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Three Reasons Why the Detroit Red Wings Are on Their Third Losing Streak

Yahoo Contributor Network
Three Reasons Why the Detroit Red Wings Are on Their Third Losing Streak

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Pavel Datsyuk has continued to flourish for the Detroit Red Wings, but the team finds itself in its third …

COMMENTARY | When the Detroit Red Wings lose, they lose in bunches. That's been one of the storylines early in the season as the Red Wings cannot quickly recover from a loss.

The Red Wings held leads of 2-0 and 3-2 against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, November 7, but squandered each lead en route to a 4-3 overtime loss.

When the Red Wings are on, they are a dangerous team. But when they struggle, it seems to take them a few games to work out the kinks. Here are three reasons why the Detroit Red Wings are on their third losing streak of the season:

Not taking enough shots

When the Red Wings have gone on slides this year, a big reason why is because they are outshot and by a wide margin. There are a few instances where they outshoot their opponents and still lose -- they outshot Dallas 29-28 last night and outshot Ottawa 32-28 a couple of weeks ago -- but there were so many more opportunities for them to add to that shot total in both of those games.

Pavel Datsyuk had an opportunity in the slot against the Stars where he opted to pass instead. Defenseman Adam Almqvist also opted to pass instead of shoot shortly after notching his first career NHL goal against the Stars.

High 20s and low 30s are a good range to be in for shots on goal, but when there are that many more opportunities, you have to take advantage of them.

Turnovers in the neutral zone

Daniel Alfredsson spoke to Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson before the game against Edmonton on Nov. 2. He said the keys to a win would be getting through the neutral zone with speed, limiting the turnovers and getting pucks deep.

The Red Wings did just that and beat the Oilers 5-0 in the third game of their Western Canada road trip. When the Red Wings are struggling, they are not taking care of the puck in the neutral zone.

Against Dallas, a turnover in the neutral zone led to Jamie Benn's goal, which tied the game at 2-2, and another neutral zone turnover led to Rich Peverley's game-winning goal in overtime.

It's hard to win games when the other team has the puck, especially when the other team doesn't allow you to get through the neutral zone into their defensive zone.

Too much traffic in front of Jimmy Howard

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Jimmy Howard allowed a goal because there was too much traffic in front of the net and he couldn't see the puck.

It happened twice against the Stars, and it's been a common theme when the Red Wings lose. Dallas' final two goals were a direct result of Howard not being able to see the puck in front of him, and the Red Wings not being able to move bodies from in front of the net.

On the other side, the Red Wings can't sustain any traffic or chaos in front of opposing goalies, and it gives those goalies an opportunity to make a save. It's not rocket science, if a goalie can't see the puck, it makes it very difficult to make a save.

Luckily for the Red Wings, six of their next seven games are at Joe Louis Arena. They will need that long stretch of home games to recuperate from a Western Canada road trip and attempt to string some wins together.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also co-hosts a Red Wings Podcast called The Octopod, and is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.

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