The Red Wings have a golden opportunity tonight when they travel to face the Boston Bruins. It’s a simple mantra: win, and you’re in.
Last night’s 3-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers – their third straight win – put the Wings in the situation they currently find themselves in, and head coach Jeff Blashill has no interest in waiting around to clinch the playoff spot.
“We worked on it with our nutritionist and our athletic trainers and strength coach to try to have as good a plan as possible to get rejuvenated,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s physical and mental. We’ll find a way to make sure we’re at our very best. There’ll be zero excuses.”
A win in any form clinches a 25th consecutive playoff appearance for Detroit. If they are not fortunate enough to secure that victory tonight, they will have to wait until Saturday for their next opportunity, in the regular season finale against the New York Rangers.
The team did not arrive at their Boston hotel until 2:45 a.m. ET, which negated the idea of a morning skate. The Bruins have not played since Tuesday, a 2-1 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. But the Red Wings are riding an emotional high.
Not only would the Wings clinch a playoff spot with a victory tonight, but a win paired with a Tampa Bay Lightning loss would leave the door open for Detroit to jump into second place in the division on Saturday.
But, one thing at a time. Win tonight, and you’re in.