from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings (28-21-8) might have made the decision for him by winning seven of their past eight. They are tied with Buffalo and Florida for the final wild card spot (64 points) heading into tonight’s game against Tampa Bay at Little Caesars Arena (8 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit). They have four games in hand on the Panthers and five on the New York Islanders, who are three points ahead.
“Coming out of the (All-Star) break, especially with the (trade) deadline coming up (Friday) we wanted to put it in our own hands and force our boss to believe in us,” Jake Walman said. “We believe in each other. It’s way more fun coming to the rink, making a push. That was kind of our goal throughout the year. Having it more realistically in front of us is a big confidence boost.
“I think you can see it in games. Even if we’re not necessarily playing a full 60 like we want to, we’re finding ways. That necessarily didn’t happen earlier in the year.”
Walman is among the team’s pending unrestricted free agents, a group that includes Tyler Bertuzzi, Pius Suter, Oskar Sundqvist, Robert Hagg and Jordan Oesterle. Their futures are uncertain, but for now they’re committed to the playoff push.
“This is starting to feel like we’re building something really good,” Walman said. “It wasn’t really there at the beginning, but we’ve just constantly taken steps and we’re growing. I think everybody in the room feels that buzz that we got going. It’s a stressful time and we just want to make sure we put ourselves in the right spot so we can make a push and don’t worry about anything else.”
Wings talk playoffs
via the Detroit Free Press,
It’s still difficult to rule out the Pens and the Caps over the remaining 20 games not to rise to the top. They may be more likely to put together a run to separate themselves from the Peloton of Suck.
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