Articles from practice: Wings will miss Tatar, understand that playoff odds are long

The Detroit Red Wings held an optional practice on Tuesday, preparing for Wednesday’s “NBCSN Rivalry Night Game” against the St. Louis Blues, and after practice, the team addressed several topics.

As noted by the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa, the Red Wings will miss Tomas Tatar after his trade from the Vegas Golden Knights…

“Tats is one of my favorite guys that I’ve ever coached,” Jeff Blashill said, reflecting how the loss is felt personally, even more than professionally. “He’s an awesome, awesome person. Always came in with a smile on his face. I thought he was passionate. He wanted to win. Always accountable.”

What seemed to trouble Blashill is what he knows, down deep, about Tatar.

“He wanted to be a Red Wing,” the coach said. “He was proud to be a Red Wing.”

“As a teammate, it’s always unfortunate to see a guy go,” said Mike Green, who almost “went” himself, until questions about his injured neck, the availability of other defensemen and the Wings desire to keep him trumped any thought of a trade. “You know, Tats was a great player. I got to know him a great deal over the last three years, myself. It’s always sad. It really is. But on the flip side, we understand the business side of things, and we wish him the best. But, yeah, I think collectively, as a group, we’re sad.”

And the Wings continued while speaking with MLive’s Ansar Khan:

“From a coaching perspective and team perspective, your orientation is always on winning and making the playoffs,” Blashill said. “What I’ve talked to our group about, just like we talked about when Petr (Mrazek) was traded: We lost a real good person, a real good player, but there’s plenty of guys in here good enough to provide us the opportunity to win, so there will be zero excuse to not win. The one thing that has become very apparent to our team over the course of the season is we have to be incredible in our work ethic and competitiveness. When we do that we give ourselves a real chance every night.”

The Red Wings (26-26-10) have won two in a row but remain seven points out of the final wild card spot, with three teams in between. Their playoff hopes remain slim.

“We just got to keep plugging away,” Kronwall said. “We’ve been playing some decent hockey, but it’s about winning. We can’t be on and off.”

The Red Wings start a four-game trip Wednesday at St. Louis (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network exclusive). Seeing teammates shipped out the past two trade deadlines is strange for veterans like Kronwall, who is accustomed to greeting new teammates this time of year.

“That’s a message to everyone, had we played up to our potential, he’d still be here, and we’d be in a completely different mode,” Kronwall said. “We’d be buyers instead.”

Mike Green, who would have been moved if he hadn’t missed six games with a neck injury, said: “As a teammate, it’s always unfortunate to see a guy go. Tats was a great player, got to know him a great deal over the last three years. It’s always sad. The flip side is we understand the business side of things and we wish him the best.”

The Red Wings posted a couple of clips of Green and Blashill’s comments…

And Khan posted a short clip of Blashill’s remarks:


Also, just coming in:

Update: Here’s Mike Green speaking with MLive’s Khan:


Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.