from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Here are some of the takeouts from these two victories that should give fans some early optimism:
- Through two games, Mantha has seven points (five goals, two assists), Bertuzzi five points (two goals, three assists) and Larkin four points (one goal, three assists). That’s a mind-boggling 16 points between them.
They have combined for eight of the Wings’ nine goals goals, and 16 of the team's 25 points, carrying over last season’s torrid finish.
“Our message was when we get back to Detroit, when we’re back together, we’re going to hit the ground running,” said Larkin, relaying a conversation the line had in May at the world championships....
- In the three years the Wings have missed the playoffs, there have been too many games they’ve let get away late, not being able to hold the lead or shut down an opponent.
The way the Wings were able to steady themselves in both these victories against good teams when things looked to be going badly was a bright spot.
“We’ve had some tough go’s last year (closing out games), and it’s something we really emphasized toward the end of the stretch last year,” Larkin said. “When we’re in one-goal games, let’s make it hard for the other team – they don’t get easy goals.
“It’s not going to be perfect every night, like you saw (Sunday) they responded right away (tying the game early in the third period), but there was no panic.”