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Red Wings Seek to Become Road Warriors

Detroit was 5-1 on the road in January



Alex Lyon, Red Wings
Goalie Alex Lyon thinks the Red Wings should embrace the challenge of playing on the road.

Like 1980s pro wrestlers Hawk and Animal, the Detroit Red Wings seek to become road warriors.

In January, they made a strong step in that direction. The Red Wings were 5-1 in away games last month.

“We’ve been just playing really good road hockey,” Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider said. “We’ve been getting pucks behind their D, aren’t afraid to forecheck, taking not a lot of penalties on the road.

“We’re just finding ways to score goals and our goalies just stepped up big.”

Moving forward, they look to be like Patrick Swayze and make themselves at home in every road house.

“When those stakes are really high, you want to be able to lean on that muscle memory of going into a building that’s hostile,” Detroit goalie Alex Lyon explained. “So I think you have to pay attention to it and be cognizant of it. Hey, it’s going to be tough. Let’s rally together. It’s us against the world.

“The mentality for me is fun. I really like it.”

Another Tough Road Test For Red Wings

A stern four-game away swing begins Tuesday for Detroit at Edmonton. The Oilers have won seven in a row at home. Next up is Vancouver. The Canucks lead the NHL with 76 points. Then the Wings go to Calgary and finally to Seattle, where the club has never won.

“It’s gonna be a tough test,” Lyon said. “We got two big ones . . . well, all of them are big ones, but two really good teams coming up here.”

Thanks to January’s impressive mark, the Wings are 12-10-1 away from home this season. They are 20th in the NHL in away points, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Last season, two teams – the New York Islanders (17-18-6, 20th) and Tampa Bay Lightning (18-22-1, 22nd) – were playoff teams while falling into that range in terms of road record. But they were also the only clubs to qualify for the playoffs with a losing away mark. Detroit (16-20-5) wound up 24th.

Detroit Beating Quality Teams

It’s not merely that the Red Wings are winning on the road, but it’s also about how and where they’re winning. They won at Boston. Detroit ended an 11-game drought in Florida. They went 4-0 in California for the first time since 2008.

“We kept ourselves in the Florida game, found a way (to win 3-2) in overtime,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Kept ourselves in the Carolina game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to the finish line. They score on the power play with 7-8 minutes left (and won 4-2).

“It’ll be a goal of ours again in Edmonton, in Vancouver. These road trips, you got to battle just to hang in there. You got to be at your very best.

“Playing the top teams in the league on the road is a huge challenge.”