Red Wings lose to Coyotes, home woes continue
Detroit — Sure the Red Wings are struggling to win games, but losing this one is difficult to explain.
The struggling Arizona Coyotes came into Joe Louis Arena Tuesday and defeated the Red Wings 4-1.
A poor start doomed the Red Wings, who didn’t register their first shot on net until the 14:27 mark of the first period.
Andreas Athanasiou scored the lone Red Wings goal.
Jamie McGinn scored two goals and Anthony DeAngelo (power play) and Lawson Crouse one each for the Coyotes, who lost and were embarrassed 7-0 in Pittsburgh 24 hours earlier.
“Our start we had in the first period, it’s embarrassing,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “That’s on the leaders. That starts with me. We’ve got to be better prepared in here, to come out.
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“We all know they played last night. They lost pretty bad. We knew they would come out and play fast hockey from the start and win a lot of battles. We had to match that.
“We didn’t do that.”
The Red Wings (13-13-4, 30 points) continue to have all sorts of difficulty winning at Joe Louis Arena.
After winning their first four games on home ice, the Red Wings have only won two games in the last 13 (2-8-3) at JLA, where the farewell season is turning grim by the evening.
The Red Wings have found it difficult to win anywhere, really, over the last few weeks.
They’ve only won two games over their last seven games (2-3-2) and three over their last nine games (3-3-3).
“Coaches look at it differently than other people,” said coach Jeff Blashill when talking about his level of concern. “Do we need wins? Absolutely we need wins. Over the last number of games, we’ve actually played good hockey. If we’d been playing poor hockey I’d be very, very concerned. I don’t see it that way.”
Blashill felt the Red Wings didn’t execute well in the first period and played tight hockey.
“There’s a sense of urgency, I don’t think there wasn’t a sense a urgency,” Blashill said. “For whatever reason we were a little tight. Everything we did seemed to not work and we had to continue to work our way out of it.”
But the level of concern is increasing as the Red Wings slowly approach the midway point of the season.
“The encouraging thing is when we play well we feel like we’re a good team,” Niklas Kronwall said. “But you have to do it for 60 minutes every night. It can’t be a period there or there. It has to be every night.”
Victories are never assured in the NHL, but this one had the looks of one from the Red Wings’ perspective.
The Coyotes (10-14-5, 25 points) entered the game having lost seven of their last eight games (1-4-3), including a big loss in Pittsburgh.
But Arizona scored early on DeAngelo’s power-play goal and put the Red Wings in a catch-up mode.
The Red Wings didn’t register a shot on net until the 14:27 mark of the first period when Alexey Marchenko floated a soft backhander toward the net that Coyotes goalie Mike Smith grabbed.
“Unacceptable, there’s no way you can look like that,” said Kronwall of the Red Wings’ start.
Marchenko, incidentally, appeared to re-injure his right shoulder which caused him to miss eight games before returning Friday.
Marchenko was checked into the boards in the first period and skated gingerly to the bench, favoring his shoulder.
Blashill said Marchenko’s availability is day-to-day.