Sloppy Wings Suffer Big Loss To Coyotes

The Detroit Red Wings fall short again, losing 3 to 1 against the Phoenix Coyotes. The only player on the Red Wings that deserves any praise is Joey MacDonald. It was a relief to hear Babcock decided to start MacDonald tonight, who stopped 20 out of 22 shots on goal.

Unfortunately, MacDonald could not win the game for Detroit. It was as if Mike Smith could not steal enough from the Red Wings. Out of 31 shots, Smith saved a total of 30. He was all over; playing the puck defensively when needed and always being there to stop it. The Wings could not get anything past the sharp Mike Smith. The only time the Wings could squeeze a shot past was when there 2:36 left in the second period. Johan FranzĂ©n scored his twentieth goal of the season off of a great pass from Zetterberg on the power play. Yes, I just wrote “on the power play.” Don’t worry, I was surprised too. However, the real recognition of the goal should go to the setup Pavel Datsyuk made.

Other than that, there is nothing to speak of for the Red Wings players. Both teams had a total of four penalties each, but most the Wings penalties were bad calls. Their real problem seemed to be the sloppiness, which resulted in no puck control. No puck control gave 10 out of 18 players that logged ice time to have had a minus rating from either -1 to -2. Phoenix’s Gordon scored a shorthanded goal, which came 7:22 into the first period. Hanzal stole the next two goals for Phoenix, one in a power play in the second period and one was an empty net goal at the end of the third period. It seemed to be surprising that Babcock pulled MacDonald from the net when the Wings were not really able to control the puck through most of the game. It definitely did not do them any favors as he had hoped it would.

Shots on goal overall was 31 to 23, Detroit leading, which did not reflect the score at all. It seems safe to say that Phoenix was glad to end their seven game losing streak against the Detroit Red Wings, have a solid performance by goaltender Mike Smith, and a player to score twice in one game. It is probably even safer to say that the Wings must be happy to play their next six games at their home ice, where they have won 17 games in a row. Do you think that the Wings will have an easier time now that they are headed to play at the Joe or do you think they just need to have Jimmy Howard behind them to feel confident?

The next Red Wings game is Wednesday at 7:30PM against the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s hope they can do better than their last performance against the Oilers. Follow TCL Red Wings on Facebook and Twitter for more Wings coverage and to win a free Nicklas Lidstrom jersey!

The Checking Line - Red Wings Edition

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