In a game where a win would at worst give Detroit breathing room in the playoff race and at best vault them from eighth to seventh in the standings, the Red Wings simply did not play like anything was on the line.
Detroit’s lone dominant shift for the night was a second period power play that ended in Tomas Holmstrom’s goal, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot. They played patiently and moved the puck, the type of hockey we’ve come to expect from them over the last several years.
For the rest of the game, however, they were hesitant and slow. They were sloppy clearing their own zone and they were lazy gaining the Calgary blue line.
In short, they played the kind of game they didn’t deserve to win. It might not have looked as bad as last week’s loss to Vancouver but it was. Like that loss, this one was also unacceptable, but it’s happening far too often anyway.