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Talk is cheap for Red Wings

Only action on ice will turn winless streak into victories

Friday, 11.4.2011 / 3:58 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Talk is cheap for Red Wings
DETROIT – It was only a few weeks ago that the Red Wings traveled to Columbus to face a winless Blue Jackets club teetering on desperation.

Columbus snapped its streak with a win over Detroit. But since then, the losses have mounted for the Wings, who lost a sixth straight game Thursday, 4-1, to Calgary.

It’s not so fun being the desperate team, but that’s where the Wings find themselves heading into Saturday’s home game against the Anaheim Ducks.

And the tailspin has to stop if the Wings are to avoid a seventh straight game without a win, which last occurred in Hockeytown nearly 21 years ago. Ironically, that’s the last time the Wings didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
 
“We have to play desperate tomorrow,” forward Darren Helm said. “We need a win or things will get pretty rough around here.”

It’s pretty rough already for the Wings who have scored just six goals in the last six games.

“We need to go out and do what we're supposed to do and trust each other and let the rest of it fall into place,” said Henrik Zetterberg, who has scored two goals thus far. “If we do the right things, eventually we're going to start to win games.”

This isn’t the kind of streak that guys in the Wings’ dressing room are used to. In 2008, the Wings’ last Stanley Cup year, they went through a stretch where they suffered some injuries on the back-end and eventually lost six straight. But that squad turned it around.

This time is different. Other than rookie forward Jan Mursak, the Wings are healthy, which makes the current streak more puzzling.

“It’s already at a stage where it’s a little too quite in this dressing room, a lot more than usual,” Helm said. “It’s not fun when you come to the rink and guys aren’t talking, guys aren’t having fun, guys aren’t joking with each other. That comes from not winning. As hard as it is not to think about that, we have to put these six losses behind us and just focus on tomorrow and start from scratch.”

Already three-points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Wings must start winning games in a hurry or face a dire situation down the road.

“We can talk about this as much as we can, but it’s not going to help,” forward Jiri Hudler said. “We have to dig in and get a win, focus on details and play hard. All the little things and play simple shift to shift. Just play simple and try not to make mistakes. But losing six in a row, it’s hard to say.

“Obviously we’re frustrated, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. There’s a game tomorrow, Saturday night in our house. Let’s just turn it around. Play hockey and dig in, be desperate, you know? Do whatever it takes.”

It’s not like the Wings aren’t getting shots on net. They’ve out-shot their opponent in every game to this point. However, the Wings, who led the league in average shots per game (35.8) before Thursday, fired a season-low 29 in their loss to Calgary. Making matters worse, the Wings’ big guns were absent for much of the game with six forwards held to zero shots through the game’s first 40-minutes.

“We've got to think that every team we play is desperate like us, desperate for a win,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “So to me you just have to keep on coming, keep on coming and eventually things are going to go your way.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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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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