DETROIT -- It's definitely gut-check time for the Red Wings.
Mired in a seven-game losing streak, they now have the challenge of facing the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues tonight at Little Caesars Arena.
The Blues are 5-3-3 and are coming off a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins Saturday night.
"I got a chance to watch the game last night," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought it was a great hockey game. It looked like a playoff game, two teams that have size and skill and check and do all the things it takes to win a lot of hockey games. Obviously (Vladimir) Tarasenko's a dynamic piece for them that's out. But they got a really good team, they got great depth up front, they got great depth on D, they've had good goaltending, so we're going to have to play good hockey."
The Blues are 4-1-0 in the last five games against the Wings and have earned points in seven of their last eight trips to the Motor City (6-1-1).
"We know how they want to play," Blashill said. "They want to forecheck hard, they want to play in the O-zone, they want to grind you out. We got to make sure we get out of our end fast. If we spend the whole night in our end, it'll be a hard, hard night. If we can get out of our end fast, now we can use our skill and our speed and it's more to advantage us."
Meanwhile, the Wings are trying to maintain a positive attitude as they fight to get out of this current skid.
"All I can say is I thought yesterday we had a good practice, I thought we showed up, got better," Blashill said. "We looked at the game before. From a process standpoint, we weren't perfect, there were things we need to get better at and we worked on some of that. The chances were 20 for us and seven for them. If you do that 10 times in a row here, you'll win a lot of games. We just gotta keep focusing on the process. If we hadn't lost a number in a row, we wouldn't have thought much about the other game, we would have moved on. But obviously it tests your mental toughness.
"Unfortunately, we've had guys who have gone through this before. We understand it, I think. We gotta keep playing, we gotta play good hockey. We gotta go out tonight and play great hockey. That doesn't guarantee results but if you do it over and over and over and over again, you will get the results. I know that, you know that, they know that. So let's keep focusing on process."
NEMETH IS FINE: Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who missed part of practice Saturday, is expected to be in the lineup against the Blues.
"Yeah, he'll be good to go," Blashill said.