By: Jeff Riger
No matter how you look at it, the Detroit Red Wings need to be better. Detroit lost their 5th game in a row on Thursday night to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena 3-2 and now everybody is wondering if this is a playoff team. We know the stats, Detroit has made the postseason 21 consecutive years but with a ton of injured bodies no Nick Lidstrom or Brad Stuart and the overall parody that now is the NHL, can they make it 22? Looks doubtful right now?
Below I have decided to list some of the more interesting stats that the Wings have complied during this 5 game losing skid.
-They accumulated just 2 points of a possible 10.
-They are 1 for 17 over the last 5 games on the power play. If you are into the percentages, that’s not even 6%. A successful PP hits around 25%, the Blues, the best in the game right now, are almost at 32% for the season while the Wings are not even at 13%.
-They allowed 3 PP goals in 17 chances.
-They are outshooting the opposition in those 5 games 136-135 but they have been outscored 19-12.
-In 3 of the 5 games the Wings have held at least a 2 goal lead.
-7 of the 12 goals have come from 3 different players, Pavel Datsyuk had 3, Damien Brunner had 2 and Thomas Tartar had a couple as well. Valteri Filpula. Dan Cleary, Jordin Tootoo, Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller had the other tallies.
– They allowed 1 shorthanded goal in the 5 games and scored one as well. Detroit as a team has given up 3 shorthanded goals for the season which leads the league.
-Detroit has done decent in the circle, winning 139 of 256 face-offs.
-Detroit has been out hit 109-88
-Detroit has given away the puck a significant amount of times more than their opponent, 38-29.
So what does all of the above tell you? Nothing more than they have lost 5 in a row. Sure you would like them to give away fewer pucks and score more on the PP, but other than that, there is really no stat that sticks out that tells the story of an awful Detroit Red Wings team. During the 5 game skid they have started on time, they have had costly turnovers and they even outplayed their opposition for numerous periods but the biggest reason for the losing is not playing a consistent 60 minutes of hockey in any of the games in question.
But it could be worse…
Detroit is injured more than anybody could have expected. Some players will come back shortly while others we might not see for the remainder of the season. Yes, they have to start winning more games and their schedule doesn’t get any easier. Thursday night was essentially must-win because it was the Blue Jackets at home. Detroit now brings in the Preds and Canucks over the weekend before heading out west to play the Kings and Sharks. They could very well extend their losing skid to 9 games and if that happens there will be very little chance of making the playoffs. However during all the ups and downs of a rough 5 games losing skid, it is important to show that the Wings are just a single win out of the 8th spot in the Western conference. Plus, every game that we have expected them to lose this year they have won or at least got a point in overtime or a shootout loss.
The Wings have a lot to play for still and they don’t have to win every statistical category, they just need to start winning in one… The scoreboard. This team is not as bad as it seems right now, the above stats will tell you that. Now it’s up for the team to do the same thing. I think they will. What about you?