“The big picture – did we overachieve a little bit in that start? Maybe. But I think we’re underachieving a little bit with this 0-4-2 stretch. We’re better than that and can be better than that.”
I like that because it’s basically what he was saying when they were overachieving at the start.
Jakub Vrana skated hard Tuesday during an optional practice, his third skate with the team since returning from the players assistance program. He will not play Wednesday. Lalonde said a conditioning stint with Grand Rapids is an option.
“We’ll evaluable where he was in practice today and discuss it again tonight,” Lalonde said. “I don’t care who you are, it’s tough to replicate skating and game situations. He can stay in good shape off the ice, which I’m sure he did, but when you don’t touch the ice for two-plus months, we just want to put him in the best situations to be successful when he does return.”
Vrana would have to consent to this. I don’t know why he would say no, but it won’t matter until after the roster freeze is lifted.
Sophomore surges | After tremendous rookie seasons in 2021-22, Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are both enduring sophomore slumps. The Red Wings and their fans were hoping that Seider and Raymond would take the next step in their development this year, but that hasn’t quite happened. Fortunately, there is still more than half the season left to turn it around.
Remember when we were top ten in power rankings and now we’re low 20s?
So you can’t entirely blame the NHL and the NHLPA, but you definitely can argue it is time to push for creativity. What else is possible? I’m all-in on the idea of smaller, locally-played head-to-head series in September: Canada vs USA (in Vegas?); Sweden vs Finland; Czechia vs Slovakia; Germany vs Switzerland. Involve the women, make it a best-of-seven with the men’s and women’s teams alternating each night.
It’s time. No more delays. If we never get the Sidney Crosby/Connor McDavid combo or the Patrick Kane/Auston Matthews combo or whatever duo you wish to create, we’re going to look back and say, “What were we smoking?”
The players want it, the fans crave it like the world’s most delicious churro. On a nightly basis, we’re watching some of the greatest the sport has ever seen; we need more platforms for them to perform magic.
Probably won’t care about this as much as they’d want me to. The players won’t care about it enough for it to be compelling.