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Pressure? What Pressure? Red Wings Insist This is Fun



Lucas Raymond, Detroit Red Wings
Forward Lucas Raymond insists the pressure on the Red Wings to secure a playoff spot is fun.

Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings were in the NHL playoffs. Sunday, they weren’t.

They still won’t be today, but could be back into a postseason placing as early as Tuesday.

It’s an emotional roller coaster, and we’ve all gone on that trip. But in pursuit of a chance at the Stanley Cup, it’s the most enjoyable ride in the entire amusement park.

“We have to win,” Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson said. “That is kind of pressure, but it’s more fun. I’m more happy than I feel pressure, so it’s a fun opportunity I feel like.”

He’s got a point. Don’t you think teams like the San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks, long irrelevant in the playoff picture, would eagerly embrace the opportunity to engage the pressure the Red Wings are currently feeling? For that matter, Detroit teams of the previous seven seasons would also be willingly stepping up to get into line and take this ride.

This Is Where Red Wings Want To Be

“This is where you want to be,” Detroit forward Lucas Raymond said. “It’s a tough spot, it’s pressure on everyone, but that’s the fun part of it.

“You’re playing for something meaningful. You can just feel it within this locker room. It’s awesome.”

With improved opportunities come increased expectations. Playoff hockey might not have been at the top of Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s to-do list in the summer. However, now that they’re knocking on the door, the players don’t want to let this chance escape their grasp.

“It’s more pressure of course, but that’s why you play hockey,” Edvinsson noted. “I like those moments. I’m just happy to be here now.”

Emotions and pressures must be put aside. For the Red Wings, it’s all about embracing the moment and making the most of it.

It’s just about enjoying it and coming through big,” Raymond said.

Win Over Capitals Would Reclaim Playoff Position

A win on Tuesday at Washington would see Detroit leapfrogging over the Capitals and back into the second Eastern Conference wild card spot.

“It almost feels like we’ve been in the playoffs already, just because of the emotion from game to game,” forward David Perron said. “We have to find a way to just park it, move forward. The day in between games is a day where you can get re-energized and get under control. And then you gotta get back into habit the next game.

“It’s a roller coaster. You gotta find a way to park it, get re-energized. Much like playoffs. You lose Game 1 let’s say of a playoff series and it almost feels like it’s over at times. And then you win the next one and it’s here we go, best of five. We’re back in this thing, we’re playing good, all that stuff. That’s what it’s gonna be for the next 11 games.”