Red Wings Continue Slide in Loss to Wild: A Fan’s Reaction

Yikes! The Detroit Red Wings are losers of four straight games with their latest coming on a 0-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, October 29.

The story of the game was not Jimmy Howard(notes) on back-to-back games started giving up a goal to pair with his 19 saves, it was Wild goaltender Josh Harding(notes) earning his first win of the season by shutting out the Red Wings while blocking 36 attempts on goal.

The only goal of the game came in the middle of the first period from Minnesota's Dany Heatley(notes), his third on the season on an assist by Mikko Koivu(notes), his fifth.

The loss drops the Red Wings to 5-4-1 on the season and in third place in the Central with 10 points. Detroit will face Minnesota again on Tuesday, November 1. While I would traditionally not worry about a matchup such as this in the recent past, every game has appeared to be a challenge lately.

What can coach Mike Babcock do to turn this team around?

Part of the problem could be with RW Danny Cleary's(notes) lack of production this season. Through nine games he has only recorded two assists and has yet to net his first goal. He has been playing on the first line with Pavel Datsyuk(notes) and Henrik Zetterberg(notes) the past seven games, but even that has yet to boost his productivity. I don't believe this is the only issue the Red Wings are facing nor do I believe Cleary is the sole cause of the current slump.

"We played way better (the last two nights)," Babcock said. "We're not scoring easy. We're not scoring at all. We haven't all played where we feel like we got the feel. And they're good players, they're going to get that because there's no way we can suddenly be a team that can't score. So to me, just keep working, keep doing good things and good things will happen."

Regardless of Babcock's statements, the Red Wings have looked sluggish in the past few games. It is far to early in the season for the team to be losing their legs already despite the age of the team.

I am hopeful the recent play is just an early season funk they will eventually break out of. If that be the case, I am happy they are getting it out of the way early in the season and not down the stretch when each win or loss will make a huge difference in playoff positioning.

More NHL Commentary from this Contributor:

Red Wings drop third straight in loss to San Jose: A fan's reaction

Ty Conklin, Red Wings lose to Blue Jackets: A fan's reaction

Detroit Red Wings pummeled by Washington Capitals: A fan's reaction

Sources:

All stats provided by NHL.com

Associated Press - Harding, Wild hand Red Wings 4th straight loss

Paul Rados is an avid Detroit Red Wings fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados or leave him a message on Facebook. For a complete look at his freelance work please visit his Blog.

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Updated Sunday, Oct 30, 2011