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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80