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Quick Hits: The Home Stretch Edition

Minnesota Wild v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

In Red Wings Land

Home stretch to prove pivotal in Red Wings' season

This is pretty obvious, and I don’t mean that as a slight to Ted Kulfan here. If you have 13 of 15 at home, you need to win a bunch of those.

They have 13 of their next 15 games at home, at Little Caesars Arena, where the new arena still feels very, very new because the Red Wings have only played five games there.

So, if the Red Wings are going to make a move, to be a viable threat to make the playoffs, these next few weeks is as good a time as any.

After a brutal stretch, Detroit won a few games before losing the last one. If the team is going to have a chance at a playoff berth, this stretch is where the rubber meets the road.

Around the NHL

Quick Shifts: The power of 'embarrassing' your coach -

Lots of interesting stuff in here from Luke Fox, but this one intrigues me as a Marner fan.

Mitchell Marner hasn’t scored a goal since the Leafs’ opening-night free-for-all in Winnipeg. Sixteen games and counting.

Marner has always been the type to have twice as many assists as goals, but one goal to seven helpers is too lopsided.

“It’s always been a mind-set of mine that I’m trying to get rid of. It’s hard when you’ve been trying to pass your whole life,” Marner explains. “It’s hard. You have guys calling for the puck on 2-on-1s or whatever, or if a guy’s going back door and you have a chance to make a pass, it gets in your head a bit. You hear guys calling for it. The instincts kick in to look for a pass and you forget about shooting.”

Especially in Toronto, there are always rumors. And just like one of my favorite actors, I LOVE RUMORS!

But man, if Toronto trades Marner for less than a king’s ransom, I will laugh and laugh and laugh. He’s still a great player. He’s going through a rough patch. He’ll be fine.