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Hockeytown0001

WCQF Game Four GDT : Predators 3 at Red Wings 1

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Huh? You just described his play.

Of the forwards not named Datsyuk and Zetterberg, he's be our best (or least mediocre). He's always strong on the puck, battling and play hard. He's not getting on the score board but that isn't to say he's playing bad. Now he isn't playing great either, but who on the team is? He's still playing a hell of a lot better than Hudler, Bertuzzi, Cleary and Franzen.

I agree with you, but can definitely see something...*off* with how he has been playing this series so far. I don't think he's been nearly as "brutal" (Jesus I had to type that six times to get it right) as some on here are saying he has been this series, but he's definitely having more brain farts since the playoffs started than he did during the regular season. He's been one of my favorite players this year, and I think he still has a lot to offer this team. I think all the calls to trade him are premature and reactionary, but can't help but wonder if he's playing hurt or if he has the yips. Again, not playing badly, just not necessarily playing up to the level I had become comfortable expecting him to play to.

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People wanted him to get traded last offseason, and the year before too. Then he suddenly has a breakout season and everyone loves him again. Then, he has one bad playoff series and everyone wants him gone again. He has too many positive qualities to let him go now. For all we know he could be playing hurt. This is why there are people getting paid a lot of money to make these kinds of decisions.

If flippula plays on the third line because we have a better top 6 that he doesn't fit in, then great, keep him... But he is not a top 6 forward on a Stanley cup winning team. Also, Franzen is a secondary scorer, a very good secondary scorer, but still, he shouldn't be your only shooter. Holland threw this team together and expected everyone to take a big step forward and form some Stanley cup winning top 6 when they just aren't.

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To Howard's defense, before he was injured, he was on pace to be Vezina nominee. I think the injury must be lingering. He has shown flashes of brilliance and really stole some games, like game 2 of this series but today, he was average and with a less than average team of forwards and defence, it ain't going to to it.

Edited by RedWingsRox
King Crane likes this

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To Howard's defense, before he was injured, he was on pace to be Vezina nominee. I thin the injury is lingering. He has shown flashes of brilliance and really stole some games, like game 2 of this series but today, he was average and with a less than average team of forwards and defence, it ain't going to to it.

Second.jpg

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I agree. And Howard played amazing for most of the season prior to being injured. However, that doesn't change or excuse the fact that he has not merely been outplayed by a superior goaltender, but been another layer of soft on an increasing easier team to beat. Simple way to tell how the goaltending his doing, GAA or SV% aside: when you see a decent chance for the opposition developing, do you expect a save or a goal? Every chance Nashville has had this season I have grown to expect in the back of the net, and he hasn't proven me wrong yet.

Howard is not the number one issue on this team, but he is a player that should be playing a great deal better. The Wings were never going to score bushels of goals on Rinne. This series was going to be attrition, but what does allowing 3(4) goals on considerably less shots do for a gameplan that came in expecting few goals against a superior goaltender?

Maybe referencing anything from 2008 with this year's team is flawed from the start, but the same thing happened in the series against Nashville then. Ellis was playing absolutely lights out. The Wings carried territorial play, but every single scoring chance the Preds had, they buried on Hasek. Game 5, Osgood comes in and battles Ellis in a game of attrition. Even after the Preds scored with the goalie pulled at the end, Osgood managed to win 2-1. That year, when the Wings weren't starting on time or sagging with a lead, Osgood stopped the puck. When chances happened I expected him to save them. That's the simple difference.

I mean, I'll give you that he hasn't been playing at the level you expect your goalie to be at in the playoffs. Maybe it's injuries or maybe he is struggling in these odd, lopsided affairs which find him seeing no shots for long stretches followed up by an odd-man rush out of nowhere thanks to blown coverage. But he's playing no worse than anyone else (though at times much better) and maybe that's part of the problem too. Everyone's focus just seems off. Everyone seems frazzled. I don't feel like high shot totals is ever a good sign for this team, because it often means that we're scrambling and less focused on quality and more on quantity, sheerly out of desperation and blind hope for a fluke. But anyways, with so many problems up front and likely in the locker room, perhaps it's just wearing off on Howard as well.

Any way you shake it, top to bottom, these Wings don't look like a playoff team. There's just not a lot of poise, and the desperation looks far too frantic as opposed to, I don't know, focused insatiable hunger perhaps? No one on this team has figured out how to push them over the top yet. Still tough for me to fault Howard. I think he may be a bit off from what he's capable of, but I do think he's capable of it, and I wouldn't be shocked if he rose to the occasion when the rest of the team did as well.

In my mind though, absolutely no goalie would carry this team of skaters to the Cup at this point. I don't care who it is from what era, this TEAM has far too many issues to make a Cup run.

Nev likes this

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The whole Howard issue comes down to break downs, how many turn overs, and odd man rushes have the Red Wings given up compared to Nashville? I can't even recall a clear odd man rush yet. We are sustaining pressure, but the quality of scoring chances are going Nashville's way by a large margin.

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Guys, don't give up on your team. You have every right to be worried and feeling bad about the future of this series, but for god's sake son! Don't give up on your team!

I don't know how some of you can do it, obviously I think our chances of taking this series are slim, but I can't get myself to just count us out.

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Guys, don't give up on your team. You have every right to be worried and feeling bad about the future of this series, but for god's sake son! Don't give up on your team!

I don't know how some of you can do it, obviously I think our chances of taking this series are slim, but I can't get myself to just count us out.

I haven't given up on my team, I've just given up on 2012.

CaliforniaWingsFan and Nev like this

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I gave myself a couple hours before posting after the game. Here are my thoughts after tonight:

1. I hope Lids is still injured. If not his play has taken an astronomical decline the last couple months. He has been at best an average defender and thats hard for me to say as hes been my favorite Wings since I was 10.

2. I dont think I have ever seen a worse defensive breakdown in crunch time of an important game than I saw tonight on Nashvilles game winner. Was Erat really that dangerous that both defenders, a forward, and Howard had to follow him into the corner yet still allow him to pass it to a wide open teammate?

3. Stuart probably had his strongest playoff game tonight but since January he has played like he wants to get to the West coast as soon as possible.

4. It was nice to see Miller and Abdelkader try and make there imprint on the game.

5. Franzen seemed like he wanted to try and play a little bit more than the past 3 games but I wish he would have been a power forward and took that one chance far post instead of trying to be fancy. He goes strong to the other side of the net and he more than likely scores.

6. The only effective net front screen the Wings have had the whole series was .... Jiri Hudler. That tells you how they havnt been able to get to the net.

7. They had a lot of shots this game but I felt very few true scoring chances. Lots of far our shots that were just gloved.

8. Yes Jimmy didnt have his best game tonight. I think that called off goal rattled him a bit. But to say he is a problem is insane. The guy was a Vezina candidate until getting hurt and was the teams top player the last two post seasons. Hes the reason they have the only win this series.

9.The Wings are in a decline. They go from Cup Champs, to losing in the finals, to two straight 2nd round defeats, and then if Nashville closes them out Friday an embarrassing first round exit. Should that happen the team really needs changes. Im not saying blow it up but some players need to be moved on so fresh/young blood can be brought in. What Holland does this offseason will determine whether we have to suffer through 5 more years of playoff mediocrity or playoff success.

Now with that said Im not saying this series is over. The Wings proved last year that they could win three straight facing elimination but this team feels nothing like last years.

Nev likes this

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^ It's useless to make all these arguments regarding Howard.

At the end of the day you're wasting your time as Mike and Kenny will just tell you that Howard made one bad error, and will get over it.

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You gotta wonder how different things would have been if George Parros was on this roster.

Sadly, we'll never know.

I'm not an enforcer fan by any means, but I'd welcome Parros with open arms.

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I JUST SENT A MESSAGE TO KELVIN KLEIN TELLING HIM THAT I WENT TO THE STORE AND PURCHASED KELVIN KLEIN UNDERWARE, THE GUY IS JUST GOING STRICTLY ABOUT BUSINESS, HE WANTS THE ENTIRE WINGS TEAM TO BUY HIS PRODUCT, GET IT DONE BOYS AND WE HAVE THE NEXT GAME SECURED :hehe:

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I JUST SENT A MESSAGE TO KELVIN KLEIN TELLING HIM THAT I WENT TO THE STORE AND PURCHASED KELVIN KLEIN UNDERWARE, THE GUY IS JUST GOING STRICTLY ABOUT BUSINESS, HE WANTS THE ENTIRE WINGS TEAM TO BUY HIS PRODUCT, GET IT DONE BOYS AND WE HAVE THE NEXT GAME SECURED :hehe:

Hopefully he gave Stuart a free pair as Klein made him lose his in Game 3.

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I believe the foundation for a Stanley Cup winning team is here but certain players are being forced into roles that they just aren't cut out for. Flippula is not a scoring winger to be counted on to get goals, you just can't expect him to. It's not from lack of effort, it's his playing style and skill set. He is a very good 3rd line centre though, and centring our 3rd line he would be a big part of our success as well. Franzen should be used as a secondary scorer. Depending on Franzen to score for you to win games is just asking for trouble. He is one of the streakiest goal scorers in the league, no wonder the team is inconsistent.

Parise should be our number one priority this offseason I believe. It doesn't bring us into contention immediately but having him would be a crucial piece on our top line and allows the team to not count on Franzen every night. It doesn't solve all our problems but I believe it solves a lot and gives our lines a lot more structure. If you start from signing him and look at our lines there is still work to do but it makes it clear to see where our holes are.

Defense is a mess I guess but I think having all the cornerstone peices for a great offence would help on the teams overall game. Last offseason all we did is sign Ian White and our team defence went way up. It's all about having a team commitment to defence

puckloo39 likes this

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The wings played great. They lost because of 3 mistakes that ended up in their own net.

And blame rinne, not Howard. Howard played well tonight, but was a victim of being left out to dry a couple times.

- goal 1 was not his fault at all

- he was out of position on goal 2 but someone should have covered Klein

- goal 3 (which didn't really have an affect on the game) was all clearys fault

If they can solve rinne and gain some momentum, they can pull out of this hole

Edit: that's what she said on the second half of that last sentence :)

Edited by wingsfan4795

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Howard is getting a lot of undue flak.

You know who else got a lot of undue flak? Osgood. Let's hope that Howard proves the haters wrong like he did.

Osgood also had a cup as a starter already at this age.

I don't think Jimmy is horrible or anything but he just doesn't seem to have that knack for good timing. He's given up bad goals at TERRIBLE times in the last two games. Sure, the defense hasn't been great at all times but that's why we have a goalie behind them.

Edited by Yzermania

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To clarify my position on Howard: Hardly the worst part of the Wings game right now, but expected to be MUCH better. Half of the goals against could definitely be blamed on the defensive lapsed, and were results of legitimate scoring chances. However, Howard has looked shaky handling the puck since Game 1. He hasn't made the save the Wings really need, and its made all the worse by the scoring woes on the opposite end.

Howard is not to blame for the Wings not being able to score. He should not be replaced with a higher-cap-hit goaltender. He is not a bad goaltender. He is a good goaltender having a poor/mediocre series. We don't need a different goaltender, just for our current one to play better (which he is more than capable of). I'm not trying to bag on Howard completely, but in a series expected to be a goaltending duel, our goaltender has not competed sufficiently, and shouldn't be let off the hook due to the problems on the other side of the rink.

THAT SAID, you could replace Howard's name with anyone not named Datsyuk or Zetterberg for the most part. Like I've said all season, too many passengers, not enough any finishers.

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They've had four games to solve Rinne and build momentum. Rinne is too damn good, even better when your strategy to beat him is focused on shots from the perimeter and lots of passing. The Predators don't care if they get outplayed -- they have in three games and are about to advance. Babcock made the perfect observation in his presser: the Red Wings make mistakes in this series and it goes in the net; the Predators make mistakes and you don't notice because Rinne bails them out. I'm not really mad at Jimmy with the lack of goal-scoring, but he's let in some deflators in the past two games. The Red Wings control the puck an entire shift, Hudler hits the post, the Predators come down ice and Howard badly overplays Erat and kills all of the momentum.

The Red Wings have no margin for error against Rinne and the Predators know it and have implemented their style of play accordingly. Props to them for executing and equally disappointing the Red Wings haven't taken advantage and forced them to open the game up.

Edited by GoWings1905

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They've had four games to solve Rinne and build momentum. Rinne is too damn good, even better when your strategy to beat him is focused on shots from the perimeter and lots of passing. The Predators don't care if they get outplayed --they have in three games and are about to advance. Babcock made the perfect observation in his presser: the Red Wings make mistakes in this series and it goes in the net; the Predators make mistakes and you don't notice because Rinne bails them out. I'm not really mad at Jimmy with the lack of goal-scoring, but he's let in some deflators in the past two games. The Red Wings control the puck an entire shift, Hudler hits the post, the Predators come down ice and Howard badly overplays Erat and kills all of the momentum.

The Red Wings have no margin for error against Rinne and the Predators know it and have implemented their style of play accordingly. Props to them for executing and equally disappointing the Red Wings haven't taken advantage and forced them to open the game up.

It's not all Rinne though. His defense has bailed him out and made some huge saves too. Neil, Fisher. Then he's gotten a couple fortunate bounces. Don't get me wrong he's very good for sure but it's team defense. They collapse down low and push the Wings to the perimeter. There were juicy rebounds today but the Wings don't have enough speed, size or fortitude to go to those hard areas of the ice to get the dirty goals.

It's great that so many goals came from our defense in the regular season, but it was probably also a sign that we needed more ugly goals around the net. Because in the playoffs guys are blocking those shooting lanes from the point.

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In 3 games Johan Franzen has one point, the goal that bounced off him into the net.

9 Shots on goal. 8 penalty minutes. -1.

Where's the playoff beast that's the justifies tolerating his half-assed regular season play?

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Edited by Bring Back The Bruise Bros
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After Howard got gifted that no goal call then he goes and let's one in less than a minute after I knew the game was over. Wings can't capitalize when the hockey gods did everything they could for them to win. But oh boy did they ever dominate by cycling the puck for two whole periods. The wings haven't shown any skill the whole series other than Datsyuk's steal behind the net goal... cycle, cycle, cycle.... throw it at the net... cycle, cycle, cycle ... point shot.. blocked. That's bad coaching. They're doing the same thing on the power play that's how you know nobody is coaching this team. Nashville is giving them the boards it's not like they're getting frustrated cause Detroit keeps cycling. They let Datsyuk sit there on the half boards and just stand still acting like he's gonna do something crazy but then all he does is pass to the point or swing it behind the net. This team isn't being coached. Nashville will take that offensive pressure all day.

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It's not all Rinne though. His defense has bailed him out and made some huge saves too. Neil, Fisher. Then he's gotten a couple fortunate bounces. Don't get me wrong he's very good for sure but it's team defense. They collapse down low and push the Wings to the perimeter. There were juicy rebounds today but the Wings don't have enough speed, size or fortitude to go to those hard areas of the ice to get the dirty goals.

It's great that so many goals came from our defense in the regular season, but it was probably also a sign that we needed more ugly goals around the net. Because in the playoffs guys are blocking those shooting lanes from the point.

Very true, good points all the way around. I think you are right in saying the combination of the Predators team defense and the Red Wings lack of forwards able to score ugly goals is a major contributing factor to Rinne's success. I hate to harp too much, but this is a spot where you would expect Franzen to be a difference maker. Hudler is small and always gets knocked off the puck, but I've seen him go into those hard areas/front of the net more than Franzen this series.

Edited by GoWings1905

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