Detroit’s lost 5 straight. Even though I thought they played excellent for the time they were not on the PK last night, they still didn’t pull it through. Some people are calling for major changes to be made. Blow it up! We don’t want to be Calgary and live in mediocre land! This isn’t a playoff team! Stuff like that. I mean look at this, usually rational fan’s reaction after last night’s game:
This is not a blip. It is not a “feeling out” period with new assistants. These are serious chemistry and system problems and Babcock refuses to actually address them, and I’m sick of it. And I’m sick of him always getting a free pass on it.
As it stands now, this is *not* a playoff team. This is a lottery team and barring truly MAJOR moves, this my friends is the downfall every other fanbase has desperately waited decades for, so I hope you’re all ready to endure it unless Kenny Holland shows he still has a set and takes command.
I say, hold up there good friend. This team is essentially the same team as last season, which was only one goal away from the Western Conference
Finals. And this team is only a week and a few days from being one of the last two undefeated teams in the league? Remember those times? Weren’t they great?
Now I’m not saying that changes don’t have to be made. But only minor ones. It is early, we have time to see what this team really has. I think there’s still a top 3 team in the NHL underneath this past losing streak. Maybe top one or two. The Wings just have to get back to remembering that. But anyways, here are a few thoughts on what to do.
I think it’s time for Commie.
We brought Commodore in to play. He’s not too recently been a great #2 or 3 guy on some good teams. He’s got potential to bring that around again, to be another Stuart.
And not for Kindl either. Ericsson hasn’t played bad, but Kindl’s played himself into the #5 spot. Plus Commodore and Big Rig play a similar style, having them both would be intimidating, but not really necessary.
This isn’t a critique of the defense, as I think they’ve generally been excellent this year. This is change for change sake. Plus I want to see what we’ve got in him.
Stop making Hudler the whipping boy.Sit Dan Cleary. Or Abdelkator. Or hell, if you want to make a statement, sit Franzen. But having Hudler sit only hurts his new found confidence and doesn’t send any sort of message to the team. He’s not the problem here, just part of it.
Stop playing the trap.
I hate the trap. For teams like Detroit, it doesn’t work. Yet in yesterday’s game, I noticed when the Wild had the puck, Detroit was backing out of the zone, getting into position in the neutual zone.Stop it. The Wings have too much talent for this. We need a strong, 2-1 forecheck to keep the pressure on the opposition. We aren’t scoring goals because we aren’t pressuring the other team’s defensemen into making mistakes. Think about it. During this lull (which is one little line from being five l’s, btw. The more you know…) every goal Detroit has scored has been normal in the zone goals, tips from the point, etc. Goal’s they’ve earned by bringing the puck into the zone, cycling and scoring. Not one has been because we have pressured their defensemen into giving us the puck.
That’s how teams break out from slumps like this. I saw moments, but I want to see more of them.But blowing up the team? Firing Babcock? I don’t think so. This team is great. It is early, give it time, it’ll come together. And, as regular reader Josh Howard posted over at WIIM, there’s plenty to be pleased about so far this season as well.
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To turn to coaching....I'm not saying to get rid of Babcock but we shouldn't act like it should be totally off the table. Hear me out. Clearly this team knows how to play great, we got off to a 5-0 start and in at least 3 of our last 5 losses we played pretty good actually, but remember when Babcock re-signed? He called all of his coaching buddies and asked them their opinions and what they thought about players beginning to just ignore your message. Who knows what will happen in the next 5 games, maybe we'll win them all but if we're not able to snap out of this, I think Babs should definitely be on the chopping block. NOT BECAUSE HE'S A BAD COACH but because he isn't getting through to the players. When there is a communication issue it's a lot easier to get rid of one person than it is an entire roster. Maybe his style of coaching wears on players quicker. Again, i'm just saying we shouldn't act as if he's an "untouchable"
I couldn't agree more. Continuing to sit Hudler is getting ridiculous. How Babcock can sit him over Bertuzzi is mind boggling. If it wasn't for the Red Wings seeing .... something?... in Bertuzzi, and I'm still trying to figure out what that is, he would be playing in Russia. I would definitely not hesitate to sit Franzen. He is on our team for one reason and one reason only, to score goals. You can score goals without taking shots and he's not even shooting the puck. Send him a message that it won't be tolerated. The guy can go 3 straight games without anyone knowing if he's actually in the line up or not. RIDICULOUS.
@marti783 In Bert's defence, at least he's putting in the effort. He's playing (or trying to play) physical and he's using his size well. Not saying he's outplaying Hudler, but no way he'd be playing in Russia if he wasn't with the Wings.
@DetCapC19 He just hasn't adapted to the "new" NHL. He takes way too many penalties. I understand physical play but if you're going to take penalties while doing it, then please don't be physical.
@DetCapC19@moorecha I think he gives the ref a reason to call something. He plays with fire more than anyone so he gets burned more than anyone. How many times do you see him just totally slash someone as they take a pass? A lot. Maybe that's how the game used to be played but not anymore. He's gotta smarten up. They are looking to call penalties.
@marti783 Hahaha, yeah I get that. I think he's had a bit of a bad run these past few games with penalties but you could make the same case for Homer, Miller, and even Babs (Too Many Men on the Ice). I think we'll see better from Bert.
I said it in the off season and got heckled for it but I will say it again...
The Wing's need a 40 goal scorer in their lineup. Right now I hate to actually say it but I feel it is more true than ever. We have had a wonderful few years where our role players are putting up big numbers but they will be able to keep it up. Zetterburg, Datsyuk, and Franzen are not 40 goal scorers. In fact getting 25 a year would be consistent with their careers.
And Yes, I mean a guy like Hossa or something similar.
Not that they would completely turn around the Wing's game but at least we would have several games a year when they come up big and win a game with one shot.
But I am not nervous yet. There is plenty of time to right the ship.
Or Franzen could simply start playing with some damn enthusiasm and heart... he would easily get to the 40 mark.
@magnum9 I hear you. I'd say that this team should probably look at picking up a top 6 forward with some bite at the deadline. I'm thinking of a guy like Doan. Not 40-goal material but a solid 30 with a RHS and grit.
I love Hudler and I think he's capable of 25/year. But what we need is a bit more consistency out of our scorers. We dont get it from Franzen anymore, but another consistent threat to go with Pav and Z would be nice.
Im so glad someone else feels the same way as i do about Hudler, yeah he's been slacking in the shots department, but otherwise he's been playing well.. Great post, as usual :)
@SarahRussell Now, full disclosure. I'm a huge Hudler fan. (Thanks for the props.)
@moorecha oh, and no problem. im addicted to this blog.... does that make me a nerd, or awesome??
So am I! i love that little guy, he needs to keep playing if we want him to keep his confidence. I'm all cycling out other players
Maybe Commie is the spark... He will drop the gloves without issue and that may be enough to "keep the flies off" and allow us to play OUR hockey. Good thinking.
I agree. Sit Sh!tbox (not that he has been playing poorly, but as you pointed out, Kindl has been good) and see what Commie22 is all about. I think having Kindl play next to a vet will only be a bonus. Cleary has just not been the same this season. Something has been very off with him. As a result, I think he should sit for a few games. Howard has been all that I can ask for and more.
Agreed. D is solid. Goaltending has been excellent (when Howie plays). Just need the offence to start clicking. Splitting up Z and Pav will help spread it out a bit I think.