Detroit Red Wings respond after brutal loss, tough practice
Detroit – The Red Wings knew Thursday’s 7-1 loss in Nashville was not acceptable on any level.
No area of the game was good enough, but even more dauntingly, the team’s competitiveness was in question.
So the wings returned home and came to training on Friday with new energy.
The way the Wings reacted against Columbus with two convincing wins on Saturday and Sunday was a testament to the responsibility and professionalism of this squad.
“We had a great training session on Friday,” said striker Dylan Larkin. “We came home and had one of the best practices of the year. We answered the bell this weekend.
“I’m proud of our boys.”
Larkin knew the team understood that Thursday’s defeat wasn’t good enough in any way.
“It was tough. We all knew after that game in Nashville that it wasn’t good enough,” said Larkin. “The effort, the competition, the way we have to play. It was all.”
Coach Jeff Blashill was confident his team would get back on their feet after Thursday’s defeat, but nothing can be taken for granted in the NHL.
Still, the way the Wings came back and controlled the game for much of these two games was eye opening.
“I really like our guys, their competitiveness and empowerment, and they looked in the mirror after that game (Nashville) and came to practice and they wore their cocks down,” said Blashill. “It showed in back-to-back games. Three games in four days, four days of pretty hard (skating, working) and just keeping working.”
In both victories over Columbus, the Wings had an excellent first phase, revising and demoralizing the jackets battling for a place in the playoffs.
Larkin credited the control line of Darren Helm, Luke Glendening and Adam Erne, whose physical and gritty style set the tone against a Columbus team that prefer to play that way.
“You set an example for the rest of us,” Larkin said. “It was a difficult first phase, we had to get into the game, but these guys have been up there for a while. They just work and we had to do that and work and get the puck back.” Preliminary examination. “
goalkeeper Calvin Pickard won his first two games of the season and his wings career with the weekend victories.
In Zoom interviews with the media, teammates were delighted with Pickard, 28, a career NHL journeyman who has maintained an admirable work ethic and demeanor and is the No. 3 taxi cadre on the roster.
Larkin recalled reading a story last week about his Michigan teammate’s former goalkeeper Jack Campbell (Toronto Maple Leafs) from Port Huron and how Campbell was an important factor in the Leafs because of his positive attitude.
“I read it and what his teammates had to say and I just had to think about Pixie and how he has handled his attitude this season and how he gets to the rink every day,” said Larkin. “He just brightens up the room and he’s such a great guy, a really hard worker and he’ll do everything in practice. He’ll stay out until the last guy is out (from the ice cream) and he always has a smile.” A joke or a one-liner, just a great teammate and a great person, and a great professional.
“We’re all pretty excited about him and we’ll see what happens, whether the coaches keep driving him or whatever the coaches decide, but we know he’ll be ready.”
Pickard scored his second win in as many days with 16 saves and his first consecutive wins since 10-16. October 2018 with Philadelphia.
Pickard is the first goalkeeper for Red Wings Jonathan Bernier Winning back-to-back games since then Jimmy Howard won five direct decisions from March 19 to April 2, 2019.
Bobby Ryan left the game in the first period after playing 4 minutes 11 seconds with what the team called an upper body injury. Blashill didn’t have another update on how long Ryan might be unavailable.
“I don’t think it’s going to be anything really serious, but that doesn’t mean he might not be out for the next game,” said Blashill.
… The Wings’ consecutive wins against Columbus were the first two games against the same opponent this season.
…. Michigan’s ice hockey team’s inability to compete in the NCAA postseason was a blow to the program. Blashill, a former Western Michigan coach, cared for the coaches and players.
“It is certainly difficult for the players and also for the coaches,” said Blashill. “It’s the coaches’ livelihood too and they put a lot of work, a lot of work, to get to that point. They have a really good team and I know some of these players and they are really good players and they probably had a chance to do something special. “
… Evgeny SvechnikovThe goal was his career-high third goal and fifth point in eight games this season.
… Michael RasmussenThe starting goal was his first NHL goal in 22 games, but it spanned 746 days since March 14, 2019 against Tampa Bay. It was also Rasmussen’s first NHL winning goal.
… Vladislav NamestnikovThe empty goal was his 200th career NHL point.