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Has the NHL Competition Caught Up To Wings Since 07/08?


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#1 LeonardSankar

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:47 AM

Well back in 07/08 when the playoffs started the only team I feared that could take down the Wings in the West was San Jose and fortunately they got knocked off by Dallas and then in the East the only real threat was Pittsburgh but thankfully the Wings were more experienced & balanced and thus the Penguins weren't ready to take down the Wings just yet.

But now we move ahead to this year all you have to do is look at the standings in the West and see all the teams bunched together to go along with having to look up at Minnesota & Chicago in the standings and you have to wonder whether or not the Wings can handle all this fierce competition that they didn't have in their last Cup win.

To make matters worse not only are the teams around the Wings getting better but the Wings have regressed in all phases since 07/08 as the only real area that has gotten better maybe is Jimmy Howard has provided some game stealing goaltending but thats not necessarily a good thing as back in 07/08 the goalies didn't have to steal games as they kept the shots very low. But now this teams scoring has regressed and the defensive game is not what it used to be as the PK stinks and they continue to give up way too many shots/chances on goal and thus instead of running away with the Presidents trophy like they did in 07/08 they are clinging to 4th place in the conference and not too far from 9th.

This teams regression can be illustrated in the fact that the last 2 playoff years they have had to start series on the road which is something that hadn't been done since 2000.

#2 rick zombo

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

Well back in 07/08 when the playoffs started the only team I feared that could take down the Wings in the West was San Jose and fortunately they got knocked off by Dallas and then in the East the only real threat was Pittsburgh but thankfully the Wings were more experienced & balanced and thus the Penguins weren't ready to take down the Wings just yet.

But now we move ahead to this year all you have to do is look at the standings in the West and see all the teams bunched together to go along with having to look up at Minnesota & Chicago in the standings and you have to wonder whether or not the Wings can handle all this fierce competition that they didn't have in their last Cup win.

To make matters worse not only are the teams around the Wings getting better but the Wings have regressed in all phases since 07/08 as the only real area that has gotten better maybe is Jimmy Howard has provided some game stealing goaltending but thats not necessarily a good thing as back in 07/08 the goalies didn't have to steal games as they kept the shots very low. But now this teams scoring has regressed and the defensive game is not what it used to be as the PK stinks and they continue to give up way too many shots/chances on goal and thus instead of running away with the Presidents trophy like they did in 07/08 they are clinging to 4th place in the conference and not too far from 9th.

This teams regression can be illustrated in the fact that the last 2 playoff years they have had to start series on the road which is something that hadn't been done since 2000.


The league is finally getting the parity they wanted.

I would also like to add that the Wings trail only the Blues in fewest shots allowed per game. Also they are third in the league in goal differential at +21.
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#3 LeonardSankar

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 01:30 PM

The league is finally getting the parity they wanted.

I would also like to add that the Wings trail only the Blues in fewest shots allowed per game. Also they are third in the league in goal differential at +21.


I think all the league wants is someone like Cindy Crybaby to hoist another Cup as they value him over any team/player in the game.

I guess the Wings main weaknesses right now are PK and inconsistent scoring as some nights they are great and others they are lucky to get anything.

But if the Wings were to regain their 07/08 form then I think they cannot be beaten as they were that dominant but our team is a far cry from that great squad.

#4 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 01:33 PM

No shame in not being as good as the '08 (or '09) teams; those teams were incredible.
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#5 Red Wings Addict

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

Of course.

I think we all tend to make comparisons to the way the Wings played in 08 way too much; the players included. Sometimes that comparison just isn't plausible.

#6 unsaddleddonald

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:58 PM

You make very valid points.

I think a lot of it is that high end talent has arrived in which in 07/08 we were playing against a bunch of kids. Those kids have grown up in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philadelphia, etc. In hockey, unless you are the Blue Jackets, it is tough to not draft really good players if you are drafting high. That is what those teams did and the payoff is showing up now.

San Jose is different in that they have made moves on top of the fact that they have found gems (Couture doesn't count because he was a top 10-ish pick that they got from St. Louis somehow....).

The Red Wings haven't made a big trade/acquisition (not including Hossa) in a while mostly due to the fact that if it ain't broke don't fix it.

But, as you documented, our scoring needs a tune-up. It is weird though, because even though we finished 2nd (?) overall in goals scored last year, who could you REALLY count on to score? Franzen when he felt like it? Pav when he wanted to shoot? Hank?

Fact is we haven't had a PURE goal scorer (not to mention a 30-goal scorer) since Hossa and before that it was Shanny? All those teams that we "fear" have a guy or two or three who can net 30-40 goals. We have an iffy one (Franzen) As much as I love and appreciate them, Hank and Pav are PLAYMAKERS and not GOAL SCORERS.

#7 evil204

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:09 PM

But how many of these goal-scorers actually score at playoff time? Crosby and Ovechkin get shut down by good defensive teams. Hossa scored in 3 games during our 2009 run. I didn't really feel like goal scoring was an issue in our last two playoff runs.

But, as you documented, our scoring needs a tune-up. It is weird though, because even though we finished 2nd (?) overall in goals scored last year, who could you REALLY count on to score? Franzen when he felt like it? Pav when he wanted to shoot? Hank?

Fact is we haven't had a PURE goal scorer (not to mention a 30-goal scorer) since Hossa and before that it was Shanny? All those teams that we "fear" have a guy or two or three who can net 30-40 goals. We have an iffy one (Franzen) As much as I love and appreciate them, Hank and Pav are PLAYMAKERS and not GOAL SCORERS.



#8 syntax

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

Yes, forced league parity has caught up with the Wings.

Cross your fingers for a soft cap with luxury tax.
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#9 unsaddleddonald

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:04 PM

But how many of these goal-scorers actually score at playoff time? Crosby and Ovechkin get shut down by good defensive teams. Hossa scored in 3 games during our 2009 run. I didn't really feel like goal scoring was an issue in our last two playoff runs.


I'll be more specific in saying TIMELY goal scoring. Against San Jose, where was Dan Cleary, Filppula, Hudler, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom? In that series, if Pav and Hank weren't on the ice we wouldn't score. Think of those guys (besides seemingly Filppula who is FINALLY doing what we expected): when they score it is icing on the cake, but they aren't guys who you can depend on to score when we REALLY need it.

#10 GMRwings1983

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:23 PM

You could say the league caught up to us since 2002 as well. It took us six years to win another Cup.

Although, I'm worried about the outlook of this team in five years. I look into the future, and see a blank in all areas except maybe goaltender with Howard.
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#11 Crymson

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:05 AM

I'll be more specific in saying TIMELY goal scoring. Against San Jose, where was Dan Cleary, Filppula, Hudler, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom? In that series, if Pav and Hank weren't on the ice we wouldn't score. Think of those guys (besides seemingly Filppula who is FINALLY doing what we expected): when they score it is icing on the cake, but they aren't guys who you can depend on to score when we REALLY need it.


Timely goal-scoring? Hmm... well, let's see. Helm in game four. Holmstrom in game five. Cleary in game five. Filppula in game six. Lidstrom the entire series. And so on.

Hudler was horrendous.

#12 unsaddleddonald

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:24 AM

Timely goal-scoring? Hmm... well, let's see. Helm in game four. Holmstrom in game five. Cleary in game five. Filppula in game six. Lidstrom the entire series. And so on.

Hudler was horrendous.


Counter-point is that we lost the series. So obviously there wasn't enough of it.

#13 dragonballgtz

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:38 AM

Timely goal-scoring? Hmm... well, let's see. Helm in game four. Holmstrom in game five. Cleary in game five. Filppula in game six. Lidstrom the entire series. And so on.

Hudler was horrendous.

Would've been nice if they helped out earlier in the series. Helm and Flip were going in the first round but come SJ they were just invisible for the most part of the series. They had one good game each and that was about it.

#14 unsaddleddonald

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:43 AM

Would've been nice if they helped out earlier in the series. Helm and Flip were going in the first round but come SJ they were just invisible for the most part of the series. They had one good game each and that was about it.


My point exactly!

You EXPECT Pav and Hank and Mule to produce.

You don't EXPECT Cleary to produce, or Hudler, or Bertuzzi, or Holmstrom, or Helm, etc. You'll take anything you can get with these guys and they play their butts off (most of them), but they CANNOT be heavily leaned on to score.

We need another guy or two that we EXPECT to put up points. Hossa had a crappy playoffs for us, but we expected him to score every night. That is the type of player we need to add.

#15 VM1138

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:00 AM

The 08/09 teams were unreal. And like someone said, Pittsburgh and Chicago were untested and young. I still think we would have Chicago's number in a playoff series, but Pittsburgh has really become dominant overall. Not as consistent as the Wings but still very, very good.

Most of the teams have vastly improved, at least in the regular season. But look at it this way: How many teams do you actually see having a chance to make the Finals? Not many. It's still a small league of elite teams: Detroit, San Jose, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc.

So in that sense, I don't think the whole league has caught up, but San Jose and Pittsburgh have really responded to Wings dominance well by making some changes over the years. And obviously San Jose being coached by McClellan and aping the Wings style helps.

Those are the only two teams I see giving the Wings any serious trouble.
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#16 LeonardSankar

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:51 PM

Well what would help the Wings greatly is if Zetterberg would return to the Hank of old e.g. the one who produced points.

Also what would help is if the people whom they brought through the organization would develop alot faster as only now is Valteri Fillupla is only now starting to produce with consistency and Jiri Hudler has been useless since he returned from the KHL. It would be nice if Brendan Smith could step in and play right away and be dominant as they are having more difficult times bringing in and developing consistent point producers.

#17 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 04:18 PM

Timely goal-scoring? Hmm... well, let's see. Helm in game four. Holmstrom in game five. Cleary in game five. Filppula in game six. Lidstrom the entire series. And so on.

Hudler was horrendous.


Guess you also have to count the only Wing to score in game 7 of the 09 Finals.
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#18 DMAC 25

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 06:52 PM

You could say the league caught up to us since 2002 as well. It took us six years to win another Cup.

Although, I'm worried about the outlook of this team in five years. I look into the future, and see a blank in all areas except maybe goaltender with Howard.

have faith in holland damn it! haha i see where your coming from but the wings have solid young players coming up. sure their not going to be another lidstrom by any means but getting the younger players out there and playing with guys like lids, pavel and Z is only going to benefit them in the future. we may not be the best team in the league in 5 years but we will still be able to compete

#19 Buppy

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:42 PM

My point exactly!

You EXPECT Pav and Hank and Mule to produce.

You don't EXPECT Cleary to produce, or Hudler, or Bertuzzi, or Holmstrom, or Helm, etc. You'll take anything you can get with these guys and they play their butts off (most of them), but they CANNOT be heavily leaned on to score.

We need another guy or two that we EXPECT to put up points. Hossa had a crappy playoffs for us, but we expected him to score every night. That is the type of player we need to add.

I disagree. While we shouldn't expect Cleary, Hudler, Flip (though that may be changing), Bert, or Homer to each score every game (Mule too, for that matter), they are good enough that we should expect at least one of them to score in any given game. We can also expect more offense from our defensemen than most other teams. Helm, Abby, Miller, Eaves, etc. are the guys where you take what you get.

Our secondary scoring is among the best in the league. We're now up to 5th in the leauge in scoring, even after the poor starts for Pav and Hank and almost a quarter of our season where we could barely buy a goal.

It was a problem against San Jose (and San Jose's was against Vancouver), but "didn't" doesn't necessarily mean "couldn't". 12 games is still a pretty small sample size.

We have the ability to add another top-6 forward, so we should certainly explore that option, but we don't really need it.

#20 VM1138

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:05 PM

have faith in holland damn it! haha i see where your coming from but the wings have solid young players coming up. sure their not going to be another lidstrom by any means but getting the younger players out there and playing with guys like lids, pavel and Z is only going to benefit them in the future. we may not be the best team in the league in 5 years but we will still be able to compete


People tend to forget that we're not going to be replacing everyone with prospects. There will be trades and off-season signings. The team will stay among the elites in the worst case scenario. Best case is every couple years we'll have a signing that puts us over the top. Holland is very good at handling transitions. Remember, the world was falling apart in 2006 and some people complained the team would become a bottom feeder.
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