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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Enter Into State of Denial

Detroit is 0-2-2 on road trip



Alex Lyon, Red Wings
Red Wings goalie Alex Lyon made 36 saves in Saturday's shootout loss at Florida.

Officially, the Detroit Red Wings are currently residing in the Sunshine State. In their headspace, though, it’s abundantly clear that they’ve entered into a state of denial.

Squandering a third-period lead, the Red Wings were able to scramble back and gain a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon.

“Obviously this one stings,” Detroit defenseman Jeff Petry was admitting to Bally Sports Detroit. “We wanted to get two (points).”

“It kind of feels like (Tuesday’s overtime loss at) Washington,” added Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde. “You feel a little empty, not getting the full two points.”

These offerings were rare honest insights from a team that evidently thinks with eight games to play, there’s plenty of time to right ship and get back on track for a playoff spot.

“I think our team game is growing,” Petry said. “If we bring that effort and compete every night from here on out, we’re gonna put ourselves in a good spot.”

Can’t you just picture Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman, competitor that he is, seething with rage and anger as he’s hearing these comments?

Results All That Matter For Red Wings

For the most part, the Red Wings are delivering empty plaudits about effort and compete and sticking with the process.

Lalonde was describing the outcome as both “an extremely impressive point” an a “absolute huge point.”

“Under the circumstances, you probably want both points,” the coach did admit. “But with all that said, it’s points in two of our last three games.”

Yes, an overtime loss to the team you’re chasing and a shootout loss to a team that had dropped four in a row at home and was 1-5-1 through the past seven games.

News flash – next week, it’s April. The stretch drive. And the Red Wings are chasing the Capitals for the last Eastern Conference postseason placing. A point here and a point there isn’t going to get the job done.

Giving it the old college try doesn’t amount for much in the pro ranks.

Larkin Bounces Back, Lyon Sharp

There were some positive developments during the loss. Missing most of the first period after being struck in the left knee by a Petry point shot, captain Dylan Larkin would return to score the goal that sent the game to overtime. Goalie Alex Lyon, still without a win since Feb. 27, was nonetheless sharp. He would parry 36 of 38 shots.

Overall, though, it’s not about the subtext at this juncture of the season. It’s about the outcome. The Red Wings are now 0-2-2 on this five-game road trip that concludes Monday at Tampa Bay. They’ve dropped nine in a row away from home (0-7-2). Detroit finished the month of March with a 3-9-2 slate.

That’s not a playoff drive. It’s driving off a cliff.