Wings notes: Bad starts, bad endings

DETROIT — The Red Wings all know the odds of winning their series against the Boston Bruins increase if they don’t have to rally during individual games.

"We kind of put ourselves in a hole the last few games," Justin Abdelkader said. "You can’t spot any good team a couple goals — two, three goals — like we have at the start of a game.

"Like Coach always says, ‘Catch-up hockey’s losing hockey.’ That’s not the type of game we want to play."

Captain centers line during practice

In order to have success, the Wings have to come out with a stronger start. Turning pucks over early and often isn’t going to lead to anything good against a team as good as the Bruins.

The Wings also need to find ways to score. They have exactly two goals in three games.

They’re being outscored by the Philadelphia Flyers defensemen, who have three goals — one each by Andrew MacDonald, Mark Streit and Luke Schenn.

Certainly Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask has something to do with that, but not everything.

"He’s got light nights against us so far." Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I really thought with the exception of Game 1, they did an exceptional job of pushing us out of the middle. We’ve been on the outside.

"To me, that’s not good enough. You got to be way harder and got to be on the inside, and you got to make the goalie work way more.

"In saying that, we all know he’s a world-class goalie."

Darren Helm agreed with his coach’s assessment.

"You just work," Helm said. "I don’t think we’ve been working hard enough to get on the inside. We’re letting them push us out. We have to want to get there more and work harder to get there."

Jarome Iginla said his Bruins have been playing the kind of defense they want to so far.

"It’s part of our goal to make it as hard as we can for the other team, both physically and scoring-chance wise," he said. "The front of our net, the D are a big part of our team."


Brad Marchand is the only Bruins forward who’s under 6-feet tall. He’s listed at 5-9.

But in terms of peskiness, he might stand above all the Bruins.

Just ask Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, who called for tripping Marchand in the second period of Game 3.

"He slipped out of my check," Smith said. "Good play by him. It was funny when he was putting all his weight on the leg that got hit. It’s interesting when I saw the picture. That’s Marchand, he’s going to try to create some stuff.

"That’s what he does. He’s an antagonizer."

Babcock said there’s only one thing the Wings should do with Marchand.

"Just ignore him," Babcock said. "Just play hard and ignore him."

Milan Lucic said he enjoys playing with Marchand and seeing the reactions he gets.

"I think he plays kind of right on that line," Lucic said. "When he’s playing with that emotion, it makes him an effective player and the player that he is. When he’s playing with that emotion and kind of in-your-face attitude, he can be a real great player."


Lucic, who was fined $5,000 for spearing Wings defensemen Danny DeKeyser in the groin in Game 1, was booed and taunted by Wings fans in Game 3 — the first at Joe Louis Arena.

"I didn’t expect it at all," Lucic said. "But (it’s) part of playoff hockey and one of those things that makes the game great. I think when the fans are into it, definitely makes it a lot more fun to play."

Lucic said the boos didn’t bother him.

"You want to use it in a positive way, try to get it to fire you up," he said "That’s how I react to it. Let it fire you up."