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Quick Hits: The Red Wings Still Believe

Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Jeff Blashill remains optimistic Red Wings can make run at a playoff spot | MLive

Time is running out for the Red Wings to keep their playoff streak alive. Despite having only 54 points, Jeff Blashill isn’t calling it quits just yet.

"I'm in total belief that this team has the ability to go on a run relative to the rest of the league so we just got to keep pounding away. We can't hope it to happen, you've got to make it happen through your play. I think if we play like this on a consistent basis, I think we can go on a run.

Although the Atlantic division is quite volatile, with teams falling in and out of the playoffs race, I’m not sure how the Wings can make it at this point. Last time I checked, they had a 7% chance. With recent injuries and losses, surely that number has gotten even lower.

One week of tight pants: have we seen more goals in the NHL? | Sportsnet

The NHL has struggled with decreasing goals per game for several years now. This is obviously a problem for attracting new fans and keeping existing fans interested.

NHL goals per game averages by season

2016-17: 5.56

2015-16: 5.42

2014-15: 5.46

2013-14: 5.48

2012-13: 5.44

2011-12: 5.46

2010-11: 5.58

2009-10: 5.68

2008-09: 5.82

Goalie pants was the first equipment change targeted in an attempt to increase goal production. It’s been one week since the NHL rolled out their tighter, streamlined goalie pants. The reactions have been mixed from the goalies, but has the number of goals increased?

All told, in 44 games on the week, there were 248 goals scored for an average of 5.64 per game. On its own, if that average were to be sustained for a full season, it would be the highest average goals per game since 2008-09, when there was a 5.82 average.

One week is a very small sample size and doesn’t tell us that much about what to expect going forward. That being said, more changes are expected to roll out to goalie equipment, including smaller chest protectors and pads. All combined, they likely will end up having the effect the NHL is looking for.