from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press,
... But the Wings deserve a lot more than a mild cheer from a writer they can’t hear. They deserve a standing ovation from their fans, who have witnessed a renaissance this season. The Wings are 13-10-3 and currently hold the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card playoff spot nearly one-third of the way through the season.
Consider where this team is and what it’s doing. A lot of people wanted coach Jeff Blashill fired after last season. A lot of people’s patience was wearing thin with Steve Yzerman’s rebuild as they kept waited for promising prospects to pay off. And a lot of people were wondering if the Wings were ever going to learn how to score.
And what are we talking about now? Disappointment about one of the NHL’s longest winning streaks this season coming to an end against a playoff team last season? Whether Lucas Raymond, the rookie points leader, will win the Calder Trophy? How Little Caesars Arena is starting to feel like the hockey hotbed that Joe Louis Arena used to be?
If you haven’t been to a Wings game, you’re missing out. It feels like Wings games used to feel like at the Joe, a palpable pregame buzz because of the excitement that comes with the expectation of victory. Blashill has credited the energized crowd for helping spur the team to victory at home.
Raymond isn’t Pavel Datsyuk and rookie defenseman Moritz Seider isn’t Nicklas Lidstrom. But they’re finding their way and learning to win and it’s very tantalizing to think they could be at the start of a path that puts them on a trajectory toward similar success.