The Detroit Red Wings are in Tampa in search of their first win of the season. They’ve looked horrid to start out and probably the worst looking team in the league at the moment. While there were some other strong candidates out there to get that honour, thus far it’s been the Red Wings who look like the leaders. It isn’t a category that anyone wants to be leading in. The Wings and the Panthers are the only teams that haven’t found a win yet.
The Panthers have an excuse because they are playing with Michael Hutchison in net rather than Roberto Luongo. The Red Wings have also played two more games than the Panthers to put them at 0-4-2. Also, the Panthers have some talent on their team to build around. For the Wings, there isn’t much for fans to get excited about. Dylan Larkin, okay, but in the next five years that he is under contract in Detroit, do we expect the Wings to put a competitive team on the ice? I’m not knocking Larkin, he just was unfortunate to play in this era of Red Wings’ hockey.
By the time Larkin’s contract expires, the Red Wings likely aren’t going to do anything in the way of playoff success. Hockey fans in Detroit have gotten spoiled since the mid 90’s. They went on an epic 25-year playoff streak starting in 1989-90 and ultimately winning Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008. With Pavel Datsyuk leaving to go play in Russia and Henrik Zetterberg retiring, that pretty well ended a long era of success in Detroit. Jimmy Howard and Niklas Kronwall are the only reminders left of the good times of yesteryear. Meanwhile, the Lightning hope to win just one Stanley Cup in the Steven Stamkos era in Tampa. He got to the Final, but it wasn’t enough. Head below for our free Red Wings vs. Lightning pick.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The Red Wings hit rock bottom of their last two games. First, the Bruins blew them out by a score of 8-2 and then they followed it up with a 7-3 loss against the Canadiens, ouch. Their best effort came in Anaheim, as they forced a shootout against the Ducks but came up empty. In their last three games, the Red Wings have lost by a combined 20-8. Through the season, they’ve scored 2.33 goals per game while allowing 4.83 goals.
While the Wings get beat up in the defensive end, there isn’t much hope immediately in the AHL to come and help them out any. Danny DeKeyser isn’t an all-star, but he is going to miss the next 10-15 days on the Red Wings’ blueline. Another blow to an already thin roster and defence that has gotten throttled to start the year.
Tampa took an ugly 4-1 loss to the Canucks, but responded nicely with an 8-2 win against the Blue Jackets. They kept it going with a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes in the following game. Sometimes it takes a lackluster effort to get the wheels moving and that appeared to be the case for the Bolts. They are averaging 3.5 goals per game and allowing 2.25 goals defensively.
To make matters worse for the Red Wings in this game is that the Lightning have demolished them in this series. The Lightning have won the last ten meetings, a perfect 10-0 and 17-5 in their last 22 games in Tampa Bay. The Red Wings have lost by an average of 2.6 goals per game this season. Vasilevskiy has been terrific with a 1.71 GAA and 0.947 save percentage against Detroit. The Wings likely don’t lose as badly as they did in their last two games, but the Lightning should win by a minimum of 4-2 on Thursday night.