The only good thing about this Detroit Red Wings season is that it will end eventually.
Following last night's 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center, the soon-to-be eliminated from playoff contention Red Wings have now lost nine consecutive games – the longest such skid since 1986.
Though they haven't always looked bad as their losses continue to mount, it's little consolation for their frustrated fan base who will be looking for a new team to support once again for this year's playoffs.
“This has been our season in a nutshell to a large degree,” head coach Jeff Blashill said. “We've played pretty good hockey and haven't won enough games.”
The evening wasn't without on-ice fireworks. The game featured several bouts, beginning with Luke Witkowski fought Nick Ritchie following a hard hit on Cam Fowler.
“The effort was there. I know we keep saying that but this group is close and those games bring us together a bit more,” Witkowski said. “I think we’re all just really super frustrated.”
Forward Anthony Mantha dropped the gloves against Livonia's Ryan Kesler after what he saw as liberties being taken against Dylan Larkin. Witkowski also dropped the gloves during the defeat.
“It’s really hard right now,” forward Anthony Mantha said. “We need to figure out something quick. This is not fun. It’s even embarrassing. We need to figure something out.”
Justin Abdelkader also dropped the gloves against Corey Perry, who has been a thorn in Detroit's side over the years. Though his team didn't earn any points in the standings, Abdelkader is trying to find any silver lining in an otherwise difficult stretch.
We’ve had some really good battles with these guys over the years,” Abdelkader said. “These are fun games to play in. It reminds you of old-time hockey, how it used to be. That’s the fun type of game I enjoy. Mo did a great job, Witter, too. It’s just frustrating to come out on the losing end again.”
“We did a good job sticking up for each other. It can bring us closer as a team for sure. Especially against a team like Anaheim that sometimes will try to mix it up, bully around. We’re not laying down here. We’re fighting each and every game here.”
The Red Wings will continue their road trip with a stop in Colorado on Sunday.