Wings start another losing streak as Predators come to town
Anthony Mantha, left, and Tyler Bertuzzi watch after Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau scored a goal during the third period of Saturday’s game, a 4-0 skunking by Florida.
After snapping their eight-game losing streak (0-7-1) last week, the Red Wings promptly began another skid by losing Friday and Saturday.
Detroit lost 7-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh on Friday night and followed that up with a 4-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL, the following evening.
The Wings fell to 4-10-1 overall and 2-6-0 on the road.
“There's no doubt we've been fragile," coach Jeff Blashill told the Canadian Press after Saturday night’s loss. "We better dig in. We control our confidence. We have to learn from this thing and regroup Monday and play a real game."
That would be Monday night when the Red Wings host the Nashville Predators (8-4-2) at Little Caesars Arena (7:30 p.m.). The Predators are one of the NHL’s top offensive teams this season with 54 goals for an average of almost four per game.
Team defense has been an issue all season – Detroit’s 57 goals allowed is among the league’s worst – and obviously continued over the weekend as the Wings allowed 11 goals in two games.
"Definitely, we do lack confidence as a group,” goaltender Jonathan Bernier said on the Wings’ website after the loss to Florida. “Everyone is doing their own job. If everyone just gave a little bit more, I think we'll be OK. We've just got to give a little bit more and stay within our structure.
“Once you're trying too much sometimes, you open things up, and that's when they get their scoring chance(s). We've just got to stick to our system, and we'll be fine."
Bernier replaced Jimmy Howard in goal in the second period on Friday after Carolina’s fifth goal. He was the starter on Saturday, making 37 saves.
Creating offense has also been a problem for Detroit. Only the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks have fewer than Detroit’s 33 goals, but both have played three fewer games than the Wings.
“We're trying to find ways to shoot more and try to get them through,” Valtteri Filppula said. “When you get the first one through, you're gonna get maybe a rebound, maybe a second and third chance that's gonna get your shot total up as well."
So, once again, the Red Wings are a desperate team.
“We gotta be better for sure,” Blashill said. “We gotta dig in Monday and find a way to win a game."