Found March 11, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- In a lockout-shortened season, things can change quickly for every team, including the Detroit Red Wings. Now that they've passed the midway point of the season -- 26 games into a compressed, 48-game schedule -- let's take a look at where they stand before they head out on the road. Things were looking pretty good before this past weekend. The Wings were in a successful stretch during which they'd gone 5-1-1. Then they encountered the Columbus Blue Jackets, who for whatever reason have given the Wings fits this season. After being shut out, 3-0, Saturday in Columbus and then beaten in a shootout, 3-2, Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, the Wings were feeling a little deflated. They lost the season series to the Blue Jackets, 1-3-1. "It felt like we had a good thing going there for a couple weeks, then the two games here, back-to-back against Columbus, we didn't perform as close as to where we were before that," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "They play a game that I guess we couldn't handle. "They were tough on us, and we couldn't really get to the net and get anything dangerous around their net." Captain Henrik Zetterberg admitted that both the Wings and the Blue Jackets had played a lot of games this past week and might have hit a lull. "Before these two games, we were on a bit of a roll," Zetterberg said. "We had been playing better. In Columbus, we didnt play good. We played better (Sunday), and it was a step forward compared to (Saturday). "Weve been up and down. When were doing the right things, we play well. We just have to keep doing that. Were going to have a tough stretch here, and our record on the road has to be better." Ah, yes, the road, where the Wings are 3-5-2 so far this season. No current team in the top 10 in the Western Conference has fewer road wins. "It's definitely going to be tough," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "There's no excuses because we're going out on the road. We've got to find a way to get dirty wins." With 14 of their last 22 games are on the road, including seven of the next eight, the Wings will have an opportunity to improve that record. "We needed to win the home game," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We got lots of road games. Bottom line is, there's nothing we can do about this now. Feeling sorry for yourself isn't going to you anything. We need the points. "Ideally, we'll get a break and get Fil (Valtteri Filppula) back this week and then I'm hoping to get Helmer (Darren Helm) back. I think that can really give us a boost." Filppula has missed the last seven games with a shoulder injury. Before that, he had four goals and six assists in 19 games. With his spectacular speed and skill set, Filppula needs to be able to produce more when he gets healthy. The Wings have definitely missed Helm's speed this season. He's played in just one game because of a back injury he suffered while lifting weights in the offseason. If Filppula and Helm are able to return soon, that will help take pressure off of Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who have played more than they should have, particularly on the penalty kill. The penalty kill is one area that the Wings have improved. They're ranked 19th overall, killing 79 percent of their opponents' power plays. But their penalty kill is only 70.7 percent on the road, compared to 84.8 percent at home. The Wings' power play is absolutely Jekyll and Hyde. At home, it's pretty good, connecting on 22.1 percent of their chances, ninth in the league. It couldn't be any worse on the road. The Wings are the only team in the league that hasn't scored a road power-play goal (0-36). But despite what felt like a lost weekend, the Wings did get one point, which put them in fourth place in the Western Conference with 29 points. "That moves us up, actually, in the standings, unless who knows whatever else is going on throughout the league right now," Howard said. Therein lies the rub. Aside from the Chicago Blackhawks (45 points), who finally lost a game in regulation, and the Anaheim Ducks (39 points), most of the teams in the Western Conference are bunched very closely together. In fifth place, the Los Angeles Kings have played three fewer games than the Wings and have 28 points. In sixth place, the Vancouver Canucks have 28 points in 24 games. In seventh place, the San Jose Sharks have 28 points in 24 games. In eighth place, the St. Louis Blues have 28 points in 25 games. Closing in are the Phoenix Coyotes, with 27 points in 25 games; the Dallas Stars, with 26 points in 24 games; the Nashville Predators, with 26 points in 25 games; the Colorado Avalanche, with 24 points in 24 games; the Blue Jackets, with 24 points in 26 games. Even 14th-place Edmonton and 15th-place Calgary are still in striking distance, with 23 and 22 points, respectively. "You see how tight the standings are, so every little point and every little goal is important," Ericsson said. "We know that." The Wings know it. Now they have to do something about it.

Wings recall Nyquist, reassign Tatar to Griffins

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will look a little different when they take the ice in Calgary Wednesday night. The Wings recalled Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) and sent Tomas Tatar back to Grand Rapids. "I think (Valtteri) Filppula's back in so suddenly there's no power-play time for Tatar," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "So you gotta...

Red Wings Tuesday practice post: Nyquist up, Tatar down, Fil close, Helm better, it’s sink or swim

The Red Wings chose to hold one final practice at Joe Louis Arena before embarking on their Western Canadian road swing through Calgary (on Wednesday), Edmonton (on Friday) and Vancouver (on Saturday), and perhaps from a Wings fan's perspective, it's "good news, bad news." The bad news is that the Wings chose to send Tomas Tatar back to Grand Rapids, swapping...

Nicklas Lidstrom will be featured on a stamp…As will Salming, Lundqivst and…Jorgen Jonsson?

According to both Aftonbladet's Linus Nordberg and Expressen, former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will soon find his visage on a Swedish postage stamp, just like Peter Forsberg... But Lidstrom, Borje Salming, Henrik Lundqivst and less-than-successful NHL'er but Swedish World Championship hero Jorgen Jonsson will all be featured on stamps that the Swedish Posten (postal...

Brendan Smith Fights Derek McKenzie: Video

Earlier this season, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Derek McKenzie sidelined Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith for 11 games with a hard hit that injured Smith’s shoulder. Sunday, Smith got a bit of payback. After the two again came together in Detroit’s zone during a 3-2 Columbus shootout win, Smith and McKenzie then dropped the gloves with about 15 minutes left in the...

What Would You Pay Jimmy Howard?

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal notes... The Detroit Red Wings will have to buck up for Jimmy Howard this summer when he’s an unrestricted free agent. Is he worth Kari Lehtonen’s $5.9 million, which starts next season? That’s an overpay by the Dallas Stars. But I’d say Howard should go from $2.25 million to $5 million. They don’t have a backup. He’s their guy...

Let’s Play A New Game. We’ll Call It…“WTF Are You DOING?”

This is cute. The Detroit Red Wings switched up small, skilled forward prospects on Tuesday, recalling Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins and sending down Tomas Tatar to their AHL affiliate. Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!!!) offers nothing other than that, as in no quotes or commentary. But it's enough, really. Is this franchise trying to prove that stupidity...

Vinny Prospal tells Justin Abdelkader to check the Scoreboard

With 5:54 left in the third period Columbus Blue Jackets forward Vinny Prospal and Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader got into a bit of a shoving match.  As they were separated, Prospal pointed to the scoreboard to let Abdelkader know that the Blue Jackets were up 3-0, in case he had forgotten.  The scoreboard point earned Prospal a 10-minute misconduct which seems extreme...

Mark Spizzirri: What's viable and what's not in Motown at the trade deadline

Make sure to follow Mark on Twitter! UPDATE: The Red Wings have recalled Gustav Nyquist this morning and sent down Tomas Tatar to Grand Rapids prior to the team's three game Western Canada road trip this week. I have to believe Nyquist will get a chance in the Wings top-six on this trip, with Justin Abdelkader likely demoted to play on Joakim Andersson on the 3rd line in...

Wings' weekend swept by Blue Jackets

DETROIT -- If the Detroit Red Wings miss the playoffs for the first time in 22 seasons, they'll likely have their neighbors to the south to blame. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who came into Sunday's game 14th in the Western Conference with 22 points, beat the Wings for the second straight night, 3-2 in a shootout. For those scoring at home, the Wings went 1-3-1 against the...

Blue Jackets vs Red Wings Recap: 3.10.2013

The Red Wings have been dominated by the Jackets all year and today was no different. The Red Wings only took 3 of a possible 10 points. That's pathetic. Not only are the Jackets a bad team, they were also missing their 4 best players, yet they still owned the Red Wings twice in as many days. More after the jump: Seems the entire team is slumping right now. Even Howard...

Red Wings-Flames Preview

The Detroit Red Wings' power-play futility on the road is in danger of sinking to a depth not seen in 25 years. Still searching for their first road power-play goal, the Red Wings hope to continue their recent success in Calgary while handing the Flames a season-high fourth straight loss Wednesday night. Detroit (12-9-5) ranks near the top of the league in converting power...

Nyquist Up, Tatar Down

The Red Wings have recalled Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids and reassigned Tomas Tatar to the Griffins, GM Ken Holland said. — Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) March 12, 2013

GDT - Game 26: Red Wings (12-9-4) host Blue Jackets (9-12-4) 5:00

Yesterdays tilt with the BJ's was a gawd-awful mess.  Really, how does a man get abused by BJ's?  Uncle Mike obviously doesn't know either, as this is the second occurance of the sky falling:   “I thought we were bad,'' Babcock said. “Why was that? Was that mental prep? Was that the coach never got any messages across? Lack of preparation? Did we practice...

Red Wings Try To Bounce Back After Tough Loss

  Matchup: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, Michigan Time: 5:00 PM EST Television: Detroit- FS-D; Columbus- FS-Ohio   For the first time in their franchise’s history, the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-12-4, 22 points, 14th place Western Conference) have taken the season series from the Detroit Red Wings (12-9-4, 28 points, 6th place Western [...]
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