The Detroit Red Wings weren't able to sweep their Sunshine State series, falling last night to the Stanley Cup contending Florida Panthers by a 5-2 final score. That came on the heels of taking down their rival Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena earlier in the week.
They've only got four games remaining in their regular-season schedule, and while the last three months have been a monumental disappointment after having initially flirted with a Wild Card playoff spot, there are several positives that they'll be taking into the offseason – perhaps none more than the emergence of defenseman Moritz Seider, who will not only be a Calder Trophy finalist for the NHL's top rookie but will almost certainly be a candidate for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in the near future.
“Most young defensemen struggle in this league, and it takes them a little bit longer than forwards,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “For him to have the success he’s had up to this point is impressive.”
Seider has played in all situations on the ice for the Red Wings with the poise of a veteran, leading the team with an average of 23:03 on ice per game.
Meanwhile, his fellow rookie teammate in Lucas Raymond, who is also one of the bright spots for the Red Wings, echoed the superlatives of Blashill when talking of Seider.
“I knew how good he was coming into the season, playing against him last year (in Sweden),” Raymond said. “He’s just a force out there. He can basically do it all – the big hits, the physical plays, the patience with the puck, the skating, making plays. He’s a very well-rounded D.”
“He definitely has my vote (for the Calder).”
The Red Wings are back in action tomorrow afternoon against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena.
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– – Quotes via MLive Link – –