Red Wings Win Three Straight
Just like that, a quarter of the NHL season is behind us. After a bit of a rocky start
and some mixed emotions from Red Wings fans, the team has now rattled off
three straight wins to move themselves comfortably into fifth place in the Western
Conference. Leading the way in that conference are the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks,
who are yet to lose a game in regulation, and are tops in the NHL with 22 points.
With 36 regular season games left scheduled for the Red Wings, maintaining a
winning momentum will be of utmost importance if the team hopes to make a 22 nd
consecutive playoff appearance.
While Chicago and Detroit have only met once so far this season, both teams have
serious offensive firepower in the forms of Patrick Kane and Henrik Zetterberg, who
are second and third in scoring in the NHL. The Red Wings power play has struggled
early in the season, and they are currently in the bottom third of the league in that
category. A traditionally dominant Detroit penalty kill also ranks dead last in the
league in the category of power play goals against.
While the Blackhawks fast start and lack of extra-man goals are a point of concern
for the Winged Wheel, several key injuries may have General Manager Ken Holland
a bit more concerned in this short season. With Todd Bertuzzi, Carlo Colaiacovo,
Darren Helm and Brendan Smith all having missed significant time already this
season, several younger players have had to step up to fill gaps in the lineup, earning
valuable professional experience. The good news for Wings fans is that despite the
injuries, the wins are still more frequent than the losses, with the current winning
streak sitting at three.
Leading the charge for the Wings through twelve games is captain Henrik
Zetterberg, who has 18 points as a result of 5 goals and 13 assists this season.
Newcomer Damien Brunner is leading the Red Wings with 6 goals on the season,
while Pavel Datsyuk is as consistent as ever, with 13 points on the year. Net minder
Jimmy Howard has been a brick wall thus far, with a save percentage over .900, and
6 wins in just 11 starts including a 45 save performance this weekend against Los
With 9 games left scheduled during the month of February, Detroit has no time for
the mid-winter blues, and hopes to continue its winning ways. Provided that those
with injuries can return to the lineup in the next few weeks as expected, Wings fans
should be able to rest easy knowing that their boys in red will be playing themselves
ever closer to a 22nd straight Stanley Cup playoff appearance.
Up next for Detroit are two home games this week, Wednesday against the St. Louis
Blues, and Friday against second place Anaheim. For complete schedule, statistics,
and ticket information, check www.detroitredwings.com