DETROIT– NHL Players know the pain of seeing players traded off their roster. It comes with the job. But the jolt of finding out popular Tyler Bertuzzi was dealt included a different twist of the knife for the Detroit Red Wings.
“I think the guys were taken by surprise, just the way it shook down,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “You can never predict the trade deadline. The fact it happened when everyone was in the room today, guys were emotional.”
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin fought back tears earlier in the day when he talked about Bertuzzi’s trade to the Boston Bruins.
That’s why Lalonde seemed thankful the Red Wings managed to earn a point in falling 5-4 in overtime to the Seattle Kraken Thursday Night. The Red Wings rallied from a 3-1 deficit just to force the overtime. They lost on an OT power play goal by Oliver Bjorkstand. They could have just as easily won in overtime.
“I guess all in all, probably a pretty good point, considering the emotions of today,” Lalonde said.
The Bertuzzi trade came a day after top four defenseman Filip Hronek was shipped to the Vancouver Canucks for two draft picks, including a first rounder. Plus, the Red Wings are still smarting from losing Michael Rasmussen to a knee cap injury.
“We had some push back, we had some zone time,” Lalonde said. “Obviously we created some offense. Tough read in that the slow start got us in a hole but I thought we played a fairly good game.”
Red Wings Still Seek Playoffs
Coming into this week, the Red Wings were talking about getting into the playoffs. The two losses to Ottawa, and the trades, are disheartening. But the Red Wings are trying to move forward quickly.
“You still have a job to do,” Detroit defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “You still show up and play hard and do what you’re asked to do. I don’t think it changes anything for anyone in the room. Everyone still has to show up and do what they’re asked and do it to the best of their abilities. There’s no kind of packing it in. You still have a job to do.”
Chiarot signed a multi-year contract last summer and he still believes in the team has promise.
“I think we have a lot of faith in Steve and what he’s building,” Chiarot said. “He obviously got a track record in Tampa Bay, so I think there’s a lot of faith in him. That’s a lot of draft picks he’s gotten but that doesn’t necessarily mean they become draft picks, they can be turned into players and other things (like what?), so I think there’s obviously a long-term plan in place here and I think Steve’s just sticking to it.”
Despite losing their fourth game in a row, the Red Wings are only five behind the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot. The Red Wings have three games in hand.
“It’s not like we are dead in the water,” Defenseman Chiarot said. “We’re right in the mix.”