Are the Detroit Red Wings going to finish the season with eight victories?
That’s the pace they’re on after a 10-game start that has been even worse than expected. The Wings are the only NHL team with only one win. They entered Saturday with the league’s worst goals-against average (4.00), and their inability to score has led to a goals-for average (2.10) that ranks 28th out of 31 teams.
When the Wings began the season on Oct. 4, they looked like they felt good about themselves, talking about how they’d prove outsiders wrong and reach the playoffs.
Then reality set in, as a starting lineup with as many as four rookie defensemen and an early schedule crammed with some of the NHL’s best teams led to a 1-7-2 start.
“We’ve played good hockey at times but some really bad hockey, too,” center Frans Nielsen said. “I guess very inconsistent is the word. We haven’t scored enough.
“We just have to find a way, doesn’t matter how it looks. Just find a way and then hopefully you can string one and two together and then suddenly you maybe get some confidence in the room again.”
More: Detroit Red Wings lament lack of discipline
The Wings have played well in spurts — the Los Angeles game, the third period against Toronto, the games on the Florida trip, the first period against Winnipeg — and that needs to be the building block going into the next segment.
“There were numerous games we were in position to win that we didn’t win, so the confidence comes from knowing that you put yourself to be right there,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We had three games where they were lopsided — one not the score, we had a chance to tie the Carolina game late, two games from a score aspect that were real lopsided. The other seven games, really eight of them, we were in position to win the hockey game and we didn’t win.
“If you put yourself in position to win eight hockey games of the next 10, you have a way better chance of having a better record. I also think we have guys who cheap nhl jerseys from china
will score more on their chances than they have. It’s just a matter of making sure that we decide that we’re going to forge forward and we’re going to keep our head up and we’re going to find ways to be better.”
Let’s take a look at what has gone wrong, and a few bright spots:
Justin Abdelkader leads the list of veterans who have had disappointing starts. He’s not generating anything offensively (one assist in 10 games) and his physical game has been sub-par, too. “You want to physically be engaged every game,” Abdelkader said. “You look for hits, and they’re definitely harder to come by in this game now. But that’s a part of my game. I’ve felt really good — had a really good summer, good training camp.”
Danny DeKeyser struggled in the five games he played before aggravating a hand injury.