Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Displaying Killer Instinct as Playoff Spot Draws Nearer

Detroit has won six in a row



Shayne Gostisbehere
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored twice for the Red Wings in Tuesday's win over Washington.

A year ago Tuesday, the team from Canada’s capital city let the Detroit Red Wings know that they weren’t a playoff team.

Tuesday, it was the Red Wings who were letting the team from America’s capital city know that they weren’t a playoff team.

Are the Red Wings a playoff team? No, not officially. Not yet.

It sure does seem much closer to being a reality today, though, doesn’t it?

Starting what is arguably the biggest week of hockey the franchise has played over the past seven years, the Red Wings completely doused the Washington Capitals 8-3.

It was Feb. 27 last year when Detroit went into Ottawa still holding realistic hopes of chasing down a place in the postseason. After a 6-2 whipping, those dreams were put on the skids. That setback was the second of what would become a six-game slide, ending all of the playoff dreams the Red Wings held.

Tuesday’s drubbing of the Capitals was extending Detroit’s current winning streak to six games. Holding down the first Eastern Conference Wild Card position with 72 points, the Red Wings are three ahead of Tampa Bay with two games in hand. They’re now nine in front of the Capitals, and leading New Jersey and the New York Islanders by a massive 10-point margin.

Dare they dream even bigger? Detroit is only two back of Toronto for third in the Atlantic Division. And the Red Wings are holding a game in hand on the Maple Leafs.

“These four-point games are new for us,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “This late in the season, there’s a little extra urgency to them. But that team that’s chasing, they’re literally playing for their season.”

Red Wings Displaying Killer Instinct

The Islanders come to Little Caesars Arena on Thursday. Will they be Detroit’s next victim? The Red Wings are 8-1-2 at home in the New Year.

Tuesday, Washington was never given a chance to really get into the game. The Red Wings would net a season-high for goals. In fact, it’s the first time Detroit potted eight goals in a game since an 8-2 victory over Calgary on Nov. 15, 2017. This is the club’s first six-game win streak since 2019. The Red Wings haven’t won seven in a row since 2011.

Yet it all seems possible for this club. The balance in attack was evidenced in the fact that 13 of 18 skaters would collect a point. Seven of them would enjoy multi-point games. Detroit has accounted for 5+ goals in 33.9% of the club’s games this season.

“For the most part we’ve been playing really good, been really consistent in our game,” Detroit forward Joe Veleno said. “Even when they have these little sparks in the offensive zone and they’re humming around, we do a good job of staying composed, playing really well structurally and defensively.

“We’re a skilled team. We know we can score goals. We just got to stay patient with that and we have been.”

Detroit Flexing On Rest Of NHL

The Red Wings are flexing their muscles. They’ve outscored the opposition 28-10 during this six-game run of success. They’re informing the rest of the NHL that yes, they are indeed the real deal.

“I know it definitely feels a lot better when you’re in this position,” Veleno said. “I love playing hockey and love being a part of winning teams and always have been for the most part of my childhood.

“For me, I love playing in these kind of games. I love playing in big moments. A whole lot of fun. I think anyone can tell you that on our team, when we’re in this position we’re hot, we’re climbing and it’s really fun to be a part of.”