This is cute:
That's from the Shoebox blog and that's the "good" in our title.
Speaking of "upping your game..." Let's talk about the bad. I got a call from SN1 last evening right after the Ducks scored their fourth unanswered goal against the Wings during the game in Anaheim. "I'm done," sez he, "it's late, I'm tired, this ain't doin' NUTHIN' for me, and I have a headache. I'm turnin' it off and goin' to bed." I wasn't far behind him, where the game was concerned; I switched it off, too. I rarely do that sorta thang and last night was only the third time this year. The Wings have played 71 games this year, I've watched all but two, I've switched off during the debacles in Washington (loss: 7-1) and Montreal (loss: 7-2). And last night. How bad was it? Here's George Malik, Red Wings blogger:
Poor defense, little offense and a power play that has now gone 0-for-30 over the Wings’ past seven games, all combined with occasional lapses in, “I will at least try to salvage the game and save all of your asses” goaltending by Joey MacDonald, who looked very vulnerable at times against the Ducks, and Jimmy Howard, who was understandably rusty against the Kings, and my friends and fellow Wings fans…
It does not get any worse than this.
What he said.
It's downright fugly and the signs ain't good. The Wings have sunk from first overall in the league a few weeks ago to fourth (both in the league and West) while going 3-8-1 since setting their home win record back in mid-February. The biggest part of the slide can be written off to injuries, what with starting defensemen Lidstrom, Ericsson, and Kindl out (both Lidstrom and Ericsson are out indefinitely), Jimmy Howard (Number One goaltender) just getting back up to speed after missing four games, Pavel Datsyuk out after knee surgery (back on Saturday?), and various and sundry other maladies. But it is what it is and what it is ain't good.
The Wings will make the playoffs for a record 21 consecutive seasons; I have no doubt about that. Their playoff run may be pretty danged short, though, what with a potential first round match up with the Nashville Predators, who have been hot of late. Speaking of... here's ESPN's LeBrun and Burnside:
BURNSIDE: The Wings’ road woes continued, as they were beaten by the Kings. It wasn't a good day for GM Ken Holland, who wasn’t pleased with the league’s decision to allow Alexander Radulov to return to the Nashville Predators without having to clear waivers. The Wings and Predators seem destined to meet in the first round, and the fight for home ice in that round looms large given how poorly the Wings play away from Joe Louis Arena. They need to get healthy, and that series would be dynamite, but it's hard not to like the Predators, especially if they continue to struggle. They play in Anaheim on Wednesday night, and their lead over the Preds is a single point, with Nashville having a game in hand.
LEBRUN: Amazing, really, to see the Wings seven points back of St. Louis in the Central. That race is over. And now Detroit faces a likely first-round matchup with Nashville. Talk about a conference finals-level series right off the hop. One of those two teams will be incredibly disappointed to go home that early after the first round. But the high-end matchup is a result of the excellence of the Central Division this season. The Blues got hot, the Wings got injured, and the Preds hope to get Radulov. Quite the script.
It would get a whole lot worse should the Wings survive the first round... coz we'd have to go through St. Louis to get to the Cup Finals, assuming we survive either Vancouver or Chicago in the second round. That may a bridge too far this year, based on what I've seen of those Blues.