Thoughts at the halfway mark
Posted 03 January 2008 - 06:43 PM
While I wish the Wings could have performed better against their own division so far, in the overall perspective so far this season we still couldn't ask for much/anything more. In the grand scheme of things, the Wings have been ridiculously good.
The Wings have added some more toughness and guys willing to stand up for players in a more primary role in Drake and Downey. Perhaps not the greatest and elite and doing such things but the way people have moaned and yelled about this forever, whether it's legit or overdramatized, it's definitely better than nothing.
The big three on offense have been performing splendidly, same as Lidstrom.
Albeit from a brainfart pass every now and again, Rafalski has definitely been worth the signing, espeically on the powerplay.
Secondary scoring took a while, but it's going really well now in Rex and Flipper and Cleary now Franzen a bit. Hopefully this can keep up and Samuelsson can get himself going more consistently and they will be really tough to be offensively.
Osgood has performed phenomenal when Hasek was struggling early and hasn't dropped his play at all. And Hasek has gotten going recently as well. They have two very capable goaltenders presently that can play a major part in determining the Wings success in the postseason (much more positively than negatively I think).
Overall, I'm fairly content with the defense, but it wouldn't hurt to not necessarily add a bruiser, but somewhere from a 3rd - 5th guy on defense who isn't afraid to throw his body around (if realisitc within the salary cap and such, sorry I'm not good with names and suggestions).
They have the same mojo as last year's team late in the season and playoffs I think. A team that won't necessarily dominate you physically or continously initiate contact and checks, but they bust their behinds off and skate hard, and will not back down from anybody and aren't afraid to match people in the checking/physical department.
The roster does not need to be tinkered with all that much, if at all. It wouldn't hurt to add a defenseman as I stated above or another guy who is fit to score goals every now and again in a 2nd/3rd line role. Again though, not much (if any) patchwork needs to be done on the roster.
The only thing I worry about in the playoffs is running into the hot goalie syndrome, because at least for now (sorry if I sound too confident or arrogant) think it would be difficult to pick 1 team to beat the Red Wings consistently in a 7-game series. Obviously though much still needs to be determined on the ice and I cautiously am optimistic.
Posted 03 January 2008 - 06:52 PM
Great post, BRTD.
Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:15 AM
The only thing that's hacked me off was that three-game mini slump in November.
I'm still cautiously optimistic. The way the NHL is anything can happen in the second half and the post-season.
Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:36 AM
I know that multiple game series is different than once here and once there. But still, as stated before, they have 14 games down the stretch against the central, and as it is right now they have a horrendous record against the south.
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"When I was looking for a captain, I wanted a guy with the Red Wings crest tattooed on his chest," said former Detroit coach Jacques Demers, who named Yzerman captain in 1986. "Steve Yzerman was that guy."
Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:03 PM
Logically, Babcock is the only choice.
Although, I have a feeling that if the Ducks make the playoffs, the league will decide to award Randy Carlyle with the Jack Adams.
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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:32 PM
Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:43 PM
The Wings have really surprised me thus far. If you look at their starting line up (when everyone is healthy), you would say "Zetterberg should have a break out year... Datsyuk is pretty good... Homer is big on the powerplay... Lids is well, the best... Hasek is the dominator... Osgood is a solid backup... Huds/Flip is alright..." and thats about it. We really dont have a star-studded line up like we have in the past. But everybody is stepping their game up, and everybody looks hungry. I see more hustle out of this team than any other before.
Heres to a great second half of the year boys.
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