Red Wings’ Perron struggles with reality of spring with no playoffs

Detroit News

Detroit – This will be different for forward David Perron after the Red Wings’ season concludes Thursday in Tampa.

Normally, Perron would begin mentally transitioning to the playoffs. Teams Perron has played for have been in the playoffs seven consecutive years, and 10 years overall.

Perron has become accustomed to playing playoff hockey.

‘But when the Wings were officially eliminated Thursday, that ended Perron’s streak, though the Wings, and Perron individually, have done everything possible to avoid seeing the streak end.

“Not great,” said Perron, of his feelings missing the playoffs. “I’ve been battling with that mentally the last three or four weeks, and kind of seeing the writing on the wall. I was probably the last guy in the room to admit we weren’t going to be in.”

When they defeated the New York Rangers Feb. 23, the Wings moved into playoff position. But four consecutive losses before the trade deadline (and after the New York victory) dented those hopes, and the Wings have only won seven of 22 games (7-13-2) since the victory against the Rangers.

Perron felt the Wings were getting themselves in position to make a spirited run toward the playoff chase.

“Even before the deadline I kept telling Newsy (coach Derek Lalonde) if we got 9-2 here, or 9-3 before the deadline, things will be different, and we almost got there,” Perron said. “We almost did that. But then management made the decision they had to make for this group long-term (trading Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Filip Hronek and Oskar Sundqvist) and we understand that, I understand that certainly, but it’s not something that I wanted to admit personally.

“It’s been been hard, (10) years my teams have been to the playoffs and I really felt all those years we had a chance to win the Stanley Cup, so it’ll be a little different this year.

“It’ll be different.”

Lalonde credited Perron with keying the recent 4-1-0 stretch the Wings had, making one final push up the standings.

“It’s huge for your culture and growth going forward,” Lalonde said of the Wings’ winning streak. “Coming off a 4-1 stretch at this time of year, not a whole lot to play for, he (Perron) was one of the guys who drove that. He kept on the gas, obviously, his offense and the points he produced.

“He’s an important part of that core come back next year.”

Learning curve

Defenseman Simon Edvinsson played in his eighth NHL game and will play one more before getting shut down for the season so as not to use one of the years on his three-year entry level contract.

Edvinsson has been largely impressive during his brief NHL exposure, but Saturday was a bit of learning curve, as he went minus-two in 17 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time and played against some of Pittsburgh’s star forwards.

“His fingerprints were on some of the goals,” said Lalonde,, who wants to see more consistency from Edvinsson moving forward. “Eliminating some of those mistakes, but you can see the skill set, some of the things he’s done offensively. But you’re not going to get away with certain things against certain players in this league and today was a pretty good lesson.”

Ice chips

Pius Suter’s goal Saturday was his 14th this season. Suter has scored at least 14 goals in each of his three NHL seasons. Suter’s career high is 15, set in 2021-22.

… Lucas Raymond’s assist on Suter’s goal extended Raymond’s point streak to four games (one goal, five assists). It matches the longest point streak of Raymond’s career, which he accomplished from Nov. 8-15. Raymond has collected 12 points ( two goals, 10 assists) in 16 games dating to March 8.

… Moritz Seider paced the Red Wings in hits (five), blocks (four) and time on ice (24:27).

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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