From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...s#ixzz1e2jmm2Zr
I echo pretty much everything which has been said in this thread. The thing is though, what can we really expect to happen? We have a coach who can't seem to motivate his players. A GM who has seemingly has no inclination in making any real changes to his roster. I think Babs and Kenny are excellent at what they do. However, perhaps like the players, they may also be guilty of being too complacent. Winning does that. They are human. They win and then they lose that fire. The motivation it takes to win. Truth be told, this team has been in a downward spiral since they lost to the Pens in 2009. Even that year with all the talent, they would take nights off and look disinterested. The difference back then was they had the talent level where they could turn it on and win games they had no business winning. Now they do not have that edge in talent. They get outworked and they lose. They win a few games and become content and then crap the bed again. It's frustrating seeing them play like this.
Then I think how spoiled we are as Wings fans. We've seen them win 4 Cups in the past 15 years. They have made the playoffs every year for 2 decades. But it's no secret why we are a .500 team now. We have 3 legit top 6 forwards in Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen. All 3 are having awful years. So who picks up the slack. A poster alluded to the fact that the Sharks have a better top 6 group of forwards than we do. Most of the top teams also have an edge on us in this regard. So we don't match-up. Our once vaunted 3rd and 4th line depth no longer scares anyone. We used to be a feared team to play against. The Sharks even said they enjoyed playing the Red Wings. I would too if I beat them each time I played them.
The Wings are a very predictable team to play against. Our opponents know they will not have to pay a price physically. They know on most nights our power play will not hurt them. They know they can out work our forwards and dmen in the corners. They know that if they get point shots through there will be juicy rebounds to pounce on. They know we will give up odd man rushes for scoring chances. They know our compete level is going to be average. So if a team knows all this, how can they not WANT to play the Red Wings?
The Wings as a team show their cards when they play. You can just see it. It's like they still view themselves the elite of the elite. Like all teams have to bow down to the Red Wings because they are inferior. So we just show up, get our token road goal and 1-0 lead and then that's it. The other team then takes over and looks like the '84 Oilers the rest of the night. Then they lose a game like they did to the Sharks and the post game comments are always the same. We have to do this. We have to do that. We know what do do, we just have to do it.
But they don't do they? And when they do start doing those things, we all smile and say WE KNEW THEY STILL HAD IT IN THEM. I think they do still have it in them but not for long enough. They get too in love with themselves and the pattern starts all over again. It's like the movie Groundhog Day. Holland is Bill Murray. Same team, same day, same result. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. This is where this team is now. We may be good enough to win enough games to get into the playoffs. But does anyone REALLY think we can go any farther than the second round? With Bertuzzi and Holmstrom as top 6 forwards? Cleary? We have 1 legit scoring line with Dats, Z and Mule. That's if they are playing anything close to their capabilities. The rest of the team are made up of 3rd and 4th line players.
Our D does miss Rafalski like we all knew we would. White has fit in well, I've been happy with his play. Nick has been outstanding as usual but he can't do it all by himself. We need guys like Kronwall, Hudler, Ericsson, Fillpula, Helm, Abdelkader and Cleary to step up but they aren't. Even if Dats, Z and Mule start playing well again, if we don't have proper balance we're not going anywhere anyway.
I know I'm negative here but this is what I see. I want to be positive about this team. I just don't see much reason for optimism right now with this group. They say all the right things but they rarely do it. Losing doesn't seem to bother them. I guess when you know your roster spot is safe no matter how bad you play then why worry right? I'll still watch the games of course and hope they can turn things around and be that team they once were not so long ago. One which played with heart and had great chemistry and fed off each other. But I know this team. They are going through the motions and do not play well enough for long enough to sustain any real momentum. We're a .500 hockey team now. May as well accept it.