The Detroit Red Wings are falling into a familiar pattern in 2013, and it doesn’t bode well for the team. They dropped their game on Sunday night to the Minnesota Wild 3-2, and once again blew a two goal lead.
They once again allowed their opposition to crawl back into the game and steal points with a short patch of sloppy play, and they once again couldn’t come up with any kind of counterattack despite all of their talent up front. Adjusting to like after Nicklas Lidstrom was never going to be easy, but this is ridiculous.
There’s a difference between recovering from the loss of a legend and showing little professional pride and drive, and the Wings are on the wrong side of that line as they’ve dropped three straight games.
Through those three games they’ve failed to hang on to leads against the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and now the Minnesota Wild. They’ve also yielded three goals in a row in all three games, and have blown early two goal leads twice.
Oh, and they’ve lost to barely-NHL-level starters in two games as well, yielding to Jake Allen of the Blues and Darcy Kuemper of the Wild over the last week. Sorry, but that kind of play doesn’t deserve to find a place in the playoff picture.
Things aren’t looking good in Hockeytown at the moment. While this isn’t quite the time to panic, there are some bad habits forming. No power play, giving up too many shots, bad turnovers in all three zones and lazy stretches of play have cost the Wings valuable points in the standings.
What does the team have to show for their lack of effort? Detroit wouldn’t make the playoffs if the season ended today.
They’ve been shooting pucks into bodies and refusing to make the gritty, dirty plays needed to win these close one-goal hockey games. The Wings don’t have the defense needed to sit back on early two-goal leads and they certainly don’t have the will to win the puck battles to maintain those leads.
Have injuries taken a chunk out of Detroit’s season to some degree? Sure. But there still hasn’t been a good overall team effort across 60 minutes for this team yet. And if the Wings don’t figure out how to pull it together, and soon, they might be on the couch watching the playoffs for the first time since Steve Yzerman was originally named captain.
No more losing to AHL netminders, and no more blown leads and a little bit of hustle. Is that asking too much?
So far in 2013, the answer has been yes.