It wasn't too long ago that the Detroit Red Wings were the hottest team in the NHL. They had rattled off six wins in a row, and they jumped up to No. 6 in the East standings.

A lot has changed since that sixth win in a row. The Red Wings have now lost eight of their last nine games, and they are no longer in playoff contention. Red Wings fans are blaming the patch that was put on the team's jerseys before the slump started, but who knows the real reason why they are struggling. Except for maybe Steve Yzerman.

If the Red Wings want to make the playoffs, they need to get back to their winning ways, and they need to break out of this slump soon. General manger and Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman was recently asked what the issue is, and he thinks it's a culmination of a lot of different things.

“Kind of a collection of all aspects of our game,” Steve Yzerman said, according to an article from “Our goaltending save percentage is down. Defensively, I would say we’re giving up a lot of chances, which contributes to the goaltending save percentage being down.”

One big issue that the Red Wings are facing is that Dylan Larkin is out. Larkin is one of the best players on the team, and he is also a leader. Losing a guy like that hurts.

“With Dylan being out, it pushes everybody up a little bit (in the lineup), and we just don’t quite have that depth up front to not be affected or minimize the effect of having a player who plays significant minutes for us out,” Yzerman said. “We’re just not quite deep enough yet for that. But we’ve still got to find a way.

“Over the last nine games now, we’ve won one. I think for what our expectation is of our team, I think we’ve still got to win a few of those games. Even without Husso, even without Larkin, my expectation would be to win some of those games, and we haven’t been able to do that.”

The Red Wings recently brought up Simon Edvinsson because of a different injury: Jake Walman's lower body issue. Edvinsson should be able to pick up some of the slack and help the Red Wings down the stretch in general.

“It’s both,” Yzerman continued. “But he’s going to play. I wouldn’t waste a recall just to have a body because we still have Justin Holl, who hasn’t been in the lineup recently. We expect him to play, and we expect him to contribute.

“His game is just maturing and evolving, like you hope for all your young players down there. We’ve very pleased with how his play has progressed throughout the season.”

Should the Red Wings have made more moves at the trade deadline?

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh won 6-3
© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit didn't feel the need to make many moves at the trade deadline because things were going well for them. If this slump had come earlier, however, it could've changed their approach.

“Potentially,” Yzerman added. “I can’t answer that today. If it had happened, I would have had a different decision to make at the deadline. We’re sitting in a playoff spot or fighting for a playoff spot. The decision at that point was, ‘I think this team has a chance to make the playoffs,’ not, ‘Hey, we’re definitely going to make it.’ So, you could stand pat, you could buy or you could sell. I chose to relatively stand pat.”

Now, the Red Wings have just 14 games to get themselves into playoff position. Everything looked great a few weeks ago, but the team now has some work to do.

“Again, without Husso, without Larkin playing, now without Jake Walman, I still think my expectation is to win some of these games,” Yzerman said. “… How we’re going to win is with solid goaltending, solid defense and timely special teams. That’s how we’re going to win. You look at all those different areas. We’re kind of losing the special teams battle on a regular basis, and we’re just giving up too much. Every game is crucial. You lose, you feel bad, you’ve got to get ready for the next game. You’ve just got to keep plugging away. If we win our games, we’re in good shape. This next stretch is going to be tough.”

We'll see what the shorthanded Red Wings can do in the final few weeks of the regular season.