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Detroit Red Wings

Are These The Real Red Wings Standing Up?

Detroit whips Stanley Cup champs



Alex Lyon, detroit red wings
Goalie Alex Lyon believes good things are ahead for the Red Wings this season.

It was the first game of 2024 for the Detroit Red Wings. They’d turned in an underwhelming performance on the road, scraping out a 5-3 victory over the lowly San Jose Sharks.

An unimpressed Detroit coach Derek Lalonde was heading toward the team’s dressing room to address the situation. But he never got the chance to read his team the riot act.

“I like to be very private about what goes on in the locker room,” Lalonde found himself explaining, “but we’d beaten San Jose in San Jose, we scored the two goals late to win.

“I’m going into the room to address the guys and David Perron’s yelling, ‘We’re getting 18 points before the break.’ Kind of in my head, I’m like, has he not watched us lately? There’s no way we’re getting 18 points.

With Saturday’s 5-2 home-ice win over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights, Detroit is 9-2-1 in January. Leaving one more game to play this month prior to Detroit’s 10-day break, that’s . . . well, let Lalonde do the math.

“We’re sitting here on 19 (points),” the coach said. “So I think we can talk about improved practice, translating what we’ve done in practice to our games, we can talk about the play of (goalie) Alex Lyon, but when you have a run like this against the type of opponent we’ve had, it comes from the room.

“This has been a good stretch for us.”

Yes it most certainly has been that. And it raises a valid point, one the players are reluctant to address, but one that nonetheless must be said.

Are these the real Red Wings? Was the club’s dismal 5-9-1 skid in December the aberration?

Red Wings Don’t Want To Go There

Let’s look at the facts. Over this 9-2-1 stretch, Detroit has now beaten both the of last spring’s Stanley Cup finalists. The Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers were vanquished 3-2 on the road on Jan. 17. Detroit swept its California road trip for the first time since 2008. The Red Wings won five in a row on the road.

In six games this month, the club has allowed two or fewer goals, including five of the last seven contests. Detroit sits five points head of the New York Islanders in the battle for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card position.

“It’s been a huge month,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “We’ve been playing to an identity and we’ve won games where we’ve shut the other team down. We’ve won games in many different ways.”

Red Wings Looking Comfortable

There’s definitely a different vibe coming from this team. Winning doesn’t come as a surprise to them. They exude an expectation of success.

The Red Wings are looking comfortable playing in big games, but they don’t want to start letting that good fortune go to their head.

“This league is a lot about confidence and mentality and the second you start to think you’ve arrived is when things start going the other way,” Lyon said. “If we don’t continue to stay on the details, if we get ahead of ourselves . . . we still got 35 games to go.

“We’re going to hit bumps in the road, so that’s just a reality.

That’s certainly true. There are potential pitfalls on the route ahead. They include a four-game Western swing in February and four- and five-game road trips in March. Even the timing of the club’s upcoming break from Feb. 1-9 isn’t arriving at exactly an opportune time, what with the club on a roll and all.

Still, you just get the feeling that this team possesses the necessary quality to smooth out any bumps along this journey.

“If we just stick to the process good things are going to happen,” Lyon said.