Can Red Wings extend Ducks' losing streak to 12 games?

Ducks are drowning

Are you still paying attention to the Detroit Red Wings?

It's OK if you're not, but Tuesday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks might be worth seeing.

  • Game time: 7:30 p.m. in Detroit
  • TV: PRIT, FSDT
  • Last meeting: Oct. 8, 2018 -- Anaheim W, 3-2 (SO)

And on second thought: No, it's not OK if you're not paying attention to the Red Wings. This is a team with a group of young players who will -- hopefully -- collectively grow into a good hockey team, eventually. 

For now, it's time to take it game-by-game and watch these guys grow. And we are all waiting to see what the team does at/before the NHL trade deadline in Feburary. Will they trade Jimmy Howard for draft picks? Does Gustav Nyquist get a spot on a contender? Anyone else getting traded out of Detroit before this season is over?

All wonderful questions, no? We shall see.

Here's a quick look at the Red Wings' past five games:

Jan. 4, 2019 vs. Nashville W 4-3 (OT) 
Jan. 6, 2019 vs. Washington L 2-3 | Game Recap
Jan. 8, 2019 vs. Montreal (7:30 p.m.) L 2-3 | Game Recap
Jan. 11, 2019 @ Winnipeg  L 2-4
Jan. 12, 2019 @ Minnesota (8 p.m.) W 5-2 | Game Recap

 

Yes, as you can see the Red Winsg are 2-3-0 in their past five. Does it even matter? The anwser is ... maybe, but probably not. Detroit is 13 points out of a playoff spot and just 2 points out of last place in the Eastern Conference.

Saturday night's victory over the Minnesota Wild featured a hat trick from Tyler Bertuzzi -- that was fun. It also was defenseman Mike Green's second game back from an injury. Could this be the start of another winning streak for the Red Wings? When Green is healthy and in the lineup, the Red Wings are better -- there are numerous stats to back this up that I don't have the time to look up right now, but the bottom line is they win more with Green in the lineup than they do without him.

 Injury report: 

  • Trevor Daley is on injured reserve with a broken foot and is expected to miss three-to-five weeks of action.
  • Dan DeKeyser is on the injured reserve list with a hand injury but is slated to return Tuesday against the Ducks.
  • Michael Rasmussen has been held out of the previous four games with a lower-body injury and it is unclear if he will be available against the Ducks on Tuesday.

Let's take a moment to stare at the Red Wings points leaders through 47 games:

  Games Played Goals Assists Points
Dylan Larkin 47 18 26 44
Gustav Nyquist 47 10 29 39
Andreas Athanasiou 41 17 10 27
Frans Nielsen 43 7 18 25
Tyler Bertuzzi 45 13 12 25

Here are the next five games on the schedule:

Jan. 15, 2019 vs. Anaheim (7:30 p.m.)  
Jan. 18, 2019 @ Calgary (9 p.m.)  
Jan. 20, 2019  @ Vancouver (4 p.m.)  
Jan. 22, 2019  @ Edmonton (9 p.m.)  
Feb. 1, 2019 vs. Toronto (7:30 p.m.)  

 

And that brings us to Tuesday's game against Anaheim ...

🌊🦆🌊  The Ducks are drowning  

Now would be the perfect time for the Ducks to get their feathers in line and win a game. They're visiting one of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference. Can they snap this dismal 11-game losing streak?

Head coach Randy Carlyle's job might depend on it. Bob Murray may not have a track record of firing coaches before the season's end, but when you lose this many games in a row and potentially a playoff spot ... something has got to give.

Forward Rickard Rakell, who scored 34 goals and 35 assists last season for the Ducks, is back in the lineup. He's played the past three games, his first three since Dec. 5. That's the good news for the Ducks.

The bad news is Corey Perry remains out of the lineup with a torn MCL. He is not expected back until March. No one on this team has more than 12 goals, and that's a huge problem. Rakell's return could help this cause -- he scored on Sunday.

The even worse news for Anaheim is their division -- the Pacific -- is really good. The Ducks are in a battle for a Wild Card spot with Edmonton and Vancouver while they remain 13 points behind the Vegas Knights, who hold the 3rd spot in the Pacific. The Calgary Flames are -- get this -- 17 points ahead of the Ducks right now.

And guess what: The Red Wings' next three games are against Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.

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