Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Blue Jackets spotlight Red Wings’ road woes

Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 28: Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jacket skates the puck up ice against Drew Miller #20 of the Detroit Red Wings during their game at Nationwide Arena on February 28, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. The Red Wings defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

John Grieshop

The Detroit Red Wings carried a 16-20-3 road record into Columbus tonight, so it was no secret that the team isn’t very good on the road. Still, the Blue Jackets really put the team’s glaring weakness on display on NBC Sports Network tonight, soundly beating Detroit 4-2.

Vinny Prospal and Derek Dorsett built a 2-0 lead but Henrik Zetterbeg found the net on the power play to finish up the first period with a workable 2-1 deficit. It was the second period that really dropped some jaws, however, as Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger scored about a minute and a half apart to make it 4-1.

Niklas Kronwall scored midway through the third to give Detroit a prayer, but it was still a pretty stunning testament to the Red Wings’ resounding home-road disparity.

The need for the fourth seed

One could argue that the Red Wings are a Stanley Cup powerhouse at Joe Louis Arena and a lottery team away from home.

With that in mind, this loss hurts most because it greatly reduces their lead over the Nashville Predators to one point for what could be an all-important home ice advantage in what looks to be the fourth vs. fifth seed matchup. It all sets up for an awfully interesting game against the Predators in (ominous music plays) Nashville on Friday.

It’s overly simplistic to say that Detroit or Nashville win automatically once they get the fourth seed - really, a 50 percent chance on the road plus high odds at home might just be enough for the Red Wings - but you’d be kidding yourself to say it doesn’t matter.

With the Blue Jackets firmly locked as the worst team in the NHL, they can spend the rest of the season embracing a spoiler role.