Trade Rumors Will Swirl Around Detroit Red Wings If They Don't Improve, and Fast

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Trade Rumors Will Swirl Around Detroit Red Wings If They Don't Improve, and Fast
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

This, as they say, is it.

As of now, the Red Wings have to decide if they're going to finish the season playing like the elite team they are on paper or, continue on being the porous, sloppy team they've been for most of 2011.

Why now?

Well, having lost three of their last four games, two of them by consecutive shutouts and the last so horrifically bad their own fans booed them off the ice, the Red Wings can't really play any worse.

If they maintain the status quo, the tailspin they've been in could only be the start of what could be the crash and burn of their season.

However, if they've decided enough is enough, and dedicate themselves to playing up to their potential, well, this last stretch of putrid play may just go down as the pivot-point that turned their season around.

The Red Wings have long been considered a defensively astute team, but they've been anything but of late.

Through February, the Wings have gone 2-3-0 and have been outscored 17-11 during that stretch.

However, giving up goals in bunches is hardly a new phenomenon in Motown.  After ending the month of November with the best goal-differential in the league (+18), the Wings finished out 2010 by being outscored 36-35 through the month of January.

What's more, and this really isn't easy to write, Nicklas Lidstrom is minus-4.

Now, that doesn't mean Lidstrom is a bad defenseman, and that certainly doesn't mean the Wings would ever trade him, but, as a barometer for team defense, one need look no further than the stats associated with No. 5 to see that something just ain't right in Motown.

The Wings are bad right now, let's admit it.

But, that doesn't mean they can't turn the tide.

If they do, then this stretch of bad play will be quickly forgotten. 

If they don't, well, it stands to reason that more than a few trade rumors will start to swirl around the Red Wings as shaking up his team will really be the only option GM Ken Holland will have to turn their year around.

With that in mind, here's a look at the players that may finish their season in another city if they can't help turn things around in Detroit.

Follow Matt on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MAhutter12

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