'It’s been a tough stretch': Red Wings' skid hits 10 after 4-1 drubbing by Islanders
Detroit — That makes it an even 10 now for the Red Wings.
Ten consecutive losses — the first two in overtime, the last eight in regulation time — with the Wings reaching that dubious achievement thanks to a 4-1 loss Monday to the New York Islanders.
“It’s been a tough stretch,” forward Darren Helm said. “It’s been one of the toughest years I’ve been a part of.”
If it seems like losing is the only thing the Wings do these days, or thus far this season, you’re not far off.
The 10-game winless streak surpasses an eight- and four-game losing streak they had earlier this season, sandwiched around a victory over Edmonton.
It’s all added up to the Wings reaching the 20-loss mark last night (7-20-3) in only their 30th game.
Still, the Wings didn’t feel like they entirely earned another defeat Monday.
“We did things real well,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We did tons of things, that’s not to say we didn’t make mistakes, but we did tons of great stuff and that will make us better as the team keeps going.”
Dylan Larkin (power play) ended a nine-game goal-scoring drought with a second-period goal, cutting the Islanders' lead to 2-1.
But the Wings put the Islanders on a two-man advantage almost five minutes later, and as the 5-on-3 expired, Islanders forward Jordan Eberle scored his first goal of the season to restore the two-goal lead, 3-1, at 16:34.
Eberle than added his second of the season and the night, at 13:24 of the third period, knocking in another rebound during a scramble in front of a prone goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
“The response on the bench was good,” said Larkin, after the Islanders’ power-play goal. “We knew it was a bad bounce on the 5-on-3. That’s going to happen. I liked our response, the way we played in the second and third periods, and again, it was a matter of not enough scoring.”
Larkin was pleased to end his own goal-scoring slump.
“It’s been a tough stretch, I didn’t feel like I was playing my best to help this team,” Larkin said. “I wasn’t driving the play like I’m used to.”
Part of that may have come from all the games in November, as the Wings have already played more games (30) than anyone in the NHL.
Getting four days off before the next game — at home Saturday against Pittsburgh — could benefit the Wings mentally, as well as from a hockey perspective in order to get some much-needed practice time.
“We’ve had a lot of hockey here, we’ve had a lot of games, a lot of travel,” Larkin said. “I do think it’s been a tough stretch, a long November and we need four days to have some great practices and great energy and have some fun out there.”
Getting positive energy, having fun playing hockey, was a sentiment Blashill and a few players brought up.
“There’s not a lot of that (fun) going on right now, but (we’ll) try to have some fun and win some games,” Helm said. “We have to find something positive and bring some energy.”
Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier had first-period goals for the Islanders (18-5-2), while goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots.