Column: Detroit is starting to show fight, even in the losses

ST PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 14: Members of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after Robby Fabbri #14 scored a power play goal against the Minnesota Wild in the third period of the game at Xcel Energy Center on February 14, 2022 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Red Wings 7-4. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
ST PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 14: Members of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after Robby Fabbri #14 scored a power play goal against the Minnesota Wild in the third period of the game at Xcel Energy Center on February 14, 2022 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Red Wings 7-4. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings are currently sitting at a .500 win percentage. Though the team isn’t quite a playoff contender, they are a vastly different squad compared to last season. One of the main differences? They are finally showing some fight, even in the losses.

Take Monday’s matchup against the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota is a much better team, filled to the brim with impressive offensive talent. Eight minutes into the third period, it looked like the Wild were going to skate away with a blowout win.

However, instead of laying down and dying, Detroit fought back. A power play goal from Lucas Raymond brought the Red Wings just a bit closer, and with just under two minutes left, Sam Gagner netted a goal to bring the game within one.

Minnesota eventually went on to fill the empty net a few times and secure a 7-4 win.

In a year or two, there will be no consolation in a loss like this for Detroit. The team earned no points and lost by three.

However, in a season where the Red Wings are finally trudging out of an arduous rebuild, games like this are the growing pains that prove the team is improving.

Sure, there have still been stinkers. Last month’s road trip out west produced one of Detroit’s worst performances of the season, in the form of a lifeless 4-0 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. In the first couple of months, even when the Wings were better, there were some complete meltdowns (the 3-0 loss in Montreal comes to mind).

But as the season has progressed, those losses seem to be a bit rarer. In Minnesota, things looked over for the Red Wings, but the team showed some heart and fought back. That’s something fans just haven’t seen in Detroit for a while.

With just a rich history, taking morale victories is just something this fanbase is not comfortable with. However, as the rebuild continues to turn a corner, these small observations are going to become more and more clear.

A brutal upcoming stretch will show just how much fight the Wings have in them this season. With teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on the slate, try not to put as much stock in the wins and losses. Compare this current Detroit team to its most recent iterations, not those of the playoff run.

Next. 8 Observations from Detroit's 7-4 loss to Minnesota. dark