Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning up next: No panic from Red Wings GM Ken Holland, acknowledges 'urgency'

The Red Wings weren't showing signs of panic before Saturday's game or even after falling behind 2-0 early in the first period. Steve Ott sparked the crowd and his teammates with a fight midway through the period. Then Tomas Tatar scored the first of his three goals a few minutes later.

The Wings went on to beat the Ducks 6-4 and improved to 7-9-3 at home in the final season at Joe Louis Arena.

The Wings, still searching for their identity, begin a three-game road trip against the Hurricanes on Monday. They have played better on the road (7-5-1) than they have at home, but they'll play a back-to-back set against the Hurricanes and the Lightning on Tuesday at Amalie Arena before visiting the Panthers on Friday.

Most of the Wings' issues revolve around a lack of offense and injuries. Their penalty kill had been playing well lately before giving up pair of power-play goals in the first period to the Ducks.

The Wings have one of the worst power-play units in the NHL. And they aren't getting enough offensive contributors from people who play key roles. Tatar had four goals in 31 games before netting his first career hat trick Saturday night. Gustav Nyquist has four goals in 32 games, and Riley Sheahan has no goals in 32 games.

Jimmy Howard has played better than Petr Mrazek in goal this season.

"Any time you win, you know what you are, and when you're not winning enough, you don't know what you are," Wings general manager Ken Holland said before Saturday's win. "I think lots of teams are close."

Holland wasn't ready to hit the panic button before the win, but he did acknowledge that the previous home losses to the Coyotes and Kings were "our worst games of the year, at the worst time."

But Holland said he wasn't about to do anything rash.

"First off, what is panic going to do?" Holland said. "Certainly we use the words 'sense of urgency.'

"Where's that fine line? There's got to be a process that takes place, whatever job you do in life. If you want to have success, there's a process you go through individually. We're in a team sport.

"We got to continue on that process."

The Wings (14-14-4) have 50 games remaining. "We got to get going," Holland said.

Asked how much is on Wings coach Jeff Blashill to get the team going, Holland said: "I think it's on everybody.

"It's a hard league during the season, before the trade deadline, to make any moves. Not much going on."

So don't expect the Wings to bolster their lineup with newcomers. And even if they do add someone at the deadline, it's not likely to be anyone significant because Holland said he's not giving up the future.

Even before the latest win, Holland sounded optimistic.

"Very good road record," Holland said. "Our troubles have been at home.

"You'd love to be in first place in everything. There's no doubt our power play hasn't (performed well).

"Part of the reason we haven't scored goals is our power play hasn't produced. You try different combinations. We got to score. We're middle of the pack in goals-against. You'd like to be (higher), but if you have a good week, you can jump up three or four spots.

"Certainly most of our top issues have been offense. Power play is part of that."

Holland acknowledged the Wings have to put points on the board now.

"We're not the only team in this position in the league," Holland said. "There are no quick fixes. 'Let's make a trade and that's going to cure whatever ails you.' That's not the league we're in. We're not the only team in the boat that we're talking about."

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