Red Wings Head Coach Gets Brutally Honest About Making the Playoffs

Published August 30, 2023 at 11:22 PM

Detroit's Off-Season Thus Far


The upcoming 2023-24 NHL season holds an immense significance for the Red Wings' General Manager Steve Yzerman, marking a pivotal moment since his return to the franchise in 2019 to replace the criticized Ken Holland. Yzerman has diligently addressed the aftermath of Holland's legacy, tackling issues such as inflated contracts and underperforming players. However, a faction within the fan base has become increasingly restless due to the prolonged absence from the playoffs.

During this offseason, Yzerman decided upon an extensive shopping spree, securing notable talents like Jeff Petry, Daniel Sprong, Klim Kostin, Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Holl, J.T. Compher, James Reimer, and Alex Lyon for Hockeytown's roster.

"I love what we did this offseason," he said. "We've improved, there's no doubt about it. We're going to be significant (in the playoff race). That's all I ask, that's all I want. We just gotta keep pushing in the right direction.

"That said, I also understand why there's not a single projection or a single expert out there that says we're going to make the playoffs. It's on us now. We've added some nice pieces, but we're still not there. And what more motivation can you have as a group than that?"

"If we played in the West, we would have made the playoffs," he continued. "What does that mean? We're still not good enough to win the Stanley Cup. That's Steve's job to get us there. I'm a coach, I want it right now, but Steve reminds me all the time: 'When we get there, we want to be sustainable."

Adding a 40 Goal Scorer


One defining move occurred in early July, marking a significant moment in Yzerman's tenure—a high-impact trade. In this transaction with the Ottawa Senators, he orchestrated the acquisition of the star player and two-time 40-goal scorer, Alex DeBrincat.

"A necessity," said head coach Derek Lalonde of DeBrincat. "We had a lot of really good team games last year where we did a lot of things right and a lot of things that were asked of us, and we just couldn't put it in the net. We would find ways to lose some of those tight games. We need goals and that's something he can do, so it's a necessity for us as an addition. "I love the fact that he wanted to be here. Very attractive piece for us."

As the team prepares for the upcoming season, the spotlight inevitably falls on the question of whether this collective effort and strategic maneuvering will finally shatter the team's extended postseason absence. The anticipation of ending the playoff drought next spring is intense, leaving many to wonder how Lalonde, a key figure, perceives the team's prospects and chances for a breakthrough.

As Read On Hockey Feed - "Derek Lalonde gets real about Detroit's playoff chances"
August 30   |   81 answers
Red Wings Head Coach Gets Brutally Honest About Making the Playoffs

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