DetroitRedWings.com’s Arthur J. Regner spoke with the Red Wings’ players and coach regarding the team’s attempt to scale a near-vertical incline as the team insists it can still push for a playoff spot:
They trail Columbus for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference by 14 points with 14 regular season games left on their schedule, but despite the near impossible odds, the Wings are approaching each game with a must-win mentality.
“I think it’s a process,” defenseman Mike Green said. “It’s a mindset right now, obviously this time of the season a big chunk of it is mental. We have to make sure we’re going into these games with the right process, right mind frame. Not only that, we’ve got to compete really hard every night to make sure we’re giving ourselves a chance. I think with that mentality we’ll get our wins here. It’s just unfortunate we have to make sure we win pretty much every night. There is a big task ahead of us.”
If Detroit cannot string together a plethora of wins in the coming weeks, the players vow they will continue to play hard with their sole purpose of winning hockey games and getting better.
“Regardless of where we are in the standings, it’s about coming in and doing it right every day,” alternate captain Niklas Kronwall said. “You work hard and you get rewarded for it. If you don’t work hard, it’s going to show right away.
“We haven’t been good enough here as of late. We need to get out of there as soon as possible. It just hasn’t been nearly good enough when it comes to all the small details of the game — the stick battles, the positioning. And when we do get our chances, we have to make the most of them.
“If you look at the bigger picture, this isn’t just now. What we’re doing right now is preparing ourselves, the young guys, for next year and for their careers, really. You (have to) learn to do it right and learn that you’re coming to work every day.”