The Detroit Red Wings will be taking on the Florida Panthers in less than 24 hours tonight. The Red Wings, following their 7-2 loss last night, were rocked by some news that affected everyone in the organization:
The #RedWings are devastated to learn tonight of the passing of longtime team masseur Sergei Tchekmarev, a beloved figure around the Red Wings dressing room since 1998.
Head coach Jeff Blashill shared his thoughts about “Cheeka” following tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/vVesoWZA7p
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 20, 2021
The news of losing a beloved member of the organization while watching Jeff Blashill’s raw emotion made me pause. Seeing the head coach of a hockey team, after a brutal loss, be so vulnerable and so well spoken in a time of obvious grief just made me stop to reflect.
We all get wound up about the games and this was a reminder of how human beings are still the ones who strap on the skates and bark out the orders on the bench. After losing their game, they walk into the locker room and learn of the death of someone close to them. I’ve been leveled by news like that in my own life. I can’t imagine how they even processed that after a rough game.
It’s tough watching games some nights but it’s even tougher watching fellow human beings hurt like that.
My condolences to the organization and the Tchekmarev family.
The Red Wings are back at it in less than 24 hours
Currently on a three game losing streak, the Red Wings will be looking to turn things around. Defensively the Red Wings had been playing close to their counterparts but things fell apart quickly last night. Even more challenging was the power play going 0-4 and falling into a deeper 0 for their last 34 power play chances.
It will be interesting to see what–if any–changes are made tonight with the lineup. It was a pretty forgettable night for the bottom two lines, outside of Valtteri Filppula who scored a goal that deflected off of Anthony Duclair’s stick.
Evgeny Svechnikov is watching and waiting right now. Meanwhile, let’s keep an eye on Grand Rapids to see how Dennis Cholowski, Givani Smith, and Michael Rasmussen continue to play and (hopefully) progress.
The Red Wings and Panthers face off at 5:00 p.m. EST.