Someone should tell the Red Wings that 40-foot slap shots aren’t going to get it done on a 5-on-3.
Actually, FSD’s Mickey Redmond tried to tell them that, but sadly Mickey’s pleas went unheard from up in the press box.
The Red Wings enjoyed three 5-on-3s, scored on one of them, but inexplicably refused to try anything down low on the other two, and eventually fell to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2 at JLA. Bobby Ryan’s power play goal on a 5-on-3 for Ottawa at 3:51 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game winner.
The Senators (9-10-4) snapped a three-game losing streak. The Red Wings (10-7-7) fell back into the abyss after a win over Carolina on Thursday temporarily stopped their bleeding.
But it was maddening watching the Red Wings fire slap shot after slap shot at Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner, many with absolutely no traffic in front of the net. Lehner stopped all of them with ease.
Like so many home games this season, the Red Wings came out buzzing, recording the game’s first seven SOG. But despite a solid first period in which Detroit took a brief 1-0 lead, the Senators led 2-1 after 20 minutes and the Red Wings could never regain the lead.
Darren Helm (4) and Pavel Datsyuk (11) scored for Detroit.
Brendan Smith fought the good fight against Ottawa tough guy Chris Neil midway through the second period. Neil won the fight, but Smith got in a few decent punches.
Red Wings D Jakub Kindl left the game in the third period with an apparent injury.
The Wings kind of lost their composure in the final minutes, picking up a couple of slashing penalties—one by goalie Jimmy Howard, who had another “meh” game. Rarely did he make a big save.
The Sens’ second goal was flukey, pinballing off skates and sticks before eventually rolling behind the goal line off a Red Wings player.
If you’re a struggling team needing a win badly, you couldn’t ask for anything better than the Buffalo Sabres. The Red Wings travel to Buffalo for a 5:00 game on Sunday.
BOTTOM LINE: Coach Mike Babcock juggled lines looking for a spark, but the Red Wings’ offense was like a basketball team shooting 20-foot jumpers all night.
THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: These are not your father’s Red Wings, sadly. Oh, how the Wings could use a player like the one they honored a couple nights ago—Brendan Shanahan. A sniper would be nice, too. Hey, with Christmas coming up, maybe they could ask Santa? In all seriousness, this Red Wings team doesn’t crash the net, doesn’t create havoc down low and has way too many left-handed shooters. The lack of a right-handed shot manifested itself several times in this game, when passes to lefties were mishandled all night.