By: Pat Caputo
If it seems like the world is falling apart on the Red Wings, well, it is.
With the addition of rookie Dylan Larkin, the emergence of Petr Mrazek as an elite goalie and the good health of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, this appeared to be the Red Wings’ best team since their last Stanley Cup finals appearance in 2009.
Instead, the Red Wings have fallen into a slump. In two litmus test games vs. Chicago, the Red Wings were destroyed. It wasn’t even close. Then, they were inexcusably outshot 16-4 during a loss to hapless Columbus Tuesday.
It makes tonight’s game vs. Winnipeg at Joe Louis Arena especially important. The Red Wings are just two points up on Philadelphia while clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have a game in hand to the Red Wings, and the two teams meet twice during the last 16 games of Detroit’s regular season.
The Red Wings need the return to form by Mrazek, Larkin to register on the stat sheet consistently again and Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar to begin living up to the reputations as young guns capable of scoring goals in bunches.
Will any of that happen against the Jets, who are playing out the string after falling out of the playoff race in the Western Conference?
Ken Kal and Paul Woods will have the call starting tonight at 7:10 on 97.1 The Ticket. I will be on after the game to talk about it. Tune in http://player.radio.com/listen/station/971-the-ticket.