Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/24/13
Jordin Tootoo was a fighter for the Wings, a fighter they could have used last night in Ottawa(Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports) After an embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on October 23rd, Red Wings fans expected Henrik Zetterburg and company to come out swinging last night in Detroit. Not many, however, expected Ottawa to literally beat them to the punch. In a chippy, dirty game that saw the teams combine for 19 total penalties and 23 penalty minutes a piece, Detroit outplayed Ottawa in a lot of aspects; except where it counted most: the final score. Senators assistant captain Chris Neil led the way in terms of instigation where he used his size and toughness to bully the smaller Red Wings, and his team followed suit in ways that infuriated the Wings and Wings fans everywhere. We saw slashes to the back of legs, an elbow that will sideline Pavel Dastyuk for at least a game, and other dirty tactics that put the Wings on their heels; the Senators play re-opened a question that many had asked when it was announced that Detroit would be moving to the Eastern Conference: are the Red Wings tough enough to compete in the East? The amount of no-calls or just outright bad calls in last nights came were enough to shake the mental acumen of the Detroit Red Wings, a team that, as long as most can remember, has relied on speed and skill as opposed to bullying the opposition. Not that Detroit has lacked enforcers over the years; Bob Probert, Darren McCarty, and even Jordin Tootoo come to mind, but the Red Wings key to victory has never been predicated on the ability to physically break down an opponent. The Eastern Conference has been notoriously “tougher” than the West the past few years, and the lack of a true “tough guy” has never been more glaring on Detroit’s side than it was last night. I am, by no means, suggesting that Red Wings GM Ken Holland should start actively searching for an enforcer because of one bad game, especially after a system that has led to over two decades of success in Hockeytown. The Red Wings, however, need to get mentally tougher if they hope to compete with the many gritty, and perhaps less skilled, teams in the East. They can’t respond to dirty play with dirty play of their own, especially when experiencing a deficit midway through the third period, and expect to get away with as much as they might want. Mental toughness will be the key to the success of the Detroit Red Wings in the East. The team is finally starting to come together with the returns of Darren Helm, Stephen Weiss, and Daniel Alfreddsson, but Detroit can’t expect to win games if they can’t stay disciplined and let their offense do what everyone knows it can do.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker