In Red Wings Land
It’s a good thing Athanasiou isn’t on the team anymore or Helene would try to figure out how to give him a grade lower than an F.
Steve Yzerman spent his first year as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings observing and assessing.
As a team, there wasn’t much to like. It was dismal — a league-worst 17-49-5 (even 30th-place Ottawa had managed to win 25 games when the season was shut down March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic). The Wings had the worst offense (2.00 goals per game), defense (3.73 goals-allowed per game) and penalty kill (74.3%), and the 29th-ranked power play (14.9%).
Yzerman watched them practice, watched them play. He was in the locker room after home games, and often after practices.
Around the NHL
This series could have a very fun outcome. Toronto could win this “play-in” round, then lose to Boston again in round one of the playoffs.
Nick Foligno said Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella gives them an edge against the Toronto Maple Leafs in their Qualifying Round series.
"It's huge," the Columbus captain told TSN of what coaching means in a best-of-5 series. "In a shortened series, I think the coach that knows his team best and knows how to get the quickest performance out of his team, you know, is going to have an advantage. The team that gets their minds to their identity is going to have an advantage.
"I'm sure 'Torts' is dialed into that. He already has been. He's a big part of why we've had the success we've had."