Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

More Consistency Needed

02/08/2022 at 8:04am EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Coach Jeff Blashill pointed to the fact that in five of the six periods against the Penguins and Leafs, "we played the way we have to play to be successful." That is: Got the puck in deep, forechecked and made plays when there was a play to be made. Not forcing a play has been a point of emphasis from Blashill over the past month, as the Wings have hurt themselves when they've been impatient with the puck.

These last two-and-a-half months will be a test for the Wings, as they face multiple opponents who are jockeying for playoff positioning: three games each against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, two games each against the Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes and games against the Leafs and Boston Bruins, among others.

While the Wings play, general manager Steve Yzerman will be watching. The trade deadline is March 21, and the list of Wings who are pending unrestricted free agents includes Staal, fellow defenseman Nick Leddy, forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Sam Gagner and goaltender Thomas Greiss. The Wings are on pace to miss the playoffs, but if they continue to make positive strides, some of those players may earn extensions rather than be trade fodder.

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