Game 21: Red Wings-NY Islanders Enotes

If a tie is like kissing your sister, then what is gaining a point by losing in overtime or a shootout?

How about, what is it if you do it five straight times?

The Red Wings played their nightly overtime/shootout game tonight on Long Island, and as usual, they lost it.

Frans Nielsen scored the only shootout goal, and the NY Islanders defeated the Red Wings, 5-4. The Red Wings pushed the game into overtime when Pavel Datsyuk scored with :43 left in the third period.

The loss leaves the Red Wings with the very odd record of 9-5-7—which is the NHL’s nice way of saying that you’re 9-12.

You can fairly say that the Red Wings just aren’t equipped to win the NHL’s skills competition, but that really doesn’t make any sense. Why would that be so? Pretty much any NHL player should be able to score a goal now and again while on a clear cut breakaway against a goalie.

The more logical explanation has to do with approach.

The Wings, in shootouts, tend to do more dipsy-doo than they do shoot-em-up.

In other words, maybe less frou-frou?

Or else, the team should just learn to win games in regulation or overtime.

The Red Wings played this one on the road, which calls to mind a quote from witty coach John McKay of the hapless expansion Tampa Bay Bucs.

“We have now proven we can’t win on the road or in front of our home fans. So we would like to play at a neutral site.”

Daniel Alfredsson was an unhealthy scratch with a groin injury.

BOTTOM LINE: This shootout/OT loss streak is kinda crazy. Makes you wonder if the Red Wings will finish with a record of 9-5-68.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: If you’re looking for a bright spot, it’s that for the second straight game, the Red Wings got goal scoring from players not named Datsyuk and Zetterberg. But if you’re a doom and gloom guy, the goaltending continues to not be good enough to steal a win. Jonas Gustavsson wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t exceptional, either.

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