The Detroit Red Wings will hold a pair of scrimmages on Friday and Sunday evening at Little Caesars Arena, and the scrimmages will effectively serve as exhibition games in an exhibition-less lead-up to the 2020-2021 regular season.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke with coach Jeff Blashill and Jon Merrill regarding the importance of these internal competitions:
The Wings’ have their second scheduled scrimmage Friday, this one at the practice rink, and Blashill is hoping for his players to take another step toward the regular season opener on Jan. 14.
“The intensity has to be high,” said Blashill, who felt the intensity was lacking somewhat Tuesday. “We want to lose the bad summer habits and create good, winning habits. Make it as real hockey as we can.”
Blashill said there will be specific work on specialty teams, with lineups set to fill those possible power plays and penalty kills.
Players recognize the importance of putting together a consistent, high-level effort scrimmage, with no exhibition games this season.
“There’s always a next level to raise the intensity in order to prepare for NHL games,” defenseman Jon Merrill said. “You can’t emulate the battle level in practice. We do our best in practice and give everything we have, but we have to ramp it up and get ready for Carolina (for the season opener).”