Red Wings Play Awful, Lose Again.

That was the suckiest bunch of suck which ever sucked. The Red Wings brought their tiny baby losing streak into Minnesota and grew it into a petulant toddler of a losing streak by playing 60 minutes of awful grabass Minnesota Wild hockey. Detroit gave up two goals in the first, only one of which counted. From there, they failed to bury chance after chance over the course of 36 shots while making Josh Harding look like the kind of guy that Goser wouldn't zap if given the chance.

The lone goal was scored with Detroit's top line trying to create a scoring chance for Henrik Zetterberg to put over the net. Unfortunately, the puck bounced off Zetterberg's skate and sent Heatley on the Wild's 85th odd-man rush with Latendresse. This time, Heatley found the back of the net with a wicked slapper past Howard. The Wild would get 19 more shots on goal and several very high quality chances, but Jimmy Howard was able to keep the gap close.

Let's get to the bullet points.

  • Todd Bertuzzi has apparently grown tired of people in Minnesota booing him. As a solution, he spent the entire game trying to make fans of the Wild love him by handing them power play chances and the puck at every possible chance. This is seriously the worst I've seen a Red Wings' forward play. The one good thing Bertuzzi did all night was get hit in the face with Devin Setoguchi's stick.
  • Your zero shots on goal club for tonight: Hudler, Emmerton, Ericsson. I can give Emmerton a pass in his 6:32 ice time (and one shift in the third period). Ericsson also actually had a pretty decent game and isn't expected to put shots on net. Hudler meanwhile had a fantastic chance on the back door of a play with Harding shuffling to adjust and instead chose to spin away and try to pass it to the point. His linemates didn't play much better, but at least they could figure out how to give Harding the chance to screw up with the puck.
  • Both Lidstrom and White led the Wings with over 25 minutes played each. I'm only happy about one of those. White is struggling noticeably worse than the other defensemen on the team over the course of the last few games. I'm hoping he's still adjusting to the team, but I'd almost rather give Kindl a chance to play with Lidstrom right now.
  • Over the course of this week, the group of people calling for a shakeup in the Wings' lineup has been growing. Count me among them. I know that there's a certain amount of "puck luck" that's just not happening for them right now, but I haven't been happy with their focus in three of the four losses. In the liveblog over at Abel to Yzerman, Chief started us off with this:

    You can blame our Uncle Mike, if you want.  And you are.  You can wonder what precisely the new assistant coaches are bringing to the table.  But I’m getting a bad feeling that if there’s a lack of urgency in that room then the fingers need to be shifted from the guy with the good hair to the Perfect One.  Professionalism and quiet confidence, a steady demeanor and leadership by example is all well and good.  And that’s cool when it works. 

    But man, is there anyone wearing red and white who’s just a little pissed off about this whole thing?  And if not?  Who are the leaders who should be? Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Holmstrom….

    ...and after this game, I'm leaning very heavily into this camp.Listen, the Wings are a better team than Minnesota. There is not an excuse big enough to hide behind in losing this game.
  • Player of the game nominees are Howard and Miller. Howie only faced 20 shots, but a lot of those were quality chances on defensive breakdowns and odd-man rushes. He only allowed one goal and got a loss thrown into his lap by the guys in front. He deserved better.  Meanwhile, Drew Miller was the only consistently impressive player on the ice. He had three extremely good pass-breakups while shorthanded and another great blocked shot.
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