WXYZ — When Steve Yzerman rejoined the Red Wings he said multiple times during his introductory press conference that to build Detroit into a competitor, it was going to take time.
Fast forward to the present day, and it turns out he was right.
Detroit has won just five games of the 20 they've played this season, and while wins and losses are something that fans often cling to, the team feels it's continuing to grow and develop, even if that doesn't show up on the stat sheet.
"When you struggle, you can try to win the next day, try to win the next game and you're just constantly chasing your tail a little bit or you can stay with the long term plan," Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill said.
Blashill said that he and Yzerman have had plenty of conversations about the direction of the team, and that they won't stray away from the process of doing it the right way.
Blashill was quick to point out that the Red Wings play defensively is improving, and that is the key to finding offensive success.
"I think that we've grown from a defensive standpoint, I think we've grown from a mentality standpoint, meaning I think our guys, especially our young players and the guys that are going to have a big impacts on this organization for a long time are understanding how important it is to be very, very good defensively, to make sure you're not giving anything easy up and that you're efficient in taking what's given," Blashill said.
Winger Darren Helm admitted he had contracted COVID-19 which delayed the start of his season. He said while he didn't experience the full range of symptoms, it took him some time to readjust to the speed of the game when he returned.
"You're off for 14 days and you can't do anything, you work so hard in the off season to be ready to play and then that happens. It definitely took time, I felt rusty, just getting back to speed with all the guys," Helm said.