DETROIT – Home ice is supposed to be an advantage in the NHL.
The Wings of late have been playing it like it’s a disadvantage.
“It’s an area we want to be better at,” Drew Miller said. “We’re hoping this road trip, even though we had a tough game there in Winnipeg, we can take all those positives from the road, and there were a lot, and we’re going to try and take that back home.”
After a successful four-game trip to Western Canada, where the Wings went 3-1-0, they play seven of their next eight at Joe Louis Arena beginning tonight against the Dallas Stars.
“We’re home here for a lot of games, I think pretty much the rest of the month,” Miller said. “We’ve got a chance to turn it around. That’s the approach we have to have. You have to win your games at home.”
Detroit was winless in its last three-game home stand prior to their trip to Canada, going 0-1-2.
“That’s how seasons go,” Miller said. “There are some where you’re great on the road and don’t do so well at home, then the next season you’re horrible on the road and great at home. I think it’s just the ups and downs of the season. It’s too early to say that we’re playing horrible or bad at home. We have time to correct it and get back on path.”
It was so long ago that the Wings were unbeatable at home.
The rolled off an NHL-record 23 consecutive wins, from Nov. 5, 2011 to Feb. 19, 2012, on home ice.
“Being here at home, we’re going to have to find a way to get on a roll here because we got to make this a tough place to play,” Jimmy Howard said. “This is a great place to place, especially in front of our fans, how passionate they are. We just got to come out and be focused.”
Since that record winning streak Detroit is only 21-14-8 at Joe Louis Arena.
“Well, we struggled the last game of the trip to make sure that wasn’t going to happen,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked about why they seem to struggle the first game back from a long road trip. “We got six out of a possible eight points away from home. We know we’ve got eight of the next 10 at home. We all know how important playing at home is and we know when we turn the puck over we’re no good.”