BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT, Editor-in-Chief
Just two weeks ago I was writing about how the younger players on the Red Wings were really stepping it up and ensuring that the team would still win. Since then the team has gone 2-7, causing some stir in Hockeytown.
There’s only one word that can describe what has happened to the team that very recently broke the NHL record for most consecutive home wins–injuries.
A long time Wings fan, this shouldn’t surprise me. At all. It’s almost expected of the team. They play great all season and as soon as talk of playoffs starts up, injuries also start up. Although I expect it, my aggravation towards the situation only gets worse as the years go on. There’s no doubt that the Wings are a fantastic hockey team. But when you’re dealing with as many injuries as they are, there’s nothing you can do but watch and hope the remaining healthy players can pull off a win without sacrificing their own health in any way.
The little bit of good news the team has had recently came in the return of Nicklas Lidstrom. Jakub Kindl has also returned to the lineup with Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, and Jimmy Howard expected to soon follow.
Still, if anything delays these players from coming back, it could foreshadow bad news for the playoffs. The team needs these last few games to get back in sync with one another before they make their run for The Cup.
Even Red Wings’ General Manager Ken Holland is apprehensive.
“I don’t think if we get everyone back on the morning of Game 1 of the playoffs that it’s all going to come together,” Holland said.
The Wings were finally able to pull off a win against Carolina on Saturday, breaking their six-game losing streak and narrowly escaping their first seven-game losing streak since 1991, a record they certainly don’t want to set after all their hard work this season.
Two things are currently keeping my hopes up. The Wings still have a handful of games left in the season. Plenty of time to secure the fourth and final home advantage playoff spot. An advantage that has made all the world of difference this season. The other thing that raises my hope of the Wings still being able to go further than round two? If playoffs started today, the San Jose Sharks wouldn’t make the cut.