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Babcock disappointed in Wings' effort

Ericsson sent to Detroit area hospital with what team is calling an upper-body injury

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 10:45 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Babcock disappointed in Wings\' effort

Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith tries to defend against Islanders' Casey Cizikas in the first period Monday. The Islanders' center gave the visitors a 3-0 lead in the first period with his fourth goal of the season. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – Monday’s brownout in downtown Detroit grew increasingly worse for the Red Wings as the day went on.

So disappointed with his team’s lackluster performance against the New York Islanders, coach Mike Babcock took just one question in his post-game news conference.

“We’ve had a hard time getting traction,” Babcock said. “We had a number of injuries, but began to battle our way back to get some traction and I thought our intensity in the first period wasn’t good enough. They scored on their shots and I don’t think we did much. They didn’t do much either, but they scored.”

The Islanders scored three goals on their first seven shots of the game. It was all the scoring the Isles needed in defeating the Red Wings, 3-0, at Joe Louis Arena.

“The bottom line is we played catch-up all night long,” Babcock continued. “I thought we made it easy on their team. We never got in on their D, we weren’t physical like we have been, or heavy in the offensive zone. We had a push in the third period when we hit a couple of posts, but reality is, catch-up hockey is losing hockey, we say that all the time. You have to start on time, do things well. You have to be here the same amount of time to do it right as to do it like we did so you have to be disappointed in yourself for sure. As a coach, who’s supposed to be involved in the preparation process, we dropped the ball and so did the players. This wasn’t a good enough effort. When you’re getting booed off the ice after the first period, in your own building, the last day before Christmas, to me that’s a sad state of affairs.

“We’ll have three days to think about it obviously. Merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy your families. We’ll get better at it and we’re going to be better than this because this wasn’t good enough.”

Besides the loss, which gives the Red Wings an unacceptable 6-10-6 record on home ice, they might have lost defenseman Jonathan Ericsson for the second time this season with what appeared to be an injury to his left side. He suffered a separated left shoulder in Phoenix on Oct. 19 and missed 10 games.

“Ericsson has been taken to the hospital with an upper-body injury,” Babcock said in his opening post-game remarks to the media. “We’ll have more detail tomorrow or the next day.”

The Wings received a dose of bad news prior to Monday’s game, as well, when goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who was originally to start the game, was a late scratch with a sore groin, general manager Ken Holland said.

Rookie goalie Petr Mrazek got the starting assignment, his third of the season with the Wings. He made 16 stops, including all 12 in the final 40 minutes.

“We didn’t really give him much help,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “What’s he going to do? He came up with some big saves for us. We didn’t give him a chance.”

New York added to the Wings’ woes by dropping three even-strength goals on the home team in less than a six-minute span in the first period. The Islanders took control of the game on goals by wingers Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner and center Casey Cizikas.

The Red Wings’ best chance came in the second period on Luke Glendening’s wrist shot from the right circle. But Isles goalie Evgeni Nabokov made the stop, squeezing the puck between his body and left arm.

“I thought I was pretty close,” Glendening said. “I saw him look behind him and fall back, but that’s about as close as I’ve gotten so far. Hopefully one will go in sooner than later.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89