Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/3/14
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The Red Wings began the second half of their season with a game that managed to sum up their first half: Lose in a shoot-out, deal with new injuries. They took Thursday off, after spending Wednesday relishing the opportunity to play at Michigan Stadium in the Winter Classic. The 3-2 shoot-out loss to Toronto left the Wings 18-14-10, with 46 points after 42 games. They’re going to be calling someone up for their next game, Saturday at Dallas, as an unidentified defenseman has joined the list of players dealing with a sore groin. Playing through injuries is de rigueur for an NHL team, but the Wings have had a hard time doing so. At one point, they were without eight regulars. The worst of it came in December, when they won just three times during the 11 games Henrik Zetterberg missed. Losing Jonathan Ericsson has exposed how inexperienced the defense is. Darren Helm missed his 30th game Wednesday, out of the lineup late because of a sore groin. Patrick Eaves left early after being cross-checked, but is expected to practice today. If the Wings continue at their current pace of accumulating points, they would finish with 90 points, probably not enough to make the playoffs even in the weaker Eastern Conference. The loss to Toronto — Detroit’s seventh in eight shoot-out attempts this season — left the Wings clinging to a wild-card spot. A few players have had big first halves: Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Kronwall. Jonas Gustavsson has been a bailout presence while Jimmy Howard has struggled.
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