Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Steve Yzerman Is Seeing Progress With The Wings

11/20/2019 at 12:02pm EST

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Steve Yzerman is just getting started. He's a little more than a quarter of the way through his first season as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, focused on building for the long term.

"How much we're going to win and lose, where we're going to finish in the standings, I'm not going to predict that," Yzerman said at the NHL general managers meetings Tuesday. "But I think [coach Jeff Blashill] and his staff are doing a really good job of preparing the players, of practicing. I like to think we're improving from training camp to the start of the regular season.

"As we speak here today, I think you're seeing good progress in our team."

The Red Wings are 7-13-3, last in the NHL in point percentage (.370), goals per game (2.35) and goals against per game (3.70).

But after a 1-11-1 stretch in which they were outscored 57-21, they went 3-0-2 in five games -- defeating the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights at home, then taking four of six points against the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on the road.

"Even during that stretch where we lost a lot and gave up a lot, I can't say it wasn't because we weren't competing," Yzerman said a few hours before a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators. "I'm encouraged by the speed of play and the enthusiasm and the work ethic that the team has, and I think we're seeing progress. … I think collectively as a team, the team plays fast, the team plays hard, and it's a competitive group.


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