• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. Things you would like to see for 2015-16 Season

    I think the most critical needs are exactly what Holland tried to address at the trade deadline and in the last FA period but couldn't ultimately pull off: 1) A big, talented winger (ideally two) 2) A #2 defenseman No Franzen and no Cole leaves the Wings playing exactly two top-nine guys with decent size - Abdelkader and Sheahan. The team struggles to generate offense because they're left on the periphery and they're just too easy to block out. Babcock compensated by pushing a grinding shutdown game at even strength and then taking advantage of power plays to create space for his smaller players, but it's just not good enough. They need the kind of bodies that can make room for 40, 13, 14, and 21 to work some magic. Clearly physical size isn't everything when it comes to success in hockey but I'm fairly certain that Detroit has the smallest top nine in the league. It has to be a priority this summer. On the back end, it's time to end either (or both) of the Smith/Kindl experiments, admit that they're not going to get much better, and accept that they do nothing to address the yawning talent gap between Kronwall and everyone not named Kronwall. The best teams in the league play three (maybe four) very good defensemen and rotate the rest based on their specialty - the Hawks use Keith/Seabrook/Hjalmarsson, the Rags have McD/Staal/Girardi, the Ducks platoon four top guys, you see the trend. Meanwhile the teams going home early tended to lack that extra top-pair D-man and instead have a big drop in talent to their next best player - Ottawa has one guy, the Wings have one guy (DDK may be on his way to being a legit #2), the Weber-less Preds struggled badly with just Josi (Jones isn't quite there yet), and so on. I would venture that STL relies too heavily on Bouwmeester, he's overmatched in his role and it hurts them at times. The Wings need another impact player taking 23+ minutes a night if they want to be a proper contender. Assuming they can get such an individual, room still has to be made for the kids to play a regular shift so they can see who among Sproul/Jensen/Marchenko/Ouellet is the real deal and who is the next Derek Meech. No Kindl and no Zidlicky creates space for Marchenko and Ouellet to fight for the #6 spot, ideally playing with Ericsson. I don't see them trading Howard, especially not in any big NHL15-type trades. There's good reason to expect him to have a better season in 15-16 and the team's total expenditure at the position is only ~6mil between he and Mrazek, so it's not like they need the money. It makes more sense to platoon them for now and maybe deal Howard next year once Mrazek's contract is up. It should also go without saying that we have to hope Weiss is sent packing.
  2. Peter Laviolette Hired as Predators' Coach

    I think this is an excellent move. Laviolette is a good coach and a proven winner. The system the Preds have in place now has been good at maximizing returns based on minimal investment, but this speaks to some extra ambition on Poile's part. Sure, they could have kept Trotz, kept drafting well, kept losing their talent to other teams without moving past the first round of the playoffs. It would have worked but stagnation is no way to run a team. Nashville needed a new voice. Combined with the right personnel moves, this could yield some pretty big results.
  3. Can't remember the last time we were this pathetic

    Prior posters have said it well. The team is missing three of its normal centers (Helm, Weiss, Andy), and what amounts to three of its nominal top six (Franzen, Z, Helm). That's an entire scoring line, gone. Add to that the extraordinary significance of missing Dekeyser on an otherwise weak defense corps, and it's no surprise that the team isn't generating offense. Find me another team in the league that could handle losing that amount of firepower without missing a step or two. You won't, with the possible exception of Chicago and Pittsburgh. This team iced a power play line the other night of Eaves-Tatar-Cleary. That was the #2 power play unit. Consider that for a moment, and wonder why a goal wasn't scored. Things will turn around when bodies start coming off the IR list. There will still be a glut of talentless, worn-out fourth-liners like Cleary and Sammy, but at least there will be some firepower to help balance it out. I'd rather see the team styled after the Ducks/Bruins former cup-winning squads and have some proper grit on the bottom six as opposed to this can't-score-but-can't-hit-either mashup of soft players without offensive acumen. It's not in the cards this season.
  4. Vanek Traded To Islanders

    I'm just surprised that Snow would pick Moulson of all people to deal, and that Regier wanted him. Legitimate chemistry with an elite scorer isn't exactly the most common thing in the world. How many players have played insanely well alongside a particular individual and otherwise had unremarkable careers? Cheechoo comes to mind. Just seems risky to me. Matt Moulson is a good hockey player, but his 30-goal days may be at an end without Tavares at center.
  5. buffalo and toronto fight

    Not really comparable. He did go, yeah, but with someone in his weight class after everyone else had paired off. He's got no business under any circumstances dropping the gloves with Scott and he knew it.
  6. buffalo and toronto fight

    There was no fighter on the ice for Toronto. The forwards were Ashton, Bozak, and Kessel. Who exactly should have dropped their gloves and fought Scott when he elected to jump Kessel? What good would it have done for them to go after him once he got out of the penalty box and Kessel had has his ass kicked and potentially been hurt? This isn't like when Maguire jumped Yzerman and Probert was right there to get instant vengeance. It's all well and good to say "fighters fight fighters" but that's not how the situation developed. Kessel was entitled to use a force multiplier to defend himself.
  7. buffalo and toronto fight

    Nothing wrong with Kessel chopping away. When you're the leading offensive threat on your team and a guy eight inches taller without an ounce of skill to his name decides to grab you, you take whatever measures are necessary to defend yourself. If it means hacking a guy hard enough to break his ankle, so be it. The spear at the end was a little over the top, though. The Wings will be seeing John Scott often this season. If Z (for example) finds himself in this situation and has to two-hand the guy hard enough to break a stick, more power to him; he has more sticks, but only one body.
  8. 9/21 Pre-Season GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:00 EST

    Having attended the game, this was unfortunately a bit of a snoozer. Regardless, if anyone's interested in impressions... The good: -Weiss looked reasonably effective and saw ice time on both special teams. He is ridiculously good at retaining possession but came off as a puck hog and needs to make better decisions on when to pass. -Jarnkrok looked great. Played a good north-south game and was visible. -Ditto Nyquist. He has a knack for forcing the play and created some great chances. Drew a penalty after intercepting an aerial breakout pass and giving himself a mini-breakaway. Half the crowd was hollering for a penalty shot. -Franzen was excellent. Made some very smart, cerebral plays and put in a good effort. -Bert did fairly well in his scrap and wanted to go again with Caron later in the game. He maintained strong possession in the zone but made a very unfortunate gaffe that ended with the Wings taking a penalty. Bert hung on to the puck too long, and when he was stripped of it a 2-on-1 was created, which led to either Smith or Ouellet taking a penalty (I forget who). -Sproul and Ouellet were very strong after their first couple of shifts and did not look out of place at all. Both certainly have the look of future players in the league. One of the two (couldn't tell) delivered a ridiculous hip check, which may have been the only good hit the Wings laid on the whole game. -I did not notice Quincey and Lashoff much, which I consider a good thing. -Dekeyser was strong and appeared to be the best defenseman the Wings dressed tonight. -Both Wings goaltenders played well. Gus was effective but badly overplayed the first goal and injured his groin attempting to compensate. It's the sort of mistake I'd expect from someone who hasn't seen much game action in a while. -Emmerton had a strong game. I'm starting to like him. The bad: -The entire team struggled badly with the Boston forecheck. Breakouts were bad. It brought back memories of the early going last season. This was particularly bad for the first 5-10 minutes of the game. Several breakout attempts landed directly on a Boston stick. -The team didn't do a good job of getting pucks to the net. Johnson was not really challenged for long stretches. A number of opportunities came from the point, but mid- and low-slot chances were few and far between. -The power play was dreadful. -Smith was absolutely horrible. He was a stumbling, falling mess and turned the puck over a few times in the defensive end. -Cleary was distinctly mediocre, but did put in a good effort. -Something seems to have happened to Ferraro. He was having a good game until he took a BS penalty in the first, and I felt like he barely appeared the rest of the game. -Andersson had zero luck. He had a couple of great opportunities that he couldn't put home. -Jurco seemed a bit lost and outmatched.