Limping along into a conference final loss, for example, (or even another 2nd round loss), would have provided too much cover for our weaknesses. It would have made it too easy to gloss things over and many real issues would only be considerred suspect issues that we could possibly live with.
However, this 1st round exit is a complete failure by Detroit Red Wing standards, and now everything is exposed and on the table for scrutiny. Everything from when to chip and chase ( and work on that more often) to who we really need on Pavel's wing, to Filppula, Franzen, on down the line, to reassessing our tendency to keeping the youngsters (Smith this year) off the playof roster when they are the one's with the energy, blah blah blah. Our roster, our philosophy, our staff... Everything is now on the table to be scrutinized.
Also, I think it would leave a bad taste for Lidstrom in regards to retirement timing. Again, if we had made it to th conference finals, maybe Nick would have thought that is as good as thing can get, he's had a full career, blah blah blah, and it's time to retire.
This year's exit may light a fire in him to return for one final season. At the same time, Smith can be on the roster to learn from Nick, which did not really happen last year. One more run for the Cup in 2013 for Nick Lidstrom.
This team has more to gain and learn from an embarrassing 1st round exit and it's resulting harsher off season scrutiny than they do from the experience of cruising along into a conference final loss.
What do you think?
Edited by T.Low, 21 April 2012 - 02:15 PM.