Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the Detroit Red Wings needed to re-sign Patrick Kane beyond this season.

At that time, the Wings were red-hot.  They had won six straight games and were solidly in one of the Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference.

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Well, I must've put the C-Bush curse on them.  Because since then, the team has lost six straight games.  And, at times, has looked awful.  The losses to Arizona and Buffalo recently are prime examples of that.

And now, they are out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference with 17 games left in the regular season.  There are several things wrong with the Wings as they enter the homestretch of the regular season.


This is the most obvious reason for the recent slide.  And it's legitimate.  His lower body injury, suffered in the team's 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on March 2nd, has thrown the team into a fog offensively.

Without Larkin's 26 goals and 54 total points, the team is all messed up.  Head coach Derek Lalonde (pictured above) has had to change up the lines, and it's screwed with the chemistry.  Larkin is expected back soon (a week or two), and they need him badly.


After playing better during their good stretch, the back line has regressed again.  Jake Walman got benched for a game last week due to poor play.  Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot were both a -4 against Buffalo on Tuesday night.  That is putrid, to say the least.  Petry should be benched, but are you going to put free agent bust Justin Holl in his place?? Not really.  Because he's even worse than Petry.  Steve Yzerman should've upgraded here at the trade deadline, IMO.


When you're defense is bad, it eventually affects your goaltending in hockey.  Starter Alex Lyon has earned the starting role, but has had some bad games recently.  And he's played a lot with the injury to Ville Husso.  Backup James Reimer is what he is, a backup.  The aforementioned Husso (who was the starter at the start of the season) is getting close to returning from his injury.  They need him back to help out Lyon and Reimer, who look tired at this point.


There's still time to fix this.  There are 17 games left in the regular season.  And they are tied for the second (and last) Wild Card spot with the New York Islanders with 72 points.  And the schedule does lighten up a little bit.  Starting with Thursday's home game against Arizona.

Every game is vital for the Wings from here on out.  And if they miss the playoffs again, that is failure.  And for the first time, maybe ever, Steve Yzerman will get criticized for not doing more to improve the team at the trade deadline.  And despite my longtime admiration for Stevie Y, the criticism will be deserved.

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