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It Feels Different

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Selling hope isn’t something unusual for recent editions of the Detroit Red Wings. Installing belief . . . well, that’s an entirely new revelation.

The Red Wings are 13-9-3 on the NHL season. If the Stanley Cup playoffs were beginning today, Detroit would be the first Wild Card team in the Eastern Conference. The Wings have more points than four of the five teams that played in the past three Stanley Cup finals – the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens. They’re ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, who were the preseason Stanley Cup favorites and Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

True, they’ve been here before, albeit not this late into the season. The Wings have teased the faithful in past seasons with four and five-game win streaks. They’ve suggested that they were turning the corner, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. A sudden seven-game skid would quickly reveal that light to be an oncoming train.

This season, though, doesn’t it feel diifferent, like this club might actually be for real?

Captain Dylan Larkin certainly think that’s the case.

“For the first time in a while here we’ve really bought into playing for each other and doing everything to close games out,” Larkin said.


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Paul's avatar

Basically Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News expands on his article from last night…

The Wings are 9-0-2 when leading after two periods, and 6-3 in overtime.

“Our guys understand that we have to keep getting better and they’re not satisfied that our game isn’t nearly perfect,” Blashill said. “We need to keep striving for that perfection. But with that said, I do think you can work and can compete yourself past mistakes. We have done that. That’s part of grinding out wins. Part of it is staying with it, part of it is guys stepping up to big moments and we’ve had all those things.”

Forward Givani Smith played less than eight minutes against the Islanders, but was noticeable in that time.

His biggest play was blocking Scott Mayfield’s shot from the point, gathering the puck, racing down the ice and snapping a shot past goaltender Ilya Sorokin.

It was a highlight-type of goal, and showed the strengths of Smith’s game.

The Wings and Blashill just need to see it more consistently.

“When you defend well, you’re rewarded with offense and that’s what Givani was,” Blashill said. “He came back, stopped in the right spot and didn’t drift, came right out in the lane and blocked the shot and goes down and scores.

“That’s what we want to aspire to be as a team that wins the right way. When you defend, you get your chances to score.”


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/05/21 at 01:33 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Detroit’s winning percentage would still keep them as #2 wild card right now, 95 point pace, thanks to the winning streak.  This would put them behind Boston but above Pittsburgh. A bit of smoke and mirrors because their goal differential is -7.

Posted by RWBill on 12/05/21 at 05:53 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

This team is playing confident, when they decide to work they can score. Problem is they cannot hold onto a one goal lead.  That is why they should not quit working hard until they got that two goal lead.  It is easy to see that after a one goal lead they sit back and try to hold.  It is exciting to watch overtime and they have a system for overtime where they can match skaters with the additional room to win games but I don’t like to see them shelling out all these extra points, it will bite them one day.  You can see that with the young legs their back to back efforts are much better.  The european influence is evident, 3v3 or 4v4 they dominate, even 5v5 they are very good but the PP and PK has to pick up, especially against the 32 PP in the league.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 12/05/21 at 08:05 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com