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“I think it just doesn’t matter who we play, points are points,” Detroit forward Adam Erne told Bally Sports. “We gotta come away with them, and that’s it. It’s pretty simple.”
The Red Wings fell behind 5-0 in the second period before the Red Wings had some pushback. Detroit has given up 28 goals in the past seven games.
“It doesn’t matter at the end of the day if we play good or bad. We gotta come away with two points,” Erne said. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re gonna try to do that the right way and just focus on getting points.”
Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said “it didn’t feel like 6-3 game.” But he didn’t have any illusions about whether the Red Wings deserved their fate.
“We didn’t do enough to give ourselves a chance,” he said, “especially probably in those first 30 minutes.”
Next Up: Coyotes
Lalonde doesn’t often talk to players after a game, but he did after this loss. The Red Wings play the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday and he didn’t want this loss to carry into the next game.
“You leave the rink here, you lose 6-3, there’s some of those O-zone momentums that they had, but we had the same thing,” Lalonde said. “We had some looks early. Hit the post early. We had some looks, a ‘How’d that not go in?’ type of thing.”
That’s why Lalonde wanted his player to consider the process.
“There’s a reason you look at (it) and this is that night,” Lalonde told Bally’s Trevor Thompson. “We could’ve played that same exact game, a couple of things go our way early and it could’ve been flipped. It’s important for them to know that we leave here not satisfied, not good enough, but hopefully some things that we can build on.”