By: Will Burchfield
The Red Wings’ recent homestand didn’t go as planed. They banked just one win in five games, hitting rock-bottom with a 4-1 loss to the lowly Coyotes on Dec. 13.
After that game, captain Henrik Zetterberg called his team’s performance embarrassing.
“Our start, the effort we had in the first period, it’s embarrassing,” Zetterberg said. “That’s on the leaders, that starts with me, gotta be better prepared in here to come out.”
The Red Wings didn’t record a shot on goal through the first 14 minutes of the game and entered the first intermission trailing 2-1.
“I don’t think they played great hockey in the first, but that just shows how bad we were,” Zetterberg added later.
Alternate captain Niklas Kronwall went one step further.
“It’s one thing to lose if you’ve been playing well. It’s another thing to lose when you haven’t really been giving your best effort for 60 minutes,” said Kronwall.
“It’s unacceptable, really.”
As it turns out, it was more than lip service. In a closed-door, players’ only meeting following the game, Zetterberg called out his teammates’ lack of “heart.”
“That first period could have been the worst first period in a long, long time. And that’s effort. Battles…It’s just heart,” Zetterberg said, slapping his chest.
“If we played good today and lost, fine. But we [expletive]’d this one away. It’s gonna be too late soon,” he added. We all know it.”
The following video was captured by EPIX as part of their ongoing series, “Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics.”
The loss to the Coyotes dropped the Wings five points out of a playoff spot. They would lose their next game to the Kings before rebounding with a win over the Ducks on Saturday night.
Detroit has 32 points through 32 games and trails Boston by five points for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.