The Detroit Red Wings (9-5-7) are now a quarter of the way through the 2013-14 season and with 25 points are projected to make the playoffs. However, Hockeytown fans are beginning to get frustrated since the current losing streak has grown to 6 games.
This is a special edition of my Red Wings’ weekly as I will be reliving some of the best moments from the first 21 games of the season alongside my traditional plus/minus report and an abbreviated preview section because there are 4 games on tap this week.
Let’s start with the good and the bad from the week that was. It’s my plus/minus report:
+ Special Teams
The power play and penalty killing was been one of the only bright spots this week in their three extra time losses. They netted 5 goals on the man advantage raising their power play success percentage for the season up to 21.5%. That’s 7th best in the NHL. On the flip side, the PK went 12 for 13 lifting their success percentage up to 86.1%, 5th best in the NHL.
+ One Point at a Time
Losing is never fun. Losing over and over again is even worse. But, I urge Wings’ fans not to press the panic button just yet. We have to keep things in perspective. A 6-game losing streak looks awful, but the Wings have accumulated 5 points during that time span.
Last time I checked a record of 2-4-0 is still worse than 0-1-5 in the NHL. So, it’s great to see the Wings are still collecting points. Every point matters as the Red Wings found out last season when the knocked the Columbus Blues out of the playoffs by a single point.
- Overtime and Shootouts
The Red Wings have lost five straight games in overtime or in a shootout. I really don’t want to elaborate on this frustrating dilemma again, so go check out my previous article to read more.
- The Blame Game
Who should be taking the blame for all these losses? Hockeytown fans have always been quick to point the finger at Jimmy Howard, but after the loss Saturday to the Islanders with Jonas Gustavsson in the net that point isn’t as valid as it once was. Sure Howard has had his ups and downs this season, but the lack of secondary scoring, poor turnovers, and lackluster defense is also costing them victories.
Hockey is a team sport and everyone should be held responsible for any given loss. The Wings are still trying to figure things out with this group of guys and it takes a while to build up chemistry. The good news is that each game they are showing signs of improvement and what this team is capable of achieving in the future.
+/- Rating = Even
I know a negative rating was probably expected but in my mind this week wasn’t a disaster. From what I saw the Wings played their brand of hockey and didn’t adjust to their opponent’s style of play even though they couldn’t get a win. So for that reason, I’m not going to hit the panic button just yet. But, for those that are alarmed about how the Wings are playing right now: take a deep breath.
Let’s remember the good times and take a look back at the best Red Wings’ moments through their first 21 games.
- Game #2 at Carolina Hurricanes: Stephen Weiss game winning goal in overtime.
- Game #6 at Boston Bruins: Pavel Datsyuk dekes and dishes to Zetterberg for a goal.
- Game #8 at Colorado Avalanche: Johan Franzen GWG gives the Av’s their 1st lost.
- Game #12 vs. San Jose Sharks: Jimmy Howard stretches out to make this save on Brian Boyle.
- Game #13 at Vancouver Canucks: Tomas Tatar snipes a GWG, his first of the season.
- Game #15 at Edmonton Oilers: Daren Helm, in his first shift of the season, scores a breakaway goal.
- Game #21 at New York Islanders: Datsyuk’s goal gets the Wings to overtime.
I know I probably missed a few, so let me know in the comments what your favorite Red Wings’ moment has been so far this season.
The Wings have four games this week to create some more memorable moments.
Here’s a look at their upcoming schedule with my predictions.
November 19: vs. Nashville Predators
7:30PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit Plus
Standings: (9-9-2) 6th Central Division, 11th Western Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Apr. 25, 2013 at Detroit/Red Wings 5 – Predators 2
Prediction: As long as this game doesn’t go to overtime I think the Wings will finally snap their losing streak. Red Wings 4 – Predators 2
November 21: vs. Carolina Hurricanes
7:30PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit
Standings: (8-8-4) 4th Metropolitan Division, 10th Eastern Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Oct. 4, 2013 at Carolina/Hurricanes 2 – Red Wings 3 in overtime
Prediction: Stephen Weiss was the hero last time, but this time I think the Hurricanes step up to the challenge and prove they are actual a threat in the Eastern Conference. Red Wings 2 – Hurricanes 3
November 23: vs. Ottawa Senators
7:00PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit
Standings: (8-8-4) 6th Atlantic Division, 9th Eastern Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Oct. 23, 2013 at Detroit/Red Wings 1 – Senators 6
Prediction: Daniel Alfredsson rallies the troops and gets revenge for the 6-1 beating the Senators handed them earlier in the season. Red Wings 4 – Senators 1
November 24: @ Buffalo Sabres
5:00PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit
Standings: (5-16-1) 8th Atlantic Division, 16th Eastern Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Oct. 2, 2013 at Detroit/Red Wings 2 – Sabres 1
Prediction: If the Wings can’t beat the worst team in the league something needs to be changed. Like maybe clearing some room to bring Gustav Nyquist back. Sabres 1 – Red Wings 3
I have the Red Wings going 3-1-0 this week. But, I also wouldn’t be surprised if they go 0-0-4 considering losing in extra time is starting to become a strange habit.
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