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Red Wings Game recap...12/23

By: Channing Cummins

I'm sure the Red Wings are looking forward to their Christmas break after Wednesday nights game. The Wings fell to the Blackhawks once again to the score of 3-0, in Hossa's return to Hockeytown. This loss extended their losing streak to three, after reeling off four straight wins.

Here we are at the Christmas break and currently rank 10th in the conference. After last nights game this should give the team a chance to regroup and solve their scoring problems. This has become an issue that has seemed to follow the team around all year. Out of the 37 games played this year the Wings have been shut out five times and have managed to score one goal in six additional games.

There wasn't too much positive to take out of Wednesday's game if you're a Wings fan. The team did manage to out shoot the Hawks 33-31. This, however, just allowed the Hawks' goaltender, Antti Niemi, to boost his stats. There was strong play from a few young players on the ice that should gain some attention. Justin Abdelkader provided four shots on goal along with his team high seven hits. Darren Helm also provided four shots of his own and managed to escape the game without a minus.

The Blackhawks were lead by Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, who each provided two points. Kane (12), Sharp (11) and Toews (11) provided the three goals for the Hawks, who currently battle for the team lead in goals. Niemi managed to pick up his fourth shutout of the year, boosting his record to 8-1-1. After Wednesday's game Niemi raised his save percentage up to .937 and his goals against to a minimal 1.59.

Going into this weekend the Wings are faced with a few concerns. The special teams were poor again on Wednesday. The penalty kill allowed one goal in its three chances and the power play was shut out after its five opportunities. Not what you would expect from the Wings in a crucial game like this. You also should be concerned with the teams struggle against the Blackhawks. This is definitely a team that has the Wings in their sights after last year, let only their division nemesis. One would only expect this rivalry to fuel itself as the two teams continue to get better and square off in the playoffs. The Hawks are definitely getting better each year and I wouldn't expect that to change after the teams latest contract extensions. The addition of Marian Hossa will also provide a boost to an already powerful offense.

The biggest concern I have with the team is their inability to score. This whole year is starting to become a broken record. The team appears to be back to normal, then we are back to being shut out and fighting a scoreless drought. Granted the team is a giant band aid, but we still have to move forward and find a way to score. Howard continues to keep us in games but that goes out the window when the offense can't provide points.

Another concern I have is our upcoming schedule. The next two games are against the Wing killers, the Blue Jackets, and then we're left with a home game against the Avalanche. Think it gets better? How bout a five game road trip after that with opponents like the Sharks,Kings and Ducks. Not what I would like to face in a down time like this. But HEY, maybe a schedule like this is what we need for the team to turn around. I know the team is well aware of the challenge ahead and the team takes pride in beating the best.

As for now lets continue to support our team and cheer em on. Hopefully, things can get turned around in the near future and we can be talking about a winning streak a few weeks ahead.

I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all and your families!!!! Stay safe, enjoy the holidays and hopefully Santa is good to you this year :-)


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