From the Free Press’s Helene St. James’ practice report:
Entering Wednesday, the Wings were also 15 points out of third place in the Atlantic Division. And this even as the Wings have played well through the first half but haven’t once won more than four games in a row. Now comes a schedule that shows 20 games on the road, including two five-game trips.
Hence the Wings look for inspiration from the 2015-16 Philadelphia Flyers, who went on an 18-7-5 run and made the playoffs; to the 2014-15 Minnesota Wild, which went on a 28-9-3 run and reached the playoffs; to the 2014-15 Ottawa Senators, who went on a 23-4-4 run and made the playoffs.
“The past hasn’t predicted a run, that’s why all of you and pretty much everybody in the hockey world would bet against us right now,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I get that. I understand the past says that we haven’t gone on a run. Where do you get confidence from that? One would be history – I don’t know where Ottawa’s run came from that year, I don’t know where Philly’s run came from a couple years ago, but all of a sudden they got hot and they couldn’t lose.
“I know we have the players to do it. I know that we’ve built as a team. I think we play good hockey almost every single night. We just need to get that little fraction better on a night-by-night basis, gain that confidence and go. I understand why people wouldn’t believe me. I have no problem with that. I don’t care what anybody else thinks. I care what the group in this room thinks. And in the end it doesn’t really matter what any of think, it matters what we do.”