from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings have won two games in a row for the first time in six weeks, on the strength of closing out opponents in the third period. That was a facet they lacked as recently as this month. Being able to do what the Wings did in their last two third periods - rallying from a one-goal deficit against Anaheim by scoring three goals and padding a one-goal lead at Minnesota with two goals – is especially encouraging for a young team.
“I think a lot of times with young players, it’s a process to learn how to play with the lead,” coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday. “It’s a process to learn how to win tight games. It’s a process to understand how to manage your game, how to manage risk-reward, because that’s what it comes down to lots of times. So it’s 100 percent a process.
“The other part of it that’s a learned thing is working through the months of January and February, when the schedule gets long and you don’t see tons of light at the end of the tunnel. It’s easy to play on opening night. It’s harder to be at your best through these parts of the year, and yet the guys that are at their best every night are the ones that are the elite players, and the teams that are at their best every night are the ones that are the elite teams.”