Oct 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) celebrates left wing Benoit Pouliot (67) goal during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Hitting the Panic Button and Coping With A Losing Streak


The record for the longest NHL losing streak was set during the 1974-75 season by the Washington Capitals. This record was tied by the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks. The way some fans are hitting the panic button,  you’d think the Wing’s losing streak was setting a similar record. In case you’re missing the hyperbole, the Wings have lost 4 straight, two of which were in overtime. This gives the Wings 2 points of of a possible 8. The 74-75 Caps and 92-93 Sharks lost seventeen straight.

Sure, things are rough. It’s hard to see your team lose multiple times, especially in that game where no one scored against the sharks, or losing to a team at the bottom of the pitiful Metropolitan Division. Co-workers give you crap, analysts relish in a traditionally successful franchise struggling, and then there’s those goddamn Senators fans. (Still ahead of you suckers!) Make no mistake, it definitely stings. But it’s far from the end of the world. Even with perennial all-stars, an elite coach, and olympic-class goaltending these sort of things happen. One need not look too far back in history to see a streak play out in similar fashion for the wings. Oh how quickly we forget the Wings losing 5 straight from February 13th to February 21st 2013.

The Wings lost 6 in a row from March 10th to March 21st 2012. A five-game skid in November 2005, November 2006, and a most embarrassing streak in February 2008 where Detroit managed to lose 10 of it’s last 11 games all point to the same thing- it’s not time to hit the panic button. All of those teams with losing streaks competed hard, ended up finishing respectfully in the standings, and made the playoffs. And really, what’s more important than looking down your nose at all those other franchises that don’t have a streak stretching back to when I was three years old? Hell you surely remember that 2008 team won the damn President’s trophy by a mile. Losing streaks happen to legendary teams, so a hiccup like this is no reason to put the Motor City on suicide watch.

This doesn’t mean everything is peaches for our beloved Red Wings though. There’s hard work ahead to turn this team around. Mike Babcock isn’t one to lead the Wings astray, nor is Ken Holland, and they’re making moves. Miller has the flu and Franzen is injured so Luke Glendening has been called back up from Grand Rapids. Patrick Eaves is back from injury, so this could be a good sign. There’s word that Stephen Weiss has been demoted to the fourth line, giving other players a chance to shine.   Helm and Ericsson will return soon, the Wings don’t have the toughest opponents on the upcoming road trip, there’s reasons to feel optimistic that the streak is going to be snapped soon. This too shall pass!

I once heard during a broadcast that Babcock likes to divide the game into ten-game sections and look at them that way. Generally if you can win 6 or 7 of each ten game streak, you make the playoffs no problem. At the end of the day, that’s all you need out of the regular season- make the playoffs. In the first ten games this season, the Wings got 13 of a possible 20 points. Not bad, one might even say good enough. There’s an up-hill road ahead, but the Wings should be capable of pulling off a solid trip and turning things around, much to the dismay of teams quickly catching up in the Eastern Conference. Best of all news, the Wings are playing the Canucks next, who haven’t doing too well, they’re just…9-4-1 on the season… crap.

Might have to strap ourselves in for five in a row here…

 

Tags: Detroit Red Wings NHL