Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wings Fall Prey to Themselves, Hand Nashville the Win

Well, we sort of got what we wanted: The OT/Shootout streak is over.

Best part of last night. Bet Cheli was glad he got
off the ice for the rest of it...
What is there to say, really? Detroit played a very mentally weak game last night against a Nashville team riding a young goalie and turned what should have at least been a close game into a write-off.  Shea Weber's knuckle-puck was the game-winner, but the Red Wings didn't make winning all that difficult, showing all the same problems they've had over the course of this season: bad or errant passing, terrible reading of the play in all 3 zones, and still not enough quality shots on net to test netminders.

On top of losing in regulation, Detroit also lost young defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a separated shoulder, which will likely have him sidelined for the next couple weeks.  It couldn't have been Quincey, could it? The hockey gods are fickle.  On the upside, Brendan Smith returned and...wasn't terrible! He admitted to keying in on watching Nik Kronwall during his stint in the press box, and it seems like he's starting to finally identify and correct some of the flaws he was harboring in his game.  He picked a good time to do so, because we need him playing well while Kaiser is in the shelf.

I do feel the question needs to seriously be asked, though: At what point does this become an issue not of the roster, but of the people in charge of that roster?  I'm starting to feel more and more each game like Mike Babcock is just preaching the same crap he always does just because he likes to hear it, and not because it's actually making a difference in the locker room between periods.  We've watched the Wings do everything exactly the same over this winless skid like they're expecting something to change. Nothing will change unless they do, the mindset, the game plans, SOMETHING internally needs to change.  We've never taken it easy on weak teams in the past so, with the tables turned, Detroit cannot expect any better treatment during their struggles.

The Red Wings return to action on Thursday against a similarly struggling Carolina team whom we have already beaten once this year.  If we can't get our shit together for this game, it may just be time to dig out that panic button.

Maybe don't press it just yet, but certainly keep it close.