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Red Wings Playoff Failure Still Haunting Edvinsson

Close call remains on his mind



Simon Edvinsson, Red Wings
Red Wings prospect Simon Edvinsson still can't stop thinking about how close the team came to qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Simon Edvinsson may not be familiar with the saying close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but the Detroit Red Wings defense prospect is being haunted by it nonetheless.

He’s back with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins, where he’s playing a significant role for the team in the Calder Cup playoffs as a top-pairing defenseman. At the same time, Edvinsson continues to find the close call the Red Wings had to being a postseason squad themselves to be a disturbing memory.

“Honest answer?” Edvinsson asked. “Of course it bothers me still. Of course it bothers me. How close can you come was really that feeling.

The Red Wings were eliminated via tiebreaker after the Washington Capitals scored an empty-net goal late in the final regular-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers to win 2-1. The Flyers needed a win to make the playoffs, so they pulled their goalie and went for it. That plan would backfire on them and ultimately, on the Red Wings as well.

“To go out that way was bothering,” Edvinsson admits.

As much as he is still finding that harsh reality to be disturbing, with a new task on his agenda, Edvinsson is seeking to keep that as his main focus.

“There’s still some thoughts about that, but I think that’s not something I think of during the games here,” he said of missing out on the NHL playoffs. “That’s something I’m going to have to focus on during the summer.

“That’s gonna be my kind of thing to work on for the summer. Just have that energy to want to be better and want to improve to team for next year up there. But right now it’s just focus here on the games and try to win every game here.”

Edvinsson Bringing NHL Education Back To GR

Back with the Griffins, where he played 54 regular-season AHL games this season, Edvinsson is putting the Calder Cup ahead of the Stanley Cup on his current to do list. He and center Austin Czarnik were returning to Grand Rapids when Detroit’s season concluded so abruptly. There, they were joining forward Jonatan Berggren. He was sent down with a couple of weeks left in the NHL season.

Edvinsson acknolwedges that the step back down is requiring some adjustments on his part.

Of course, but it’s just small ones,” Edvinsson said. “It’s a different kind of hockey. It’s a different tempo and of course that’s why it’s different, NHL from AHL.”

Nonethless, he’s delighted to still be playing. Edvinsson is experiencing his first playoff hockey in North America as a pro.

“Of course it was a lot of excitement,” Edvinsson said. “You want to go on a long playoff run here. The transition, it’s a little bit hard at the start. But you battle into it.

“I was up in Detroit one and a half, two months. To come back down is a little bit different. It’s hockey. It’s what it is. You just have to deal with it.”