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Wings Have To Toughen Up Soon


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#1 sputman

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:13 AM

http://www.freep.com...toughen-up-soon

We all know Detroit is a blue-collar town. We also know the Red Wings have been the best franchise in Detroit for a long time. However, it is becoming increasing obvious that the Wings have become way too comfortable in the spa-like atmosphere.

This current team lack heart and toughness. Night after night, teams play the Wings with no fear of being hit or having to face anyone that would constitute an enforcer. Holland, a good GM, is a nice guy who apparently likes to surround himself with similar type players. That's good for team harmony and prevents players from stirring the pot. But it makes for boring hockey and makes it watch as teams push the Wings around.

Game after game, the Wings' opponent know they can punch players in front of their own net without repercussion. It is embarrassing to watch and must get under the skin of Hockeytown Heroes like Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Joe Kocur, Darren McCarty and guys that played with heart like Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

I know the salary cap forces teams to keep players that are not truly NHL caliber. For example, the Wings have Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom. They constantly take dumb penalties and give the puck away like it is the object of the game. Johan Franzen leads the team in goals but doesn't show up every night and, although he is one of the biggest players on the ice, is as soft as they come.

This is Detroit, the home of Joe Louis and Detroit Muscle. It is long past time to draft more North American players that play with heart and would do anything to win the Stanley Cup. Remember Stevie Yzerman playing on his busted up leg, trying to win? Do you see any one with that type of heart on this team?

There are some bright spots with the likes of Darren Helm, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and, of course, Nicklas Lidstrom. But does this team have the heart and toughness to win it all? I think not. However, there is hope. A trade or two could improve the heart of this club. Yes they have had lots of injuries, but that is part of the game.

Wouldn't die-hard Red Wings fans like to see more players like Howe, Lindsay, Kocur, McCarty, Shanahan, Bob Probert, Martin Lapointe in the lineup. Let's hope the "Holland House" becomes a thing of the past real soon.



sure this is one person with his own opinion, but i call derp on this article.

first off, i am pro-enforcer and i do get tired of watching the players i love get smacked around. even players who don't normally play with a chip get a lot chippier against the wings (jordan staal, you so tough). kostopoulos should have been pounded into pulp. but that didn't happen and won't - this year, and maybe next, and maybe never. and that's a shame.

but to say that these players have no heart is ridiculous. sure, we don't have an extreme example of somebody playing on a knee with no cartilage, needing to use his stick to prop himself up off of the ice. that's symbolic. but i'd say this team has plenty of heart - more than most if not all other teams. brad stuart comes immediately to mind. he takes a slapshot off of the back of his head, misses a few games, comes back, has his jaw broken by a nasty hit (insert enforcer rant here). while walking off of the ice he slams his stick not because of the pain but because he knows he'll be out for a long, long time. these guys want to play and win, and yeah they can be frustrating to watch sometimes when it seems they forget how good they are, but they're hustling their asses off on both ends of the ice.

toughness is another thing. i think the idea of what is consider "tough" gets blurry in a game where fighting is allowed and expected. this team throws their weight around plenty, leading games in hits very frequently. after-whistle scrums and stupid roughing penalties are not tough.

i grew up watching the wings kick the living crap out of everybody and it was fun to watch! but they sure didn't win much. now, they're perennial contenders and the envy of every team in the league as far as management and work ethic. can we have both?
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#2 VM1138

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:35 AM

I don't understand. They're not the Broad Street Bullies but they do hit in about even numbers with their opponents. When they play a tough team they usually step it up and often outhit them (Anaheim, for example). And to say they play with no heart is ridiculous. When the games matter they throw it all on the line. Anyone who watches them recognizes their patented 3rd period comebacks. They may not play 100% all of the time, but they never, ever give up and usually find ways to grind out wins.
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#3 Din758

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:35 AM

Nice post. Agreed with everything said here. Does this guy realize that this is year and last year (i think) are the first couple of seasons in a while where we havent had an enforcer? Weve had may, and downey around the last few years to help keep the cheap shots away. I believe the wings will have some enforcer type players coming up in abby (who also brings skill to the table) and callahan. nothing to worry about here.

Im sick of these teams who come in with 4 roster spots of goons and think theyre the s***. ill take the banners over PIM all day long baby.
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#4 titanium2

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:37 AM

So how goes that Freep experiment with letting random people write for you guys?

#5 Esquire

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:45 AM

I think it's this Wing fan who's become "way too comfortable in the spa-like atmosphere".

19 seasons of playoffs among other accolades and they still feel the need to nit pick. Sure old players watching may get angry with seeing guys get pushed around but in the words of Biggie: things done changed.

IMO, I prefer the way things are now. Sure there are times when I wish that we'd drop the gloves but I think that having a "tough guy" in the lineup doesn't always ensure the safety of your players. Just my opinion though.

Come to think of it, this article doesn't really connect the authors reason for wanting toughness to anything other than seeming like it's just venting. I mean, we're winning and we haven't had any players out of the lineup due to headhunting so the reason for wanting toughness is...?
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#6 luvmnger

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

the old wings had fighters that also contributed, and avoided the "stupid" penalties.

while i do enjoy the cup wins, i also favor the gritty edge a "smart" enforcer brings and would sacrifice a role player to fill this gap.

lucic, and konopka come to mind.

every year we get abused in the late season and playoffs, and this takes its toll. what if someone jumped malkin after his attack on Z and beat him down, causing the mandatory game suspension for both?

malkin had 2 goals in the game 6 that changed the momentum.

or what about the spearing of lidstrom during the blackhawk game?

enforcers change the game to a degree, they don't prevent injuries, but they keep the cheap shots at bay. players don't run goalies all game long if we have an enforcer watching over the herd.

would kostopolos have run stuart if he knew he was going to get run down later that game? who knows. but i think his mindset would have been slightly altered if D-mac was rotating shifts and collecting teeth.

i love the domination of our wings team, but i hate seeing cheap s*** hits to wear down or sideline our players for the long haul. checking is designed to wear players down by nature, but the little extra, needs to stop.

so, to summarize...the wings don't need a goon, they need a heart and soul with a big bag of knuckles and a knack for scoring more than once every 9 months.

these players don't grow on trees, i know, but they still exist, and we need to step up and get one.
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#7 newfy

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:10 AM

I agree on some points and dont on others. Do I think it would be worth taking Miller and Drapers salary coming off the books next year and invest in someone like a Chris Neil, Jared Boll, Rupp or Kenopka? Yeah I really do, but I dont think we should have an Eric Godard.

People say the wings dont have that type of a team, but replacing guys on the lower lines like Miller with this type of player could really only help the team, I wish we would draft a Chris Stewart type player sometime just to see how it works out but I dont see the wings doing that sadly.

Callahan, Smith and Abdelkader should be on this team for a good chunk of the future, Abdelkader isn't really playing that tough lately but I think he has potential. Smith and Callahan are both tougher players then Abby so they will really give this team a boost.

the old wings had fighters that also contributed, and avoided the "stupid" penalties.

while i do enjoy the cup wins, i also favor the gritty edge a "smart" enforcer brings and would sacrifice a role player to fill this gap.

lucic, and konopka come to mind.

every year we get abused in the late season and playoffs, and this takes its toll. what if someone jumped malkin after his attack on Z and beat him down, causing the mandatory game suspension for both?

malkin had 2 goals in the game 6 that changed the momentum.

or what about the spearing of lidstrom during the blackhawk game?

enforcers change the game to a degree, they don't prevent injuries, but they keep the cheap shots at bay. players don't run goalies all game long if we have an enforcer watching over the herd.

would kostopolos have run stuart if he knew he was going to get run down later that game? who knows. but i think his mindset would have been slightly altered if D-mac was rotating shifts and collecting teeth.

i love the domination of our wings team, but i hate seeing cheap s*** hits to wear down or sideline our players for the long haul. checking is designed to wear players down by nature, but the little extra, needs to stop.

so, to summarize...the wings don't need a goon, they need a heart and soul with a big bag of knuckles and a knack for scoring more than once every 9 months.

these players don't grow on trees, i know, but they still exist, and we need to step up and get one.

This is how I feel about the topic exactly. I think it needs to be clear here, NOONE IS SAYING ENFORCER. Just a bit grittier in the bottom 6 will help this team in the long run, no team is perfect. Guys that can play the game and play tough aren't as hard to find as everyone tries to say. Konopka is making peanuts and I really wanted the wings to sign him last year, same with Rupp the year before that.

RIP BOB PROBERT #24


#8 Konnan511

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:25 AM

The whole "having a fighter/tough guy stops players from taking cheapshots on your team", is just a myth.

I'm all for a guy who puts up 20+ points, isn't a defense liability, and fights on occasion. But just cause a player fights, it doesn't mean it should should give that guy an extra million ala Neil.

Stuart would still be injured whether this team had Tie Domi or the Stay Puft Man. Stupid players are going to do stupid things regardless of who is on the other team.

And yes, players of the opposing teams aren't scared of being hit by any Wings, but they are scared or having the puck picked right of their stick and having that puck go the other way for a goal. Forechecking doesn't have to be be about hitting, all it has to do is force the other team to cause turnovers, and a healthy Wings team does that almost as good as any other team in the league, if not better due solely to Datsyuk with great forecheckers Filppula/Zetterberg/Cleary/Helm etc.

This team doesn't need toughness. It may want it, but it doesn't HAVE to have it. They needs guys who want and need to compete night in and night out.
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#9 VM1138

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:01 PM

Exactly. Last time I checked it takes two to tango. Teams like Anaheim and Philly don't scare other teams into submission, because people still hit them and engage in fights with them.

Gritty is really entertaining, if we're talking grit and not enforcers, but I tend to think out bottom 6 is pretty gritty. I don't see grit has pure hitting, though. I look at Helm digging in the corners and holding off three guys to make the play as grit.
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#10 Crymson

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:05 PM

every year we get abused in the late season and playoffs, and this takes its toll. what if someone jumped malkin after his attack on Z and beat him down, causing the mandatory game suspension for both?

malkin had 2 goals in the game 6 that changed the momentum.


Malkin avoided that suspension because he's a star. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. The NHL front office made a fool of itself. That said, Malkin was successful in the first four games because Datsyuk wasn't around. He didn't have a single point after Datsyuk returned to the roster.

or what about the spearing of lidstrom during the blackhawk game?


Accidental.

#11 Nev

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:17 PM

The whole "having a fighter/tough guy stops players from taking cheapshots on your team", is just a myth.

I'm all for a guy who puts up 20+ points, isn't a defense liability, and fights on occasion. But just cause a player fights, it doesn't mean it should should give that guy an extra million ala Neil.

Stuart would still be injured whether this team had Tie Domi or the Stay Puft Man. Stupid players are going to do stupid things regardless of who is on the other team.

And yes, players of the opposing teams aren't scared of being hit by any Wings, but they are scared or having the puck picked right of their stick and having that puck go the other way for a goal. Forechecking doesn't have to be be about hitting, all it has to do is force the other team to cause turnovers, and a healthy Wings team does that almost as good as any other team in the league, if not better due solely to Datsyuk with great forecheckers Filppula/Zetterberg/Cleary/Helm etc.

This team doesn't need toughness. It may want it, but it doesn't HAVE to have it. They needs guys who want and need to compete night in and night out.


This, this, this, this and this.



As for the article, who knew ESAD wrote for the Freep now?


It is long past time to draft more North American players that play with heart and would do anything to win the Stanley Cup


This is so moronic I can barely bring myself to comment on it. By this logic Jason Williams has more heart than Thomas Holmstrom purely because of the continent he was born on?
"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk

#12 esteef

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:17 PM

1. Fighting and winning are not mutually exclusive.

2. Having a fighter(s) does deter some cheap s***, though not all.

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#13 newfy

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:28 PM

The whole "having a fighter/tough guy stops players from taking cheapshots on your team", is just a myth.

I'm all for a guy who puts up 20+ points, isn't a defense liability, and fights on occasion. But just cause a player fights, it doesn't mean it should should give that guy an extra million ala Neil.

Stuart would still be injured whether this team had Tie Domi or the Stay Puft Man. Stupid players are going to do stupid things regardless of who is on the other team.

And yes, players of the opposing teams aren't scared of being hit by any Wings, but they are scared or having the puck picked right of their stick and having that puck go the other way for a goal. Forechecking doesn't have to be be about hitting, all it has to do is force the other team to cause turnovers, and a healthy Wings team does that almost as good as any other team in the league, if not better due solely to Datsyuk with great forecheckers Filppula/Zetterberg/Cleary/Helm etc.

This team doesn't need toughness. It may want it, but it doesn't HAVE to have it. They needs guys who want and need to compete night in and night out.

Noone really gets scared of having the puck picked though, that is not intimidating. Datsyuk gets into guys heads by taking the puck away, but is Drew Miller really scaring anyone? Not at all.

Konopka or Rupp (since you said Neil makes to much I wont use him as an example) would actually scare guys when they are constantly hitting them hard.

I think what a lot of people dont get is that noone is saying trade away Datsyuk or Z for guys like this, but when you have plugs to fill in the lineup, why not fill them with a Konopka instead of a Miller who actually provides something this team doesn't have?

Its not really about stopping the really dumb players from playing tough, but like Babcock says, it starts to get tiring when ******* start acting tough against the wings. (I know not his exact words)

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#14 Frozen-Man

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:36 PM

Wouldn't die-hard Red Wings fans like to see more players like Howe, Lindsay, Kocur, McCarty, Shanahan, Bob Probert, Martin Lapointe in the lineup. Let's hope the "Holland House" becomes a thing of the past real soon.


:lol: Seriously? Yes and they would also like a few more guys like Steve Yzerman and Sergei Federov. I understand wanting some tough players but honestly what team wouldn't want any of those guys on their team. Interesting that those guys played here in the no cap day. I would like to have a tough player who would drop the gloves but I don't think a future HOFer Shanny fits in the cap structure. :rolleyes:

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#15 GMRwings1983

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:59 PM

What upsets me more than anything, is when Janssen hits Kronwall with a cheapshot, or Kostopoupus injuring Stuart, and no one does anything about it. These guys are supposed to be friends and teammates, yet they don't do a good job of standing up for each other in those situations. I know that wouldn't change the outcome of those injuries or games, but it'd be nice to show somef****** backbone in those scenarios and go after the guy who did it. I think that probably upsets guys like Lindsay and Kocur more than anything else.

Edited by GMRwings1983, 24 January 2011 - 12:59 PM.

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#16 eva unit zero

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:11 PM

I feel stupider for having read an article suggesting that filling our roster with guys like Martin Lapointe is the key to winning the Stanley Cup.
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#17 Selliria

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:25 PM

I'm gonna say the same thing I always say when the "enforcer" type arguments come out.

When the Wings stop being a top contending team every year, I'll worry about it.

#18 newfy

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:55 PM

I'm gonna say the same thing I always say when the "enforcer" type arguments come out.

When the Wings stop being a top contending team every year, I'll worry about it.

This isnt an enforcer debate, this is some tough hockey players that will lay guys out when theyre out there during their bottom 6 minutes and that will at least stick up for one another every now and then.

Drake was HUGE for us in the 08 run to the cup and he played like a man possessed physically, this team could use another guy like that

RIP BOB PROBERT #24


#19 sputman

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:57 PM

these players don't grow on trees, i know, but they still exist, and we need to step up and get one.


that's the problem - these players are well liked by their team and management and are rarely available.

i should have said "pro-tough guy" as opposed to "pro-enforcer" because i don't want some one-dimensional goon sack out there trying to find somebody to fight. i just want the other teams to be afraid to take liberties on our players, or at least second-guess it. right now it's carte blanche.
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#20 Selliria

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

This isnt an enforcer debate, this is some tough hockey players that will lay guys out when theyre out there during their bottom 6 minutes and that will at least stick up for one another every now and then.

Drake was HUGE for us in the 08 run to the cup and he played like a man possessed physically, this team could use another guy like that


I said "enforcer" type for lack of a better term for it. I know this isn't an actual enforcer debate.

I can see how having a tough guy on the team would help, but it doesn't really bother me if we don't grab one simply because I don't feel that we need one to be successful. We have our system and even though it has its flaws, it works.

If we do get one, great. I'm all for it. If we don't, I'm not that worried about it. And I certainly don't think it's as big of an issue as the article made it out to be.





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