Red Wings' Division Woes Continue; Fall to Leafs 4-0

Entering Wednesday night, the NHL's Eastern Conference was tighter than it has ever been. With six teams sitting at 49 points, the race for the final Wild Card spot, and the Atlantic Division seeds were within the reach of all. The Detroit Red Wings had collected nine points in their last six games, and despite coming off of three straight overtime losses, the team was riding a good wave.

The first period saw rookie sensation Auston Matthews pot his 23rd tally of the season to put the young Leafs up 1-0. From there, the Wings struggled to get, and keep, pucks deep as their shot totals were dominated. Detroit was playing the second of a back to back after stumbling at the hands of the Bruins in OT at TD Garden the night prior. The Maple Leafs top line of the night was that of Matthews, Hyman, and Brown, as their young energy was able to keep the tired Wing's on their heels the whole night.

Image result for red wings vs leafsTwo weak third period goals from van Riemsdyk and Soshnikov put the finish touches on a 4-0 rout of the hometown Red Wings. In the process, Frederick Andersen picked up his second consecutive shutout and has been one of the better net minders in the league during the past few months.

As the hockey world's attention shifts to Los Angeles for All-Star weekend, the Red Wings will look to rest and prepare for the unofficial second half of the year. Through 49 games the Red Wings sit last in the Eastern Conference with 49 points, yet only six points out of the closest playoff spot. This loss to Toronto moved the Wings to 5-7-4 against Atlantic Division rivals, and 10-11-4 at Joe Louis Arena. Both of these records, along with their 30th  ranked power play numbers, surely must improve if the Red Wings want a playoff birth in the 2016-17 season.

The Red Wings are back in action next Tuesday, January 31st, as they host the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is at 7:30pm, from Joe Louis Arena.