OctoPulse podcast: Wings stay put in lottery, Trey Augustine interview

Detroit News

“It would’ve been quite the stroke of luck for the Red Wings to get into the top three picks,” Kulfan said on the podcast. “We’ve seen how this organization doesn’t have much luck in this lottery (dropping eight spots in the lottery since 2016).

“But how about those Blackhawks? One season of real misery and, lo and behold, you get access to Connor Bedard, who sounds like he’s going to be a generational talent. If Patrick Kane comes back and they sign a few free agents, it may not take long for them to get back into the playoff race.”

Kulfan said the Red Wings “have done as well as they could under under the circumstances” without a top three draft pick since GM Steve Yzerman took over in 2019.

“Take the (Alexis) Lafreniere draft, dropping to fourth after that abysmal season and still getting Lucas Raymond, who I feel most people would prefer over Lafreniere at this point,” Kulfan said. “On the flip side to show inexact and difficult it is, they picked Filip Zadina over Quinn Hughes. That’s a tough one right there. You do the best homework you can and pick who you think is going to be best for your organization. It’s a crapshoot, it really is.”

Kulfan said the Derek Lalonde-Jon Cooper incident “was somewhat overblown” after the Red Wings coach revealed as a guest TV analyst on Sportsnet that Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy struggled on point shots and the Lightning changed the defensive system to protect Vasilevskiy. Cooper said Lalonde should be “trying to offer insight but he’s got to make sure it’s accurate.”

“Most teams nowadays with all the video would know if Vasilevskiy does struggle with screen shots from a distance,” Kulfan said. “Did he (Lalonde) give away too much of the farm with some of that? Maybe he went a little bit too far. He did do a nice job on that panel. I was impressed. I had some sort of reservations about how comfortable he would be on set but he had nice insight into that series.”

Kulfan also said he has “mixed emotions” about all the upsets in the first round, including the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins losing against the Panthers in Game 7.

“Why are we essentially playing 82 games every year if some of these powerhouse teams like Boston are out of the playoffs in 10 days?” Kulfan said. “Is it a good look for the league that the 15th- or 16th-seeded team might win your league championship? I know a lot of people enjoy the upsets. Florida could go all the way the way they’re playing. Chaotic has pretty much described these playoffs.”

Here are other highlights from episode 90 of The Detroit Red Wings/Detroit News podcast:

1:10: Detroit’s lack of lottery luck again

3:10: How Connor Bedard can help the Blackhawks

5:10: Rebuilding without top three picks

6:30: Steve Yzerman on “expecting more” from some draft picks

9:50: Trey Augustine interview

27:30: Derek Lalonde/Jon Cooper incident

30:10: Ted’s second-round playoff picks: Hurricanes, Oilers, Stars, Maple Leafs

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