The Detroit Red Wings are currently riding a six game losing streak, a seven game home losing streak, and have only won 3 out of their last 10 games.
If there is any good news for the Red Wings, it is that in the last seven losses they have been able to squeeze out a point in six of them, but the loser point only helps to an extent; the Red Wings have to start winning games and soon.
Through these losses fans have blamed the goaltending, secondary scoring, the defense, and turnovers. Let’s take a look at each of these possible issues, which could be causing the losing streak.
The Red Wings’ goaltenders have allowed 20 goals against during this losing streak and while that sounds/is bad, they have kept the Red Wings in every game and given the team a chance to win.
There are always a couple goals that Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson would want back, but when the pressure was on and they had to come up with saves to keep their team in the game both of them came up big.
I am not sure how fans can blame to goaltenders for these losses because they have been solid in net.
Over the losing streak the Red Wings’s first line was on the ice for every single goal, but over the past two games that has changed; Darren Helm and Johan Franzen have both chipped in to provide scoring support and in fact the second line has been on the ice for five of the last six goals.
There is still an issue with the secondary scoring because the Red Wings’ third and fourth lines have not produced a point since their victory against the Edmonton Oilers.
It looks like Daniel Alfredsson will return to the line-up on Tuesday and his return should help rid the Red Wings of their scoring troubles.
The Red Wings were without Jonathan Ericsson since October 19th, but he was able to return two games ago and it was a big boost for the defense. Xavier Ouellet and Adam Almquist did an admirable job in his absence, but when a team loses their number two defenseman it hurts.
With Ericsson out it did challenge Danny DeKeyser to step up and he did a great job as Niklas Kronwall‘s partner, but allowing him to drop down to the second pairing makes the Wings’ defense tougher to play against.
Brendan Smith injured his shoulder during a fight on November 2nd and could return to the line-up this week, but whether or not he will play is a different story; Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl, and Brian Lashoff have been solid and do not deserve to be replaced.
Turnover have been an issue for the Red Wings and it has stiffed their offensive game, while giving the other teams great chances to score and put pressure on the Wings. Turnovers cause the Wings not to get their first shot on net in the third period until after the 10 minute mark against the Islanders.
But turnovers are only one part of a much larger issue for the Detroit Red Wings.
I believe the true reason the Red Wings are not winning games is between the ears. Their mental game has not been where it should be during the current losing streak and if it does not change the streak could continue.
The work ethic has been there, but they are trying to do too much with the puck and because they are trying to do too much; giveaways, takeaways, bad passes and bad shots will happen.
If the Red Wings want to work their way out of this slump, they will have to slow down and simplify their game.
What do you think the Detroit Red Wings need to do to break out of the slump?