MLive’s Ansar Khan addressed the Red Wings’ status as “leaving points on the table” in a Monday morning column:
Even with 24 games remaining, the playoffs are a longshot for the Detroit Red Wings. It is difficult to erase a seven-point deficit this late in the season and it’s even tougher to leapfrog four teams in between.
But the Red Wings could have been in the thick of the race by doing a better job closing games. Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena was the latest squandered opportunity. Auston Matthews scored with 30.2 seconds remaining in regulation to snap a tie.
They lost 3-2 at Florida on Feb. 2 when Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 7.7 seconds to play in the third period. They blew a three-goal lead with less than six minutes left in the third and lost 7-6 in overtime to the New York Islanders on Feb. 9.
That’s five potential five frittered away in those three games.
“I thought we did a good job in Nashville (3-1 victory Saturday). I thought we did a good job against Anaheim (2-1 win last Tuesday), but we’re leaving points out there in those tie games.”
Blashill, whose team fell to 24-25-9, said it’s a matter of players growing.
“Understanding that they got to dig deep in those little situations,” he said. “The Florida game was different, they were really leaning on us for two straight shifts. (Sunday) was not that case. I thought we had some good chances in the last 10 (minutes) of the third.”