A few hours before his team took the ice on Saturday against the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made a telling statement.
"Right now, their lineup probably is deeper than our lineup,'' he said.
That's not supposed to happen to the Red Wings, who annually rank among NHL's highest in payroll and has represented the gold standard in the league over the last 15 years, winning four Stanley Cups. That's especially true when measured against an opponent that ranks in the bottom five in payroll, even if it's one of the league's more competitive and well managed franchises.
Injuries can strike any team and lately they have taken a heavy toll on the mighty Red Wings' descent. Just a few weeks ago, Detroit was celebrating the longest home winning streak in NHL history and held the top overall record in the league.
Entering Wednesdays game at Anaheim, Detroit has lost four out of five and is 3-6-1 over its last 10, falling to the fourth spot in the Western Confere...