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Red Wings Embracing Opportunity to Compete for Playoff Spot

Detroit in midst of playoff battle



Michael Rasmussen, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen says he checks the NHL standings on a daily basis.

Let’s be honest, in recent years, checking out the latest NHL standings wasn’t a priority for the Detroit Red Wings.

There was no good news to be had there.

This season, though, as the Wings contend for a spot in the playoffs, it can be an enthralling experience.

That’s why Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen makes it a daily habit to see where the club is currently located on the standings board.

“I think you play better if you know the circumstances,” Rasmussen explained.

Defenseman Moritz Seider isn’t persuing the data as frequently as Rasmussen does, but he’s still looking.

“I’m definitely not checking daily,” Seider said. “It’s a matter of just seeing something online and obviously I’m gonna read it. I’m not avoiding the standings or anything.”

Still, he admits there’s much more intrigue in what’s going on than in past campaigns.

“Every single game is important for us,” Seider said. “I think we kind of turned the page from the last couple of years where we have must-win games now. Going in against different opponents where we’re like ‘okay, we’re definitely the better team here and we gotta get a win.’ I think we haven’t come up with some of those.”

Red Wings Changing Position On Regular Basis

Exactly how tight the race is for places in the NHL’s Eastern Conference was emphasized on Sunday. At the outset of the day, Tampa Bay was third in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of Detroit and Toronto. When the Red Wings beat the Lightning 2-1, they moved ahead of Tampa Bay. But later that evening on the West Coast, the Maple Leafs downed the Seattle Kraken, mvoing past both Tampa Bay and Detroit.

“I think it’s still tight and I think we’re giving ourselves a chance to be in it for the whole way,” Seider said. “I think we just gotta continue playing really good hockey and try to get as many points as we can.”

Facing the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, it’s the second game of five in a row at home for the Red Wings.

“There’s a cool stretch coming up for us,” Seider said. “A lot of divisional opponents, too. And I think that’s where we can kind of separate our ground hopefully from being a really good team now.”

After slumping in December, thanks to a 7-1-1 stretch over the past nine games, Detroit is right back in the thick of the postseason chase.

“That was the goal at the beginning of the year, right?” forward Daniel Sprong asked rhetoically. “To be in the playoffs and try to go as far as we can. It’s a long season. There’s gonna be ups and downs.

“Right now we’re playing some really good hockey. We gotta keep rolling like this.”