Detroit — The Red Wings have reached the halfway point of their regular season.
Is it OK to just fast forward to the finish line?
That April 4 game at Little Caesars Arena against Tampa Bay, the final game of the season, can’t come soon enough for most everyone involved.
The Wings sit Thursday morning with a 10-28-3 record, worst in the NHL, with the fewest points (23), the fewest goals scored (89), the most goals allowed (157) — and it doesn’t get much better from there.
Not much has gone right.
Some veteran players who could add a semblance of experience and ability on the ice haven’t produced as hoped. There are too many marginal NHL players on the roster, and some young players who will be big pieces in the future simply aren’t ready to thrive in the NHL yet.
The Wings are right in the thick of their rebuild.
“Obviously it’s frustrating, not really the way you’d want to draw it up this season,” said forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who is one of the few Wings who is enjoying a productive season, and rightfully earned an All-Star Game berth. “But you learn from it and move on. We’ll go on to the second half now and hopefully turn things around.”
If there’s been a positive development, it’s the fact that, especially lately, the Wings have faced some top-level teams and stayed competitive with lineups not nearly at the level of star talent.
Coach Jeff Blashill has stressed the need to shake off what has happened, move on and learn from it, and concentrate on getting better.
“We haven’t won, we haven’t won enough and that’s been a hard grind,” Blashill said. “But that’s life, that’s hockey, that’s the way it goes sometimes. We have to continue to make sure is not reflect on what has happened. It doesn’t matter. There’s not one thing we can do about what has happened except learn from it.
“We have to focus on trying to win a game game (that particular night) and our guys have done a pretty good job of it, but in games too often, we’ve allowed goals against us to allow us to sag.
“We just have to make sure to continue to have a next shift, next game, mentality.”