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Notes: Wings ready to move on after controversial loss in Florida

Zetterberg takes maintenance day Monday; Helm doesn't practice but is probable

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has spoken to the league but captain Henrik Zetterberg has not.

The Wings are ready to move on from Saturday night's disappointing 3-2 loss in Florida in which Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 7.7 seconds left in regulation.

The entire team believed that Huberdeau had interfered with goaltender Petr Mrazek but the league ruled that it was not enough to wave off the goal.

"I talked to them today and we got to make sure, our goalies have to make sure they're as strong in the crease as possible and we got to make sure from an offensive standpoint that we get to the net hard," Blashill said. "We still got to be real careful about the blue. That's all I can go on is what I've been told. Tomas Holmstrom called, he'd like to come back and play, so that was interesting."

Blashill was kidding about Holmstrom of course, but Holmstrom lost more than a few goals during his career because of a goaltender interference call.

After the game, Justin Abdelkader was beside himself as he had had goals waved off for what he believed to be far less contact with the goalie.

"I still think you have to be really careful and you still have to get to the edge of that crease and not go into the blue, because I think once you get in the blue, you're subject to them calling the goal off," Blashill said. "So let's play as we have all year."

Zetterberg said he would be paying attention to other games around the league to see how things are called when it comes to goaltender interference.

"I don't think I'm the only one who has expressed their feelings lately," Zetterberg said. "So it is hard for us to know what rules apply for us. I'm pretty certain it's hard for the refs to know, too. I don't think they're doing it on purpose. If we go to the goalie interference rule, obviously it changed during the All-Star break, but we're not really certain what it changed to. So just got to keep playing and see what happens."

Although Blashill will continue to tell his players to keep out of the blue paint, the players believe they should have a little more leeway now.

"You obviously can do more stuff now than you could at the start of the year," Zetterberg said. "We have to go in there and try to get those ugly goals and battle hard in front of our net and in front of the other team's net.

"There's a pretty good chance we're going to talk about it more. There's games tonight, and if there will be any controversy about goalie interference, it will just add to the fire. So it would be nice to get some kind of explanation so we all know."

SEEKING MORE POWER: After a successful start to the season with the man-advantage, the Red Wings have had less success in the second half.

Currently, the Wings are 21st in the league on the power play at 18.2 percent.

"It's not good enough and it's gotta be better," Blashill said. "I said at the beginning of the year that I thought our special teams needed to be in the top 10 in order to be a playoff team, and I still think for us to be a playoff team, for the rest of the year, our specialty teams are going to have to be in the top 10. I think our PK has looked better here the last little bit. But our power play hasn't been good enough.

"We have to eliminate unforced errors and have a better attack mentality. So there's two areas we can really look at. It's eliminating any unforced errors. You get a puck, you gotta make sure you talk, you get your butt out and you make sure you hold on to it until you know where that puck's going. We can't throw the puck away. Then two, we gotta have a good attack mentality, where we know the puck's going to the net and we have people at the net."

The Wings seemed to have solved the problem with zone entries that they were having a few weeks ago but still haven't achieved what they want.

"We're not getting what we want to get out of our power play," Zetterberg said. "We want to get goals, obviously. We got some momentum lately. It's been a little bit better that it was a while ago, but we need some goals. When we look at the video there's stuff we can always improve at but we're getting chances, too. There was a part there when we didn't even get into the zone but we're better at that now and we're actually in there and we're creating shots, creating chaos in front of the net and just got to get the puck behind the goalie."

TWO MISSING FROM PRACTICE: Both Zetterberg and Darren Helm missed practice Monday.

Zetterberg said he just took a maintenance day.

"I would say he's probable for tomorrow, but we'll see," Blashill said.

Helm recently returned after missing six games with a lower-body injury.

BRUINS TOUGH CHALLENGE: The Wings welcome the Boston Bruins to Little Caesars Arena for the second time this season Tuesday night.

The Bruins are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and have been one of the hottest teams in the league.

"They're as good as any team in the league right now for sure," Blashill said. "They've had a few games here without Charlie McAvoy, but I think Charlie McAvoy's really helped that D corps. They've got other real good players obviously already and he just gave them another top four type guy. And then I just think (Patrice) Bergeron's got to be one of the best players in the league right now. He plays a two-way game, never gets scored on and produces a lot of offense. That's why that team is as good as they are. We talk about it, that's what Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk did here for years.

"When you have centermen that are as complete as those guys have been in their careers, and as good as Bergeron is right now, that's big-time winning hockey. Larks (Dylan Larkin) and I talked about that, Bergeron as a great example of a guy to really emulate, how he doesn't give up anything but creates tons. It's a hard thing to do but that's what that team is winning as much as they are. They've got a lot of other good players, but when you have centermen that play - and David Krejci's a heck of a player, too, and he plays a complete game. So you've got two guys up the middle that play real complete games. That's how you win games."

The Wings will also have to contend with Tuukka Rask, who is 21-8-4 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

"Both of their goalies are like .929 save percentage, and Rask has been extremely hot," Blashill said. "When you get that kind of goaltending, it's gonna help you, too. I think it's always a combination of your team and your goaltender. I don't know that anybody can post those kinds of numbers without the team playing great in front of him. Rask is obviously real hot, too. We're going to have to get to the net hard."

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