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Wings accept factors for slow start

Monday, 10.26.2009 / 9:03 AM ET / News
By Phil Coffey
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Wings accept factors for slow start
Injuries? No excuse.

New players? No excuse.

New coaches? No excuse.

The NHL is a bottom-line place, so excuses aren't acceptable among fans, media, players, coaches, etc.

That does not mean, however, that there aren't factors into why a team is succeeding or failing. Let's take a look at the Red Wings as an example. Heading into weekend play, the Wings are a pedestrian 3-3-2, having scored 24 goals and allowed 28. So why the middling start?

We're talking transition here and not the on-ice version of going from offense to defense. A veteran club over the past several seasons, the Wings are icing a fairly significant number of newcomers on the roster this season. An excuse for the start? No, but a factor to be sure.

"Every night we play with six forwards who didn’t play for us last year," coach Mike Babcock told Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. "It's a bit of a change. But if you look around the league, it's the same for everybody else."

Detroit is playing Justin Abdelkader, Ville Leino and Jimmy Howard, three rookies, so that's an adjustment. Johan Franzen is out until February after knee surgery. Also factor in that Darren Helm and Jonathan Ericsson are full-timers this season, not the case last season. Again, more transition. And Todd Bertuzzi, Patrick Eaves, Jason Williams and Brad May are experienced NHL players, but not experienced Red Wings players.

Again, not excuses, but factors to be sure.

"Right off the hop, there's a lot of information to take in," veteran Kris Draper said. "But the bottom line is you have to go out and play a game. I think what you've seen early is guys trying too hard to be in the right spots. The more you think, the slower you are, right? It's just a matter of going out and playing and getting more confident in playing with different guys in certain situations."

"I think when you have new players it's a matter of them getting used to our system and getting to know how we play," Nicklas Lidstrom said. "You can't just insert a number of players and expect to be right back where you want to be all the time. It takes time sometimes, and that's why you have to stick with the system that you're playing and stick with your foundation and not get away from playing the way you want to play."

Despite it all, however, Babcock sees no reason for the Red Wings to languish.

"What's important to understand is, it doesn't matter how you win. You just gotta win," he said. "If you are not playing like you did in the past or if you have to do things a lot harder -- so what? As a team, just do it for one another, dig in and find a way to win."





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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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