Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider relish reaching 100-game milestone

Detroit News

Columbus, Ohio — It was a milestone that Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider shared, and likely the first of many going forward.

Both players participated in the 100th game of their young careers Saturday in Columbus, a quickly achieved milestone from two players who’ve made quick impressions around the NHL.

“Impressed by both of them,” coach Derek Lalonde said of the duo’s achievement. “It’s impressive what they’ve done in 100 games. It’s almost unfair what we ask of them. You take Mo, every situation he’s always against their (opponents’) top line, he’s first out on the penalty kill, first out on the power play. Raymond, it’s very similar.

“It’s experience by fire, both of them and they’re handling it very well.”

Both players were a bit surprised by how quickly 100 games came about.

“It feels like it’s gone very quick,” Raymond said. “But for sure it’s fun and exciting.”

Both have enjoyed the fact they’ve had each other to lean on and go through their young NHL careers.

“We’ve been through this together from the start,” Raymond said. “He’s a good friend and it’s going to be fun to play (into the future).”

Both played all 82 games last season, and haven’t missed a game this season, a sign of their durability and ability to consistently produce despite being so young (Seider is 21; Raymond 20).

“We’ve been lucky to play all 82 last year and stayed healthy and overall it’s been great having him on my side,” said Seider, who won the NHL’s Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) after last season. “We’ve been able to go through a lot of stuff together and it’s been real good to see how he adjusts his game.”

Much has been made about the “sophomore jinx” and how opponents adjust to a player’s second season and possibly can neutralize them. But both Wings’ players feel the second season has basically a continuation of year one.

“It’s a new year and a lot of new guys on our team and around us on the ice,” said Raymond, who opened the season on a six-game goal-less streak, but has scored six goals since. “But I’m just trying to focus on my game. I feel like I was happy with my game and it was just a matter of time and it would come if I continued to do what I was doing. It’s good that it (goals) finally came.”

Seider scored his first goal of this season Thursday in San Jose, snapping a 4-4 third-period tie and igniting the Wings to a victory.

Seider is hopeful that will spark his offense.

“It’s nice to get that first one and hopefully the bounces will go my game now, or in our favor,” Seider said. “Overall it’s been a real good start.

“I just try to keep it simple and let the game come to me and not force it. Sometimes it works better than other night. But that’s the main focus right now. It’s been working pretty good, playing real solid minutes with Ben (Chiarot) and creating a lot of chemistry.

Lalonde feels both young players are adjusting to the new expectations and schemes of his coaching staff.

“There is maturity in both of their games,” Lalonde said. “A hundred games for them, and it was a real good start last year, they were a big part of it and they go into that part of the year where it was tough to play. They (the Wings) were out of it and I’m not saying it wasn’t winning hockey, they were active and I’m not going to say loose in their play, (but) now we come out this year and we’re trying to tighten everything up on the whole and ask them to be more detailed and they’ve been great again.

“I’m shocked in some way looking at both of those players as kids and they’re sitting here at 100 games, which is impressive.”

Hronek impressive

Defenseman Filip Hronek, who went through a difficult season a year ago and never appeared to find any consistency, has starred thus far this season.

Hronek went into Saturday’s game with two goals and 10 assists (12 points) and was plus-7 in plus-minus rating trailing only Dylan Larkin (plus-8).

Hronek, 25, is another player who seems to have been sparked by the new coaching staff.

“He’s really simplifying his game,” Lalonde said. “We’ve tried to manage and simplify our breakout habits and you can see the pucks off his stick, he’s spending less time in his zone which creates more time on the other end. He’s played simple and well and skating and he’s assertive with his game.

“He’s been a real bright spot for us.”

Beware the cannon

Nationwide Arena is infamous for its loud cannon that goes off after Blue Jackets goals and can rattle anyone who isn’t expecting it.

Lalonde was initiated when he was an assistant coach in Tampa Bay, and mentioned how Wings rookies will have to learn about it also.

“I’ve been taken aback by the cannon a few times in the past,” Lalonde said. “You always think you’re ready for it but you’re never ready for the cannon. It’ll be an experience they’ll go through, the same emotions I went through.

“Scared as hell.”

Twitter: @tkulfan

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