Monday, January 13, 2014

Powerless at the Pond, Detroit Defeated by Ducks

The yo-yo season continues for the Detroit Red Wings.

After a great showing against the Kings on Saturday, the Wings had a chance to end the California road trip with a majority of wins, but all that determination seen in LA was wasted in Anaheim as Detroit simply could not pull the trigger against the Ducks.  Despite many excellent chances, a good number of them went by the wayside as Wings players did not converge and own the middle of the offensive zone the way they needed to against a Ducks team that kept Detroit neutered along the perimeter.  Petr Mrazek got the start in net for the Red Wings and made this one a game Detroit could've taken hold of but they never did, losing 1-0 and gifting the hot-handed Jonas Hiller with a shutout and his 14th straight victory.

The biggest concern of the evening, however, had to be the Red Wings' impotence on the powerplay.  Detroit is now 0 for its last 21 PP chances, and it has seemed to matter little whether all the big guns are on the ice for the man advantage or not.  The struggling powerplay for the Wings has been a constant problem and Assistant Coach Tom Renney seems to have done almost nothing to change the flaws in the system.  We still see too much passing, not enough puck retrieval after an initial shot, and sparse movement by the defense to open up the middle of the ice.  Just last night in Anaheim, the Wings went an unacceptable 0 for 5.  Teams cannot squander that many PP opportunities and expect to go far and if this, as well as the number of other obvious problems this team has faced all year, are not addressed at the trade deadline then this may end up a very depressing year for Wings fans.

Detroit is off now until the 16th when they travel to New York to face the Rangers.  They will be without the valuable services of Tomas Tatar who will be in Slovakia to attend his father's funeral.  Hopefully we will get word in the meantime that other Red Wings, such as Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm, will be ready to go by then.  All we can do till then is believe in the team and hope things start getting consistently better.