from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Coach Derek Lalonde, though pleased with the 20-game start, wants to see more of a long-range view of his team.
To Lalonde, this still constitutes a small sample size. Get back to Lalonde around the midseason point, around 40 games.
"You start getting into that 40, even what we call dog days, into that 50-, 60-, 70-game range, now it’s a battle of attrition," Lalonde said. "Everyone is at the top of their game (at that juncture). We're still some time away from that."
The Wings have improved in every major statistical category compared to the end of last season. What pleases Lalonde most, is the progress defensively.
There have been three major blowout losses to New Jersey, Buffalo and the New York Rangers (22 goals allowed) which skew the Wings' defensive numbers worse than what they could be. The Wings entered 14th in goals-against, a dramatic improvement over last season's 31st xxx.
"We're not rolling out what these top teams are rolling out (offensively), which is fine," Lalonde said. "We know what we are and who we are, but for the most part, especially lately, our five-on-five defense has been pretty good."
Lalonde mentioned last week how the "vibe" in the locker room is good, what with a four-game win streak heading into Monday's game and the improvement in the standings.