Last-place Wings aiming for first home win vs. Jets
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Getting started has proven to be a problem all season long for the Detroit Red Wings, and lately, it's become an issue with the Winnipeg Jets.
The 1-6-2 Red Wings slept walked through 40 minutes of their most recent game, a 3-1 home-ice loss to the Carolina Hurricanes that dropped Detroit to 0-2-1 at Little Caesars Arena.
"When you sleep in, you're foggy for a while and we were foggy and it's hard to get yourself going when you're not ready to go at the start," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "That's 100 percent inexcusable to not be ready to work, to not be ready to compete at the start of the game through the second period.
"You're not ready to go and all the sudden you're swimming the rest of the time. We swam for two periods."
Blashill's response to his team's collective lack of effort was to institute that old-time staple of hockey punishments at Tuesday's practice, the bag skate.
"It was to be expected," Wings forward Thomas Vanek said.
That the dreadful performance came on the heels of Detroit's first win of the season, a 4-3 overtime victory over the Panthers in Florida on Saturday, only served to make it that much less palatable.
"We lost our way in Boston (8-2 loss) and Montreal (7-3 loss) but we didn't not show up," Blashill said. "We showed up. Once we got down, we panicked and started playing stupid hockey.
"This was not showing up. This is a whole different animal. This is no good."
The 6-3-1 Jets were also slow out of the gate in their most recent start on Wednesday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, falling behind 3-0 before netting a pair of third-period goals to make it interesting in a 4-2 setback.
This outing followed Monday's game against the St. Louis Blues in which the Jets were down 3-1 after 40 minutes before storming back for a 5-4 overtime victory.
"I don't think it was necessarily as horrible a first two periods as it was against St. Louis," Jets forward Adam Lowry told cbc.ca about Wednesday's start.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Jets, and was their first defeat in regulation time in six games. Winnipeg begins a three-game road trip in Detroit, including a Saturday rematch with the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
"We're more concerned with our defending than anything else," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "It's more the defensive plays and the turnovers in our end of the ice.
"If you're unable to recover from those, you've got to look at your problem."
The Wings have problems of their own. Right-winger Anthony Mantha, who led the team last season with 24 goals, has scored once in nine games. He's been dropped from the power play and relegated to fourth-line duty.
Detroit sent two rookies -- defenseman Filip Hronek and center Christoffer Ehn -- to AHL Grand Rapids. Forward Jacob De La Rose, claimed on waivers last week from Montreal, will make his debut in Friday's game.
Updated October 26, 2018