The Malik Report
by Paul on 04/13/14 at 06:26 PM ET
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at NHL.com,
Just because Detroit Red Wings players don't really talk about the franchise's streak of 22 straight playoff appearances doesn't mean they don't know all about it.
"Everybody in the league knows about it," defenceman Brendan Smith said. "You don't want to be that 23rd not to get it done."
When they were ravaged by injuries, including significant ones to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, that looked like a very real possibility. Instead, thanks to a combination of masterful coaching by Mike Babcock, breakout performances by young players like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar and what Smith called the "Red Wing Way," Detroit is the second wild card in the Eastern Conference and will open the playoffs Friday at the Boston Bruins.
"Obviously we've got great coaching, good goaltending and it's been different guys stepping up at different times," winger Daniel Alfredsson said. "Tatar and Nyquist has been two guys that's been relied heavily upon, and they've handled that unbelievable. It's fun to watch when you see young players take responsibility and do well with it."
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