For those scoring at home, the Detroit Red Wings haven’t won a game yet.
The Florida Panthers are also seeking their first win, but the Red Wings have played three more games than the Sunshine State squad. Detroit has also scored just three more goals than Florida at this point, but they’ve allowed a dismal 33 goals against.
This amounts to the worst start in Red Wings franchise history, in a manner of speaking. The team did have an awful start in 1985-1986, when it took them nine games to get their first win. But even then, they didn’t lose seven straight.
The club dropped its seventh straight Thursday, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning and deepening the hole on the young season to 0-5-2. The win probably wasn’t going to come against Tampa, either, as the Red Wings have lost a dozen straight to the Lightning.
The last time Motown squeaked by Tampa Bay was in November of 2015.
Things are down in Detroit right now and something has to change. Some are suggesting the building blocks to victory start with body language.
“You can’t let your body language be the first thing that other players notice because they are going to jump all over it,” Dylan Larkin said Wednesday. “We have to pick ourselves up. Truly, the next shift is the most important after a goal and we need to get the puck back and back in their zone and have a productive shift where we are changing the momentum back in our favor. Don’t get frustrated.”
Without a doubt, body language is important. A team that takes to the ice looking defeated is on their way to a defeat.
And the Red Wings liked a fair bit about their effort against Tampa, so that’s a start. Maybe.
“It’s not fun, that’s for sure, we’ve just got to keep moving along,” Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said Thursday. “We battled for 60 minutes, we didn’t get the outcome that we wanted, but it’s a lot better effort than the last couple of games.”
Howard has started five games and has a .893 save percentage with a 3.57 goals against average. He was shelled by the Montreal Canadiens October 15, allowing five goals on 20 shots, and he allowed four Maple Leafs goals the game prior.
But there are bright spots.
Detroit’s power play is quite effective. They’re clicking along with five goals in 22 opportunities, good for 22.7 percent. That puts them in the upper echelon of sorts – nowhere near the frightening T-Dot squad, of course, but decent.
And the Red Wings’ penalty kill is formidable, too. They’re operating at 82.1 percent, tied with the Vancouver Canucks for sixth overall.
Turning around this nasty business will take more than solid special teams efforts, though, and the club knows it. They’re trying to start with a little attitude adjustment, but they need more from their scorers and they need to create more opportunities. Some shots would help.
They tabled a good effort against Tampa. Now it’s time to build on that against the Panthers, who may be seeking their first win Saturday as well.