Fierce ping pong competition erupts outside Red Wings locker room

After practice Thursday, things got heated outside the Red Wings locker room.

Ping pong tables lining the hallway filled up with fierce competition and any signs of a team on a two-game slide panicking were nowhere to be found.

"We got a couple games with top-ranked players," unofficial Red Wings Table Tennis league commissioner Jiri Hudler explained.

"Ty Conklin, Danny Cleary. High level ping pong right here. It doesn't get any better."

Hudler was "refereeing" the Conklin vs. Cleary match. The players were ranked third and fourth in the league, respectively, and their battle was for third place in the league.

"You can't move up the ladder without beating the guy in front of you," Patrick Eaves said.

Hudler proclaimed Eaves as the team's most prolific ping pong player. He pointed out Eaves carrying his own paddle -- and a case for it.

"Eveyone's having fun out here. We're not superstars or anything," Eaves said, shying away from attention.

"Everyone's about the same, so it's fun."

Fun is the perfect medicine for a team that dropped its last two games to the Capitals and Blue Jackets, and is looking to get back on track.

"I haven't heard anybody say the sky is falling," Brad Stuart said.

"Nobody in here thinks like that. We know what we have to do to turn it around."

Nicklas Lidstrom echoed those sentiments.

"It's a long year. You're gonna have your ups and downs. When you're not playing as well as you can, you wanna get out of it."

This veteran group of Red Wings has been through its fair share of two-game losing streaks in the past. And the attitude surrounding this one is no different.

They'll compete every moment they're in Joe Louis Arena, whether that's on the ice or on the ping pong table.

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