DETROIT – Like a goalie in the midst of recording a shutout or a pitcher in baseball closing in on a perfect game or a no-hitter, teammates tend to avoid bringing up certain subjects.
The same can be said of the Wings’ franchise-record 19-game home winning streak, which they look to extend and tie the longest such streak in NHL history Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Guys haven’t talked a whole lot about it,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We’re kind of going about our everyday business, day-by-day, game-by-game, getting ready for the next one. (Friday) night we didn’t play our best but still got away with a win. It’s a matter of continuing to play well and try to get points.”
The Wings can tie the mark set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Flyers for longest home winning streak at 20 games.
“You come this far, now you want it,” said Jimmy Howard, who has been between the pipes for 18 of those wins before breaking his right index finger. “Everyone in this dressing room, you’re not really talking about it, but you know it’s in the back of everyone’s mind. To put this many consecutive wins together at home, now you want to continue to keep it going.
“Now it’s right on top of us,” Howard added. “We’re not really talking about it in the dressing room but I think it would be an absolute great achievement.”
Detroit last lost at home on Nov. 3 to the Calgary Flames.
With a win Sunday the Wings, who play 16 of their final 26 games at home, could set the mark on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
“We still try and avoid talking about it,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We just focus on every game. Tomorrow it’s going to be fun meeting Philly. It’s going to be a tough game and hopefully we’ll get out with two points.”
Detroit is 22-2-1 this season at home after struggling last year on home ice and finishing 26-11-4.
“We really wanted to play good at home this year after struggling last year,” Zetterberg said. “I think we’ve been playing good all year and all of a sudden you start winning games. We haven’t really thought about it until it was 12 to 13 games in a row. Because we lost so many games on the road we weren’t feeling all that good about ourselves. Then all of a sudden it’s 15, 16 and now we’re one game away from tying it. We’re excited about it. We’re going to do our best to win the next one.”
Because of the amount of time the Wings have spent on the road coming back with a win streak intact takes time to get used to.
“It’s nice we have a few at home so it starts to feel like it,” Zetterberg said. “If we win the next one it’ll be really special and then we’ll go from there. Hopefully we can keep it going a few more games at home.”