Message at practice Tuesday was simple … “Our compete level has to be higher and better.”

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday.

The message from coach Mike Babcock was quite simple after the team’s 5-2 loss Monday in Boston.

“The message was clear, our compete level has to be higher and better,” Kyle Quincey said.

The Wings were facing a Boston roster that was missing two of its key players – Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic – and trailed 3-1 after the first period after being outshot 19-12.

“Complacency, I don’t know what it is, we weren’t prepared,” Babcock said Tuesday after practice. “You can look at. We went to Toronto, it was five in eight nights. We were fresh (Monday). We had a nice practice day in Boston. We just had three days off for Christmas, we should have skated and competed hard. They were upset. They were missing two key players. They came out and skated us into the ground. Worked us hard, competed and won every battle and every race and in the end we go home feeling like we do.

“I’m a big believer, the sun gets up the next day, that’s how I operate,” Babcock continued. “When the sun doesn’t get up there’s something wrong. It got up today.”

The Wings gave up a season high 45 shots on goal.

“There wasn’t much talking out there,” Quincey said. “Our starts have been too slow. That’s an emphasis going into tomorrow night and the rest of the year.

“I wouldn’t say we’re worried,” Quincey added. “We have to be better. I think if today’s message sinks in we’ll be fine. If we can start competing at the very first second of the game and follow through for 60 minutes we’ll be OK.”

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