The Detroit Red Wings (9-5-4) extended their home losing streak to 5 games as the Tampa Bay Lightning overcame Henrik Zetterberg’s two goal performance by winning 3-2 in overtime. This marks the longest winless streak at Joe Louis Arena since the end of their 1996-97 season.
But the Red Wings still came away with two points out of the possible six this week. So, it wasn’t a total disaster and my plus/minus report will prove that.
+ Points System
Hockey is so unpredictable. On any given night any team can win. That’s why they play an 82-game schedule so the best teams eventually rise to the top. Having a points system that awards teams for going into overtime is really helping the Wings. They are tied for the second most overtime losses with 4.
While getting two points is always the goal, just getting a single point on any given night is a plus. Usually an 85-90 point season is enough to make the playoffs. As the Wings showed last season and the Los Angeles Kings two years ago, once in the playoffs, anything can happen.
– Zetterberg Trying to Put Wings on his Back
While this may be a personal positive for Henrik, it’s the Red Wings’ greatest flaw as a unit. Zetterberg is doing everything he possibly can to lead his team to victories. Over the past week he scored or assisted on 6 of 7 Red Wings’ goals.
I know the NHL is concentrated with great teams that only rely on 3-4 key goal scorers, but the Wings pride themselves on depth. Where is it? The Captain could use a bit of help if 6 points in three straight losses is any indication.
– Shooting Themselves in the Foot
What’s the fastest way to give up a goal? Turn the puck over in the neutral zone.
What’s the fastest way to lose a hockey game? Turn the puck over in your own zone.
What’s the fastest way to get mention in my plus/minus report? You guessed it, by turning the puck over.
+/- Rating = -1
A -1 rating doesn’t seem quite fair to a team on a three game losing streak. But losing back-to-back games in the final moments of overtime isn’t exactly fair either.
Now let’s move on to this upcoming week in my preview and predictions segment.
November 12: vs. Winnipeg Jets
7:30PM EST on TSN (Or Fox Sports Detroit)
Standings: (7-9-2) 7th Central Division, 12th Western Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Nov. 4, 2013 at Winnipeg/Jets 4 – Red Wings 2
The Red Wings will be thinking about revenge as the Jets come into Joe Louis Arena. They now know Winnipeg can’t be overlooked despite their record. The Jets are tough, resilient, and very capable of bombing past the Red Wings twice in an eight-game span.
To avoid another loss to Winnipeg, the Wings need to stay out of the penalty box, find their secondary scoring, and limit the turnovers. While Detroit is probably the better team, a long losing streak will start to creep into the back of the player’s minds. The losing streak needs to end soon before it gets out of hand.
Prediction: I started out by correctly picking the outcome of the Wing’s first 7 games. After 18 games my record stands at 10-8. Hopefully, I can turn that back around this week. To do so, I’m relying on my loyalty to my team. Red Wings 4 – Jets 2
November 15: Vs. Washington Capitals
7:30PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit
Standings: (9-7-1) 2nd Metropolitan Division, 5th Eastern Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Mar. 19, 2012 at Detroit/Red Wings 3 – Capitals 5
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals are one of the best offensive teams in the league. Averaging just over three goals a game, Washington ranks 9th best in the NHL. They also rank 1st in the NHL in power play scoring. Their penalty kill is outstanding as well at 88.2% (2nd best in NHL).
The Eastern Conference is stacked at the top with Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, and Washington (even Tampa Bay looks like a contender). The Red Wings need to beat the best to be the best.
Prediction: This is a coin flip matchup because it’s in Detroit (hopefully, after a Wings win over Winnipeg). My gut says Detroit, but my mind says Washington. Red Wings 2 – Capitals 3 in overtime
November 16: @ New York Islanders
7:00PM EST on Fox Sports Detroit
Standings: (6-8-3) 5th Metropolitan Division, 11th Eastern Conference
Last Meeting against the Red Wings: Jan. 10, 2012 at New York/Islanders 5 – Red Wings 1
January 30, 2007 was the last time the Red Wings beat the Islanders, since then they have gone 0-3-1. The one overtime loss happened on New Year’s Eve in 2010.
The Islanders are very similar to the Jets in the fact that good teams shouldn’t overlook them. They are going to struggle to get into the playoffs but they are going to put up a fight each and every night, especially when a team like the Red Wings is coming into their building.
Prediction: The Wings have yet to win a game after losing a winning streak. So by using that logic, I should predict another Red Wings loss. Seems too simple; I think they finally break both losing patterns here. Red Wings 2 – Islanders 1
My predictions have been off lately but I feel rather confident saying the Wings will go 2-0-1 this week. The Red Wings we know and love should be able to achieve that and come away with a record of 11-5-5. But, if it’s the same sluggish team we saw this past week then flip the numbers around and they will probably go 1-0-2.
Hockey is a game of inches and a very hard game to predict.
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