Where Were You When Lucas Raymond Became a Detroit Red Wings Hero?

Lucas Raymond #23 of the Detroit Red Wings

Getty Images Lucas Raymond #23 of the Detroit Red Wings

Where were you when the young Lucas Raymond became a Detroit Red Wings hero?

Raymond scored on April 15 at a raucous Little Caesar’s Arena with 1:18 left in the third period to tie the Montreal Canadiens at 4-4, after being down 4-2, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive one more night.

Yeah. That’s when.

Only, Raymond wasn’t finished. With just 25 seconds left in overtime, Raymond scored again. A spectacular shot, a miracle comeback. One more desperately needed win, 2 more desperately needed points.

“That kid’s grown up about 10 years in seven days,” Wings left winger J.T. Compher said of Raymond after the win.

Six goals in five games. An amazing, heroic end to the game — but possibly not to the Red Wings’ season.

Yes, the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins. Yes, if the Red Wings lose on April 16 at Montreal, they won’t make the playoffs. Yes, and this may be the most heartbreaking, the Red Wings could end the season tied with the Washington Capitals on points but lose out due to the NHL’s tiebreaker rules — and be kept out of the playoffs for eight consecutive years.

But no one can deny that Lucas Raymond is almost singlehandedly keeping Detroit’s playoff hopes alive to the literal very end.

Red Wings Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Red Wings should already have locked down a playoff spot. But captain Dylan Larkin went down with an injury in March. That caused him to miss 8 games.

The team went 2-6 during that time and now needs help to make the playoffs. Even then, the Wings still had plenty of chances to lock up a Wild Card slot.

As Heavy’s Cole Shelton wrote on April 8, “The Detroit Red Wings control their playoff destiny following a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on April 7. With the win, Detroit is now 38-31-8, which is good for 84 points as the Red Wings are holding onto the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.”

The Wings lost to the Capitals, then to the Pittsburg Penguins. Now they need to win again on April 16, against the Canadiens and also need the Capitals to lose. But Lucas Raymond is doing his part to keep the playoff hopes alive.

What Steve Yzerman Saw In Lucas Raymond

The Red Wings had the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NHL draft. It was Steve Yzerman’s second draft as the Red Wings general manager. Yzerman selected Lucas Raymond.

“There were several very good options for us at that pick,” Yzerman told the media shortly after drafting the then-18-year-old. “Ultimately we chose Lucas. We think he’s a very intelligent, very highly skilled player, very competitive. We think he fits in with the type of team we want to build.”

At the time, Raymond was playing for Sweden’s Frolunda. The Covid pandemic had limited travel and scouting. But Yzerman knew of Raymond from his stellar play at the 2019 U-18 world championships. Raymond scored three goals, including — surprise — the overtime goal against Russia. Sweden took home the gold medal.

After the draft, Yzerman added that Lucas is “very competitive.” That’s certainly shone through the more the Red Wings have had their backs against the boards.

Now, every Wings fan — and the city of Detroit — is cheering him and the team on. Everybody loves Raymond.

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