from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
If the Red Wings had simply finished the season around mid-February, being above the playoff cutline and having games in hand, and playing good hockey in many areas, coach Derek Lalonde would have been just fine with it.
"We'd probably be talking about me spending my coach of the year bonus already on some trip somewhere," Lalonde said Friday in his season-ending press conference.
But, the season lasts 82 games in the NHL. And the Wings, after losing four straight games before the trade deadline, including two consecutive routs in Ottawa, saw their roster sliced, as general manager Steve Yzerman made deals, along with season-ending injuries to forwards Michael Rasmussen, Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina.
From there, the Wings finished 7-15-1 to end the season — and there will be no bonuses for Lalonde to spend.
"At that point, awesome, our guys were playing the right way, Ville (Husso) was playing like a No. 1 goalie in the league, our special teams were clicking, it was a huge credit to the guys, probably a little bit of an overachievement for us," Lalonde said. "Probably not a true indicator of the entire season."
Then again, Lalonde doesn't feel like the final six weeks of the season were accurate either, in telling where this team is.
"Probably somewhere in between," Lalonde said, of where the Wings stand currently. "I would love to go back to that date (Feb. 24, when the Wings were above the playoff cutline) and call it a season. But, there are 82 games in a season and there's a lot that goes into it."
“We didn’t play the full 82” is as bad a cliche as “we didn’t play the full 60.” I hate stuff like this. Then again, what’s he supposed to say, I guess.
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