Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wings Drop Back-to-Back Games to Bottom-Feeding Florida

The questions keep piling up, but still no one seems to have any answers.

After getting back to the win column in a gritty victory over New Jersey, Detroit has dropped two straight to one of the worst teams in the NHL, the Florida Panthers.  The Red Wings lost 2-1 in their barn, then suffered a 3-2 shootout loss in Florida's rink last night.  The most recent game gives Detroit a staggering 10 consecutive losses in the skills competition dating back to last year, 5 of those losses coming this season.

Everyone addressing the media (players, Babcock, etc.) all seem content in saying they have no answer for not only why the Wings are losing so many shootouts, but also why the Wings are losing in general.  Babs seems hesitant to come right out and say what is obvious to the fans: The team is giving up before the game has finished.  Take last night for example, up 2-0 after 40 minutes and what to the Wings do?  Frolick around with the puck and stop communicating, which leads to the signature errant passes and sloppy plays that lead to turnovers and scoring chances for the other squad.  Florida was more than happy to increase their pressure and battle back which--to their credit--they did very well.  The Panthers never gave up on the game and managed a tie before regulation's end.  The Wings, however, looked like they had lost the game once they gave up Florida's first goal, and then found a way to make their delusion a reality.

It simply amazes me how the level of confidence on this team is so low that they are literally willing themselves into losses.  Some people have drawn parallels to the February of 2008, when the Wings had to overcome great adversity before winning their most recent Stanley Cup.  I feel there is a difference, though--this year's injuries are nothing compared to that February 5 years ago, and yet we are still crumbling.

For now the Wings are afloat, sitting 3rd in the Atlantic division, but teams are hot on their heels ready to pounce and the upcoming schedule is not pretty: 2 games VS Tampa, and a game against Pittsburgh and Anaheim.  How important will the 3 points we squandered to Florida be should we get destroyed over the next 4 games, and where will be when the dust settles?  Of course that is a worst-case scenario, but with how this team has performed this year, one kind of has to prepare for it just in case.

As was the original plan Monster will be in net on Thursday and hopefully we get another body back, be it Helm, DeKeyser or Zetterberg, because we badly need them all.