Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Having Fun And Rolling Four Lines

02/11/2022 at 7:24am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“We had fun, we played with the puck, we didn’t (make many) mistakes,” Filip Zadina said of the 6-3 victory at Wells Fargo Center. “We just got to keep playing like that. If you’re thinking positive and everybody is playing the right way, everything is way easier. If we keep doing like that, we’ll be fine and we’ll be winning those games we need.

“Just got to keep going and having fun, because if you’re having fun, we’re playing good hockey as a team.”

The Red Wings and Flyers meet again Saturday at Little Caesars Arena (noon, Bally Sports Detroit), after Detroit won for only the second time in 16 games at Philadelphia since the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.

The Red Wings are far out of a playoff position, but they feel good about their progress. They haven’t gained traction, winning back-to-back games only once in the past two months. But they are .500 in points percentage (21-21-6), and after 48 games they are nine points ahead of last season’s pace, 20 points better than they were at this stage two years ago.

“I think we’ve done a decent job here over some really tough years of fighting through frustration and trying to keep our heads focused on moving towards a better tomorrow, when there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel, which two years ago there wasn’t,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Last year I thought there was a little bit more. It’s hard. This year, I think our guys are recognizing an avenue of us being a better team.

“Between an influx of talent and just kind of growing as a group in terms of what it takes to win, that’s part of the learning process and I think we’re learning it. We’ve taken very few steps backwards. We’ve just got to try to keep taking as many steps forward as we can.”

read on

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Things can change quickly, but it looks like the Detroit Red Wings have hit on four lines, each with an identity that can help the team win.

That hinges, though, on Filip Zadina continuing to do Saturday what he did Wednesday, in the first game of the Wings' home-and-home series against the Flyers. That night, Zadina went to the net and won puck battles and worked hard to complement linemates Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. It was Raymond who scored in the 6-3 victory in Philadelphia, but Zadina was right there in front of the crease, ready if Raymond hadn't connected on his own rebound.

That line contributed the first two goals. The second line, with Pius Suter centering Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi, scored twice in the second period. Then, in the third period, Joe Veleno's line with Givani Smith and Sam Gagner had one goal, and Michael Rasmussen's line with Vladislav Namestnikov and Adam Erne had the other.

Robby Fabbri (14) of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates after scoring during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

"The lines seem to make sense from a construction," coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday. "I think the Suter line with the addition of Bert gives them some muscle and some puck-battle wins, and a really good player. The Larkin line, if Z plays with that grittiness, they all can kind of contribute together. The Rasmussen line has an identity. Veleno’s line did a good job. I think that can kind of be a combination line — there’s some skill there. Gags has been a skill player throughout his career. Veleno can do a little of both, and I thought Smitty was real physical on the forecheck.

"It does give you some balance and some identity on each line that I think is important."

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