Lackluster Effort Dooms Detroit Red Wings In First Loss Of Season

Jimmy Howard

Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings knew everything wasn’t going to be smooth sailing when they moved to the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division this season, but on Saturday night they found out they don’t have what it takes to beat the Boston Bruins quite yet. Few things went right for the Wings in a game in which they were outscored, outshot and flat-out outplayed by a Boston team that seemed more than eager to prove they’re still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. A goal from Henrik Zetterberg, his second of the young season, was the lone bright spot for the Red Wings. The two teams will meet again in less than two weeks, and there are many things the Wings will need to work on before then.

A penalty kill that had been rock solid allowed two goals to the Bruins, one coming after only 15 seconds with Boston on the man-advantage. On the opposite end of the special teams spectrum, Detroit was 0-for-2 on the power play and will continue to look for their first goal with the advantage when they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. The Bruins outshot the Red Wings 37-26, and held a significant advantage in that category in both the first and third periods. Nearly every Detroit defenseman struggled with at least one boneheaded play, with Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey standing out as the most disappointing pair. In net, it would be hard to fault Jimmy Howard, who got little help from his teammates and had no chance of stopping Torey Krug‘s goal that put the Bruins up 1-0. After playing plenty of back-to-back games during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, travel and fatigue don’t work as excuses, either. Hopefully this early-season loss serves as a wake-up call for the Red Wings, and they can be more competitive when they return to Boston on Columbus Day.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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