It takes only some simple math to figure out that the Skipjacks slowly are losing their once-firm grip on a playoff position in the AHL Southern Division.
The Jacks snapped a seven-game winless streak with an impressive 4-1 victory over the overly aggressive Binghamton Rangers at the Arena Saturday afternoon.
But, last night in Adirondack, the Jacks fell back into their all-too-familiar losing ways, falling 5-3 to the surging Red Wings.
The Jacks (69 points) are still holding the third of four playoff spots, but could be as low as fifth place when they take the ice Friday against Springfield, the Northern Division's top team.
Utica (68 points), which has a game in hand, plays Maine at home on Wednesday and travels to Halifax for another game on Thursday.
Adirondack (68 points), which has already played an extra game with 67, will be in Newmarket tomorrow. Meanwhile, sixth-place Hershey (67 points) also has played an extra game and is idle until Friday's game in Newmarket.
For the Jacks, nine of their remaining 14 games -- including the next five -- will be on the road, where they have been less than impressive with a 12-16-3 showing.
And the bad news continues to roll in each day.
Leading scorer Alfie Turcotte injured his ankle in Saturday's win and is questionable for Friday's game. Bob Joyce also sat out last night's game with the aftereffects of a concussion, his second in a week.
The parent Washington Capitals, who still have the Jacks' top goalie, Jim Hrivnak, up, have their own set of major problems that surely will affect the Jacks.
The Caps (29-32-5) are in fifth place in the NHL Patrick Division -- four points behind New Jersey for the final playoff spot -- and are without top goalie Don Beaupre, center Dale Hunter (three games left on a suspension) and left wing Peter Bondra (shoulder), while they await the arrival of Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings (39-20-7) tomorrow night at the Capital Centre.
But the worst news came Saturday when John Kordic was suspended for the second time in a month for not showing up for the game with the New York Islanders.
That means the Caps are expected to make another recall of a Jacks' forward sometime today, probably left wing Steve Maltais or center Rob Murray.