Must win? No, the Detroit Red Wings weren’t ready to go there.
Much-needed win? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
“I wouldn’t say must-win,” said Lucas Raymond, whose overtime tally gave the Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Friday. “Obviously a big win for us.”
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Detroit coach Derek Lalonde also wasn’t willing to venture into the absolute certainty of the must-win category. He came close, though.
“We needed it for sure,” Lalonde said. “It’s a good step.
“I love the fact that we found a way to be get two full points when trailing going into the third. Obviously that doesn’t happen a lot in our league.”
Yes, the Wings did scramble back from a 3-2 deficit after 40 minutes to get the two points. At the same time, they also would squander a 4-3 advantage in the final frame.
However, when a team is floundering amidst a 2-8-1 skid, any type of win brings a warm, fuzzy feeling. Even those that come with disclaimers attached.
Still Plenty Of Work Ahead For Red Wings
Lalonde was quick to point out how much harder his club made it for themselves to feel happiness at the end of Friday’s journey.
“There’s just still some things we need to grow on,” Lalonde said. “It’s disappointing. Our first 32 minutes and the last eight minutes of the second.
RIGHT BACK IN IT pic.twitter.com/4hlReTJ8NS
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“It’s kind of been our identity of late where we put together some pretty good hockey, pretty responsible hockey and then those last eight minutes we gave them two freebies, so we’re trailing going into the third.”
Bad decisions and poor choices with the puck are proving to be the downfall of this team recently. Friday, there were enough mistakes to again fashion failure, but this time, the Wings found a way to survive their misfortune.
“Our D, we just gotta start being more complete with our game,” Lalonde said. “I’d still like a little more poise with the puck. There were some plays to be made towards the end of that game that we didn’t make with the puck.
“We’re not a confident group right now. You can tell. There’s some fragileness at times that leaks into our game.”
First Step Toward Redemption?
Every turnaround begins with a first step and that was the approach Raymond was choosing to take following Friday’s outcome.
“We haven’t been playing the way we’ve been wanting to this last stretch,” Raymond said. “I think we know what we’re capable of. We showed it for 25-some games.
“I think for us it’s about getting back to that and start playing winning hockey and today was definitely a step in the right direction. Still things we want to work on but step in the right direction.”