On the Wings' recent woes, Daniel Alfredsson said, 'You have to do everything you can to keep it as short as possible before it gets a bigger and bigger thing.' (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Vancouver, British Columbia — Two weeks ago, the Red Wings were in the midst of a four-game win streak and people were talking about how this team was only going to get better over time.
Today, the Red Wings haven’t won in four games (0-2-2) and people are wondering how low this team could fall.
Such is life in professional sports. And the Red Wings understand how critical this four-game road trip, which begins Wednesday in Vancouver, is going forward.
“We all know in this league how difficult it is to win every night,” forward Daniel Alfredsson said. “When you’re on a hot streak, you want to keep it going as long as possible.
“When you’re in a tough stretch like we are right now, you have to do everything you can to keep it as short as possible before it gets a bigger and bigger thing.”
Especially in the present day NHL where parity is everywhere.
“Everybody expects to win every night,” Alfredsson said. “You want to make sure to take care of it (ending a losing streak) as quick as possible.”
The Red Wings know where they need to get better. They’ve been allowing too many shots, turning the puck over too much, struggling to play their type of games with any consistency.
But it’s improving upon those areas where things have proved difficult.
“I don’t think we’re that far away, but that far away isn’t good enough in our league,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re too loose, we’re giving up too many shots and we’re not as tight as we should be defensively.”
A battle to watch within the Red Wings’ game against Vancouver is the line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi going against Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler (Livonia).
Nobody knows if the matchup will hold, as either line could be tinkered with before the puck drops.
But if form holds, it could be an entertaining evening watching two skilled lines trying to get the better of each other.
“That’s a good line, it’ll be a fun matchup,” Zetterberg said. “Kesler is a good player, a good skater who works hard on the ice. (And) everytime you play against the Sedins, it’s fun to play against them.
“They (the Sedins) have good chemistry and know each other, and it’s fun to watch them. It’s fun to watch them but sometimes it’s dificult to play against them.”
Forward Patrick Eaves (knee, ankle sprain) will make his season debut against Vancouver, likely on a line with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller.
“I’m just going to play like usual, that’s all I can focus on,” Eaves said. “Get in on the forecheck and create havoc and get some shots off.”
Said Babcock: “He knows how to play. He can shoot the puck, good penalty killer. Obviously we need to get better, a lot better, as a team and in order to do that we need the best, most competitive guys in the lineup every night. Once you get in, you have to find a way to stay in.”
… With Rogers Arena unavailable, the Red Wings and Canucks both practiced Tuesday at the University of British Columbia.
… Forward Darren Helm (groin) continues on track to making his season debut this weekend, or maybe Monday in his hometown of Winnipeg.
“It would be nice,” Helm said. “I’ll have a lot of family and friends there (in Winnipeg). It would be uplifting.”