There are many many reasons for this. The main thing being that almost every game, there are guys moving in and out of the lineup because of injuries. This is ridiculous how much it happens to us, and I am not just talking this year. Ever since the start of the year where we didn't have Helmer, then we lost Ericsson, Smith, Franzen, Weiss, Alfie, got Franzen and Weiss back, got Ericsson back, lost Danny Dekeyser, lost Pavel Datsyuk but Alfie came back, lost Hank Zetterberg. IT is extremely hard to maintain consistency when you have so many moving parts in and out of the lineup and almost every game, guys are having to adjust to new lines.
The fact is that this is a team of professionals and they do rise to the occasion when they play the league's best. But over the long haul of an NHL season, when you are constantly having to juggle everything, you will not be able to maintain that consistency. The fact of the matter is that had last night not been Pavel's first game back, he doesn't lose the battle that led to the tying goal and we likely go on to win the game.
Given the amount of injuries that the Wings have sustained, and the time that it took the brass to start playing Nyquist and Tatar, I am pleased with where the Wings are in the standings. Howard has not been playing great, and we have had a ton of injuries, but yet we are just a few points back from 1st place in this division. I find it hard to be upset over that. Eventually, Howard is going to find his game, and when this team is finally fully healthy, I truly believe that other teams will have a hard time keeping up, especially with what we have seen from what Nyquist and Tatar add to this team.