Red Wings upbeat as losses turn to wins in 'relentless' NHL
Detroit — This is way more fun.
The Red Wings have perked up. It looks better on the ice and feels better around the room.
Coming to work is more enjoyable.
Attribute it to defensemen’s injuries healing, tougher opponents in the first 10 games, more home games in the past eight or some prospective stars beginning to take the next step, the 1-7-2 Wings before Halloween are the 8-8-2 Wings a week shy of Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, some hot and more cold streaks have been the pattern for a few seasons now.
So, the sensibility is keeping the keel even, while enjoying the success.
“Certainly, I think around the team, it’s more fun to come to the rink when you’ve won; there’s no doubt about it,” coach Jeff Blashill said, before the team hit the road for games against the Senators on Thursday and Devils on Saturday.
“I think that the biggest thing that you have to do is to understand our focus is the same focus it was when we weren’t winning, and that’s getting better here today.
“What’s ever happened, winning or losing, that’s over,” Blashill said. “Let’s keep moving forward here. It’s a relentless league.”
Blashill said that, personally, he tries to continuously remain in the process. But, wins tend to brighten the disposition.
“I don’t know that my mood has adjusted a whole bunch, as it is,” he said. “But, you know, when you go home, you feel a little bit better about yourself.”
Since Mike Green returned, the Red Wings are 7-2.
Green is the leading defenseman in average time on ice, with 21 minutes, 55 seconds.
The 14-year veteran has a goal and six assists for seven points in his nine games played and is second behind the rookie Dennis Cholowski (three goals, six assists, nine points, 16 games played) in scoring among the Wings’ defensemen.
Players and coaches say Green’s return solidified the back end and helped turn around the start of the season.
“We’ll go over some tape and a game plan tomorrow,” Green said, anticipating playing the Senators in Ottawa.
“But, they’re a good transition team. At least, they have been in the past. We’ve got to make sure we get puck behind and make sure they don’t control that transition game.”
Green has led Red Wings defensemen in scoring each of the past three seasons.
Last year, he tallied eight goals and 25 assists.
Red Wings at Senators
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa.
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Notes: Blashill said injured forwards Jacob de la Rose and Thomas Vanek, and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will remain out of the lineup, as the Wings seek their fifth straight victory and eighth in nine games. … The Senators are 1-2 since a recording made on an Uber ride in Arizona revealed players belittling the team and an assistant coach, and 3-5-2 on the last 10 games. Their goal differential, minus-14, ranked last in the Eastern Conference entering play Wednesday, six goals worse than the next-to-last Wings.