Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Compher: ‘For this team to go further I need to be better’

More consistency needed for Detroit to take steps forward



J.T., Compher
Red Wings center J.T. Compher believes a lack of consistency is what kept them from being a playoff team.

Coming up a point shy of a playoff spot this season, the Detroit Red Wings were learning some valuable lessons in what it takes to make the postseason.

Most of all, it was the vital lesson that consistency matters. How you play in November is every bit as vital to team success as how you perform in April.

“We probably weren’t as consistent with it as we needed to be throughout the entire season,” Red Wings center J.T. Compher said. “But it’s an easy thing to talk about and it’s a hard thing to truly attain.

“I’ve been on really good teams that did it, played that way for the majority of the season. But you have to play that way the entire season. I think that’s kind of the goal next year, more consistency in that aspect.

“That’s how you win hockey games is playing structured, competitive. Playing the right way and playing for each other.”

Red Wings Endured Uneven Campaign

Certainly, there were times when the Red Wings were looking like world beaters. There was a six-game win streak in February and a 5-1-1 start to the season. On the other hand, Detroit lost seven in a row in March and went on a 1-6-1 skid in December.

“You don’t want to be a streaky team,” Compher said. “You want it to be continuously the same thing night in and night out. If you do it enough nights you should be rewarded enough times to be in the position you want.”

How to be that consistent presence is a daunting challenge that the Red Wings are still seeking to master.

“I think every team battles that question of how do we become more consistent?” Compher said. “There’s a lot of different ways that pop out. Taking care of yourself away from the rink, at the rink. The details of the game. But it’s more overarching that you’re doing everything possible to be as consistent as possible and play the right way every single night.

“It’s so cliche, but every point matters. It was a hard way to learn that lesson, but middle of November, middle of February, this could be the point that pushes us ahead.”

Every Red Wings Player Must Strive To Improve

It’s clearly evident that several pieces of Detroit’s core were making forward strides this season as the Wings were fighting for their playoff lives.

“The intensity of the games was as close as you can get to real playoff hockey,” Compher said. “You could see the growth from Ray (Lucas Raymond) and Mo (Seider) and Dylan (Larkin). Guys stepping up in big moments.”

That being said, the fact of the matter is that it wasn’t good enough to get the job done.

“Personally, you always want more,” Compher said. “You always want to do more, especially when a season ends like that.

“For this team to go further I need to be better. I think a lot of guys feel that way.”

Their near miss in terms of making the playoffs is only serving to raise the bar for this team. More will be expected and demanded of the Red Wings next season and it won’t be a simple task to answer those expectations.

“It’s really hard to win in this league,” Compher said. “I lived it for awhile in Colorado with really good teams. Most times it’s gradual steps forward. It’s not always the most fun. A lot of years you end not reaching the goal you set for yourself but continue to strive for it.

“You can’t just go from down here to all the way up here in one night. You have to continuously grow that standard and push that standard higher. We pushed our standard higher this year going into next year, going into the years forward.”