For the third consecutive game, the Detroit Red Wings managed only one point despite seeing the game last beyond regulation. While there were a few bright spots for the team on the night, there were more negatives than positives to take away from a second loss of the season to the Winnipeg Jets. The Red Wings have now lost four games in a row, and three of those have been home games at Joe Louis Arena. As they prepare to host the Washington Capitals on Friday, the Red Wings need to try and figure out why they can’t win at home and can’t win in overtime or a shootout.
Pavel Datsyuk was the star of the night, netting two goals and building his season totals to nine goals and 20 points. Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have been great this season, but few other players have done much offensively. Both of Datsyuk’s goals came on the power play, which is another good sign. The special teams units continue to show more and more life, and that is a positive to focus on moving forward. The Red Wings shut down all three Jets power play chances, marking the sixth time in seven games that they have not allowed a goal while playing a man down. This recent improvement has them ranked seventh in the league, killing 85.5 percent of opponent’s chances. A final good note from Tuesday night is that the Red Wings put 43 shots on Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. In their first loss to Winnipeg on Nov. 4 they allowed 47 Jets shots, with Jimmy Howard stopping 43 of them.
Of the six games that have gone to overtime or a shootout for the Red Wings this season, they have won only one. Last season they were 4-8 in games that went to extra time, so this isn’t exactly a new problem. Finding a way to sustain pressure for five more minutes and finding a way to get more out of some of the best shootout shooters in the league are two things that need to be focused on moving forward. Howard’s play has been steady, and it’s hard to place too much blame for any of these losses on his shoulders. The lack of secondary scoring continues to hold the team back, and if they hope to beat the tougher teams in the Eastern Conference, they need to find a way to get more than two goals per game past opposing netminders. It’s still early on in the season, and it’s good that Mike Babcock and his coaching staff have plenty of time to address these problems before they get worse.