The Red Wings’ much anticipated regular season opener last night came with a huge thud in likes of a 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
In every aspect the game the Wings were simply dominated by a Blues team who the Wings have had plenty of success against in past seasons. And aside from being 0-1 to start a lockout shortened season where each game can be extremely crucial, the Wings struggled in several areas that were big question marks entering Saturday night.
After the departures of Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (traded) in the offseason, it was assumed that the defense was going to have their struggles as they acclimate themselves to life without those two pretty big pieces. Mike Babcock and the Niklas Kronwall (who now takes over as the centerpiece on the blue line) will have their work cut out to make sure the defense doesn’t become any more of a liability in front of Jimmy Howard.
Furthermore the special teams appear to be a huge area of concern as well. On the power play the Wings went 0/4 while giving up a shorthanded goal and killed off just one penalty kill in five chances.
The Wings were also out shot 36-14 in the contest something very uncharacteristic of a big time puck possession team like themselves.
Still though it’s a little early to go into full-time panic mode and here’s why…
Detroit has one of the best and most respected head coaches in Mike Babcock as well as a general manager whose enjoyed plenty of success in Ken Holland. They also possess two world class players in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk so it’s very conceivable that the can go out and win 6-0 themselves Monday night in Columbus. Not to mention the Wings have plenty of cap room and an abundance of forwards that a trade to acquire help can most certainly be accomplished.
Despite that though the Wings much like many other teams are going to need to show a sense of urgency given the limited time frame. If that sense of urgency doesn’t come the Wings could quickly see that playoff streak of 21 straight seasons in the rear-view mirror.