The Red Wings practiced on Saturday at the BB&T Center ahead of their two-game set against the Florida Panthers (starting Sunday at 3 PM EST), and Bobby Ryan and coach Jeff Blashill were made available for Zoom calls on Saturday afternoon.
Ryan told the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan that the condensed schedule has done the Wings no favors in terms of attempting to stop the snowball that is the team’s 8-game winless streak:
“Everything is happening so quick, and you’re in a funk, or teamwise, or me personally, getting trouble getting the puck on the net right now, you need reps to get out of it,” Ryan said. “A lot of times when you’re practicing on a day like today, we play at 3 (p.m.) tomorrow (Sunday), you can’t really get to work on the details as much as you’d like. You have to get moving and get some shots on the goalie and get a chance to install (schematics) but other than that, you’re really saving it for the next night all the time.
“That’s the downside of where we’re at, but more so this year. We’re seeing a lot more video and things like that and that’s where you’re at right now, that’s just the way it is. It is more difficult, but we have to accept it.”
“We kind of reset ourselves after the (first) Tampa game a little bit,” Blashill said. “Certainly, that was embarrassing, to get down that fast, that quickly. I’ve talked about this before – we’ve got a whole bunch of fresh faces, so I hope the residual effect of a year ago, or the last couple years, is much less, because we’ve got guys that didn’t live it. The guys that have lived it, I think have learned. You build a mental toughness. When you go through tough times, you have a chance to have great growth.
“I believe we’re in a better position to come out of it,” Blashill said. “We’re a better hockey team than we were a year ago. We’re playing better in most of the games. We’ve got to find our way to some wins, for sure. But we’ve got to go out and play the way we did multiple times this year, including last night. And if we do that, I think we’ll put ourselves in a position to win.”
McWethy also continues, offering updates on Jonathan Bernier and Tyler Bertuzzi (still out);
Finally, the Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke with Ryan regarding his Superbowl pick:
“I just think Kansas City is too good, but it is really hard to bet against Tom Brady in anything,” Ryan said. “Ultimately, I am going to take the young gun in Patrick Mahomes.”
Ryan spoke after the Wings’ practice at BB&T Center. The Wings play the Florida Panthers at 3 p.m. Sunday. They arrived in Fort Lauderdale late Friday after a pair of games, including Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Lightning, in Tampa, site of the Super Bowl 55.
“We are a little upbeat today because I did the Super Bowl squares for us,” Ryan said. “Everybody is hoping the score will align to win some money, but I think the overall consensus is that Tom is actually going to be the one to get it done.”
Though he put his wager on the Chiefs, Ryan, 33, is a big admirer of Brady, 43.
“I think you tip your cap to years 12 to 15,” Ryan said. “And when you’re in 21, you’re just going, what’s happening. At this point, you’re just marveling at it. I read an article about what the rest of his draft class is doing — guys are going back to teaching, are in business, have been out of the league for 10-12 years. The fact he just continues to not only do it, but to do it at this level, it’s unthinkable. “