Are the Red Wings the West’s hottest team again?


After playing some great hockey in mainstream obscurity, the Dallas Stars went into Friday’s conference clash as the hottest team in the Western Conference. The Stars lost that game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and dropped another to Detroit tonight, which might crown the Red Wings as the hot team du jour in the West.

In the simplest terms possible, it seems almost undeniable; as of this writing, the Red Wings have won four games in a row while no other West team has a streak of more than two victories. They’ve also been beating the tar out of their opponents in the process. In the last four games, Detroit out-scored their opponents 18-4 and Jimmy Howard earned two shutouts.

A simple reason why the hot streak might go cold

My bet is that some columnist somewhere will critique the Red Wings’ collective age when looking at their interestingly hot-and-cold season. (Detroit won five in a row, lost six consecutive games and now they’re on their four-game streak.)

A mere look at their schedule should provide an adequate explanation – and maybe a glimpse of their immediate future. After playing six straight games at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings will begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday that includes a game against the St. Louis Blues and then a trio of games against California teams.

With that schedule in mind, you shouldn’t be too be surprised to see a panicked column or two about the Red Wings in the next week or so.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.