DETROIT – The Red Wings’ poor record on home ice this season has been well documented, which makes this upcoming five-game homestand, that begins Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings that much more important.
“We don’t win enough,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought our team played hard the last couple games but we didn’t win. We’ve got to find a way to get some points. As you can see in the standings we’re not in a good situation. We’ve got to get some traction and get going. We’ve had a lot of kids play real well last game and in the end we still found a way not to win so we’ve got to find a way to win.”
The Wings, who are 6-10-7 at home this season, have not scored a goal in back-to-back games, losing 1-0 to the New York Rangers on Thursday and 1-0 at Anaheim on Sunday.
It’s just the second time in team history Detroit has suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses in the regular season, the other time occurred in 1954.
In the 2004 playoffs, Calgary also beat Detroit in back-to-back games by 1-0 scores.
“Look at the standings, we’re in dogfight,” Kyle Quincey said. “If we want to be in the playoffs come April we’ve got to start winning, especially at home. We owe it to the fans. We feel we’re playing pretty solid and close to winning all these games. We need to stay the course and hopefully a few goals start going in.”
Heading into play Friday, the Wings were fifth in the wild card race. The top two teams get in.
“We know the standings and we know we’re coming from behind,” Jonathan Ericsson said. “We have to be a lot better, put up some points and score some goals. We have to look at the schedule here as kind of a playoff run and we have to get four out of seven pretty much until the season is done.”
This is the Wings’ longest homestand of the season. Their two previous four-game homestands they went 0-0-4 and 1-3-0.
“This is really important,” Justin Abdelkader said. “Hopefully we can get some bodies back. If not, with this group we have, we know how we have to play to be successful. A lot of times it’s not going to be high scoring games. We have to limit our turnovers, limit our mistakes and play good defensively and capitalize on our opportunities.”
The last time Detroit, which is 14-7-3 on the road this year, finished under .500 at home during the regular season was 1985-86, finishing 10-26-4.
“I think we’ve got to start working our way back in and we’ve got to to find a way to be better back home, a perfect time is right now to take care of both of those things and get back on a roll,” Drew Miller said.
Detroit also hosts St. Louis (Monday), Chicago (Wednesday), Montreal (Friday) and Florida (Jan. 26) during this homestand.