In the late-breaking recap department, the Free Press’s Helene St. James penned a Wings-Bruins recap that didn’t hit until 10 AM…
The Wings didn’t use their speed, didn’t forecheck, didn’t do much to bother Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask for two periods, beyond Martin Frk scoring a power-play goal early in the second period.
“We are not ready,” Frk said. “The whole game we are kind of sloppy. We didn’t show up here.”
Frustration simmers because when the Wings do show up — as they did last week against San Jose and in Carolina — they are often rewarded with points. And yet the Wings keep following up strong performances with soft ones. At the 52-game mark, the Wings are eight points from a playoff spot, but with four teams ahead of them.
“It’s frustrating and I really don’t have an answer,” Nielsen said. “Soon it is going to be too late if we don’t figure it out. If we play two good games again now and we stand here some time next week and you ask the same questions, it’s going to be too late. We have to figure it out now.”
And MLive’s Ansar Khan noted the coach’s frustration with his players in a 6 AM-filed piece:
“We had 20 guys going hard (the past three games) and tonight we had a handful of guys going hard,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We weren’t good enough. We didn’t have enough guys going hard.
“We got to be better than that. You got to be way more ready to compete. … It’s a learning process for sure, especially with some young guys. It’s an every-day league.”
Blashill didn’t single out anybody but clearly was referring to young players. Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, in particular, have had exceptional performances but have also been no-shows too many times. On this night, when the Red Wings needed their best players to step up against the hottest team in the league, Athanasiou had no points, no shots on goal and was a minus-2 in 10:57 while Mantha had no points and two shots in 17:18.
“I want these young guys to grow, so I don’t want to hide them, but they got to play better than that,” Blashill said, without naming anybody.