Struggles start with special teams

Gee it sounds like we already wrote this story earlier in the year with the Lions, but issues on special teams have hampered any success the Red Wings have been able to put together this season.  Last night was no different as the Wings go 0-for-5 on the power play while giving up a power play and a short-handed goal to Columbus in a 4-2 loss.

It is incredible to me that this power play unit is only successful 11.1% of the time, making it the 25th best in the NHL.  How many other teams have the talent on the first unit of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Brunner and Kronwall?

The worst part isn’t the lack of scoring, it’s the lack of chances this team creates on the power play.  Numerous times they can’t even get in the zone and more often than not they are heading back towards Jimmy Howard to retrieve the puck after a dump in.

This teams biggest issue was supposed to be the defense, which hasn’t been amazing but decent at least, but instead the team seems to go as the special teams go.  Wins against Minnesota (2-for-5), Dallas (1-for-6) and St. Louis (2-for-8) had solid play on the power play.

Losses against Dallas (0-for-4), Chicago (0-for-6) and Columbus (0-for-5) proved to be otherwise.  The loss against the Blackhawks was the toughest to take because the Wings had numerous opportunities to get a goal on the power play and just couldn’t, resulting in an overtime loss against division rivals.

What will it take to get this team back on track with the man-advantage?  I’m not sure, but that is why coach Babcock and his staff make the big bucks.  It will be up to them to get these units working together to get pucks in the net when the team needs them most.

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