If you watched the Detroit Red Wings’ media session on Wednesday, many of the questions centered around how hockey–and the world–have changed during the pandemic. The Red Wings are a much different team from last season–albeit within a rebuild and still a lot of losing. But games are closer and efforts better–as opposed to last season where Detroit was routinely blown out.
But beyond that, everyone has been affected by what began last March and has continued on–with cautious hope that things may be getting more normal soon–due to the global pandemic.
Head coach Jeff Blashill said as much Wednesday:
"It’s been a long grind for everybody. Hopefully there’s light at the end of the tunnel here and we get as close to normal as possible.”"
Things are gradually moving back into the right direction, but it’s also going to be exactly that–gradual.
Much can be said about the Red Wings when it comes to hockey.
Red Wings are slowly improving
The fact that Detroit led Tampa in the third before yielding the lead, and eventually the game in overtime. But it’s the fact that since a 5-1 blowout back in February, Detroit has played many of the good teams in the division better than they have last season and that’s a massive improvement from a season ago. Growth is evident with Filip Zadina, who looks better with each passing game and is involved with many of the scoring play this season. Even though Evgeny Svechnikov sat last night, he’s a point-per-game player after overcoming injuries and being a healthy scratch for a handful of games before getting a chance.
And the power play, since going on a dreadful 0 for 40 run without a goal, has scored at least once on the man advantage since that streak ended.
Things are looking up. Though it’s certainly not as fast as fans would like and there’s at least another season or two of probable playoff-less hockey in Detroit. Though it seems daunting, the Red Wings are already further away from where the rebuild began than when it’s expected to become a move toward contention.
The Red Wings face Tampa Bay again tonight, and are looking to build on their performance from the other night. Faceoff is at 7:30 pm EST.