Wings notes: Copp adheres to higher standard, Edvinsson last-minute scratch

Detroit News

St. Louis — Andrew Copp hasn’t missed the playoffs often during his NHL playing career.

But, Copp does remember his Winnipeg Jets missed the playoffs his rookie season (2015-16). Something stood out also, about what then-Jets coach Paul Maurice told the team.

At the time, what Maurice said confused Copp. It doesn’t anymore, though, and comes into clear clarity this season as the Red Wings are closing in on missing the playoffs.

“He was like, ‘I’ll treat you like men if you act like men,'” Copp said. “I was kind of confused on what that exactly meant, and now I’m on the other side a little bit, after being in five straight playoffs.”

What Maurice was alluding to was a need to continue to play professionally, with passion, and not counting the days until the season was completed.

The Wings haven’t shown any real signs of intensity dropping, but there have been times when maybe they could have been sharper.

For sure, they haven’t been winning, with only two victories in their last 12 games, heading into Tuesday’s game in St. Louis.

For a veteran like Copp, it’s vital to keep his inexperienced teammates playing hard and with a purpose.

“We have a certain standard we want to play by,” said Copp, who counted the two games against Boston last weekend as the way the Wings should play, in a weekend split against the league-leading Bruins. “There’s going to be things that happen over the course of the game, but there’s going to be some non-negotiables that we need to stick to.

“For the most part, it was all right (during Monday’s 5-2 loss to Florida). Turnovers cost us. But, we have to find a way to play a little more inspired than we did.”

Copp feels the Wings have done a good job of competing, though seeing their playoff hopes slip away.

“The last couple weeks have been pretty good,” Copp said. “The Boston games were two of our best. There were some good things that happened in that (Colorado) game. We battled hard in Nashville. The Boston games are the standard, though.

“If we don’t play up to that standard, that leaves us vulnerable for games like the last two. When you put down a marker and play as well as we did against the best team in the league twice, you don’t want to come off of that. Not to say that our effort or intensity hasn’t been there, but it’s just a different level that playoff teams are gearing up toward right now. These teams are loaded up but that has to be the non-negotiable.

“That next level of standard intensity is what needs to happen night in and night out.”

It’s the veterans on the Wings, said Copp, who need to help the young players find a purpose these final few weeks.

“These games, you have to find a way to inspire your teammates, inspire yourself,” Copp said. “That can be hard. That’s our challenge. That’s the challenge from the other guys in the room, to find that inspiration and for the younger guys, proving that you belong in the NHL.

“A lot of guys that we have are playing for spots going forward — everyone is, really — so you have to find that gear to push yourself.”

The Wings face plenty of teams fighting to make the playoffs, or are in battles for playoff positioning, over these final 12 games.

Forward Pius Suter was part of the Wings’ roster that collapsed over the final weeks last season, and he doesn’t want to duplicate that.

“It’s on each of us to show up and be ready to play,” Suter said. “You have to play the right way, make plays and play the system.”

Edvinsson update

Defensemen Simon Edvinsson and Gustav Lindstrom, both dinged with lower-body injuries, were expected to take part in the pregame skate Tuesday in St. Louis, said coach Derek Lalonde.

Edvinsson, playing his second NHL game Monday, was hurt on a collision with Florida’s Radko Gudas and didn’t feel well after the game.

But Edvinsson progressed well enough to be a possibility against the Blues but did not play. Lindstrom was in the lineup.

“I was encouraged,” Lalonde said of Edvinsson’s progress. “We’ll see. He’s going to take warm-up, as is Lindy, and they’re both not 100%, so we’ll get a feel from both after warm-up and make a decision.”

Edvinsson is on an emergency recall from Grand Rapids, and he will be sent down as soon as Lindstrom is ready to play.

“It’s a great experience (for Edvinsson),” Lalonde said. “At home it’s a little bit different in that we get to protect him (from unfavorable matchups), and we have. On the road, you don’t have that luxury, and it’s all part of the process. We’d like to get him a game on the road to handle touch matchups and get caught in tough situations, but we’ll see what happens.”

In other injury news, forward Matt Luff was recalled from Grand Rapids and replaced Adam Erne, who was out with a lower-body injury.

Lalonde said Erne is day-to-day.

Fan favorite

Forward David Perron was always one of the favorites of St. Louis Blues fans, so Perron returning Tuesday made for an emotional evening.

Lalonde feels what Perron brought to the Blues is one of the attributes the Wings have benefited from.

“His passion,” Lalonde said. “It’s contagious. We’re still growing as an organization and David has been there and he’s won, and he’s been around the league a lot. It’s a great example for our guys.

“He’s brought a fire to us. He brings guys into the fight and has a passion to him. I hope he can keep this team battling down the stretch. He’s brought a lot to our group.”

Twitter: @tkulfan

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