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The REAL problem with Detroit


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#1 WingedWheel91

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

It seems that every fan or analyst watching the Wings play this year is at a loss for words when it comes to our scoring and power play - not that these thing's don't need to improve - but continue to describe those two areas of our team as our Achilles heal. Let me me point out that our depth at forward is NOT the issue with this team.

 

We have two of the best two way forwards in the world, centering our first two lines. We have them paired with capable, at the very least, players in Franzen, Filpulla, and Brunner. Throw in Bertuzzi, Tatar or Sammy as Datsyuk's other winger and you have one of the better top 6's in the league. Helm as a third line center, with Abby in a role he thrives in (not on Pavs wing as a scorer) and again, a very solid third line. I know injuries have been a big part of the problem this year, but people are forgetting who we have in the lineup when it comes to trade talk.

 

Our offence has struggled because of our DEFENCE. When you roster such a young, but immobile defense core - your offence struggles the most. With experience comes poise, and with poise comes a better first pass, a smoother transition and a smarter chip to exit the zone. I don't care if you have Datsyuk and Z playing together, if they start every shift in there own zone and spend 15-20 seconds trying to breakout, even there offence is going to struggle. 

 

In our top 6 -

Kronwall - Ericsson

Quincey - Smith
Kindl - Lashoff 

 

You have by all intensive purposes, 3 rookies that seem to play a very similar, conservative game, a player in Quincey who has played 2 full seasons in the NHL, with limited offensive ability, Ericsson who has never cracked the top 4 in his career before doing so by default this year, and the furthest thing from offensively minded, and then Kronwall. I love Kronner but the guy has only been better than +5 once in his career. He only hits in the playoffs, and is actually a better skater than passer (doing little for our forwards).

 

I have been most disappointed with Smith, hes getting top 4 minutes, had a ton of hype coming into the season about his offensive instincts (which I believe show potential)  but has 1 ASSIST this season. 

 

All in all, we need to focus on guys like Bouwmeester, Dekeyser, Streit, Yandle, Gardiner, etc. before even considering adding a guy like Corey Perry at $8.5 mill per. One of those players would help our cause more than I think Perry would, just based on getting out of our zone alone. In all of the games I've watched this year, one thing stands out - the lack of odd man rushes we have produced resulting from a good outlet/stretch pass. The only breakaway I can even remember was Franzen's goal on a pass from Brunner. 

 

Looking back at our last Stanley Cup run in 2008, out of 12 forwards we had in the lineup - 7 are on the team right now. And instead of Hudler, Draper, and Holmstrom - we have Tootoo, Brunner, and Bertuzzi. Helm and Abdelkader are much better players than they were then, so I can really only point to the difference on D as to why that team was a dominant cup winner, and this team is far from guaranteed a playoff birth. Oh ya, and our goaltending that season was a split between Hasek and Osgood. (Ozzie replaced Hasek in the first round). I would take Howard and how hes playing this season over those two. 

 

I know Nick Lidstrom can never be overlooked, but seriously - if he was the difference between winning the cup like we did that year, and making the playoffs, I guess we need to start looking. 

 

Let me know what you think...



#2 rick zombo

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:15 PM

In our top 6 -

Kronwall - Ericsson

Quincey - Smith
Kindl - Lashoff 

 

You have by all intensive purposes, 3 rookies that seem to play a very similar, conservative game, a player in Quincey who has played 2 full seasons in the NHL, with limited offensive ability, Ericsson who has never cracked the top 4 in his career before doing so by default this year, and the furthest thing from offensively minded, and then Kronwall. I love Kronner but the guy has only been better than +5 once in his career. He only hits in the playoffs, and is actually a better skater than passer (doing little for our forwards).

 It's actually: "by all 'intents and purposes,"

 

I agree with everything you've said though. Except I haven't been dissapointed with Smith. He's making the transition and trying to work on playing well defensively.

 

I think Detroit can add a scoring winger AND a puck moving D-man. Holland will have to leave his comfort zone though: meaning he'll need to part ways with players he's been loyal to (Cleary), use some amnesty buyouts (Cola, Sammy or Bert) and actually make some trades (Filpulla's rights, Franzen).


Edited by rick zombo, 14 March 2013 - 12:16 PM.

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#3 evilzyme

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:23 PM

I agree with you and I think for the majority some of us has felt that way from earlier in the season. The defense was giving off passes that weren't settling on the blades of the forwards causing a slow down in the neutral zone. If you don't break the neutral zone with speed, you're going to have a bad time. Our forwards are consistently having to put on the brakes to correct an outlet pass. That shouldn't happen, and it is one of the main problems. From the start of the season, I've said this team is deadly when healthy, unfortunately we haven't had it. We've had random rookies come up and impress, but we've lacked the team we actually had on paper. I completely agree that I would add in puck-moving defensemen... stay at home... oh wait Ryan Suter -_-. Along with adding in a nice puck-moving D, we NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED something in our top 6 as a dominate scorer. Franzen ain't frickin it. He can't even rail an open net in the high slot. When we actually do have a good breakout, get possession within the zone and keep pressuring it still doesn't translate into goodness, we need some goodness. We need to start finishing, potting em, hitting the twine, making the light scream, going top ched, we need it. Add a top 6 scorer and a puck moving defensemen and this team would be looking great.

 

Smith I think has been doing good, it's hard to judge him because of his injury. Right before his injury, it looked like he was stepping into his own and getting comfortable. He came back, and now he's slowly looking like he's getting there but certainly not where he was before hand. It certainly doesn't help that everyone is taking the body on him all game long and he isn't avoiding the hits the best he can. He has looked really good and poise some games with his puck handling and distribution, but we need that to be an all-time thing. We certainly can't all hope that Smith stepping into his first full-time season would look like a seasoned veteran. He needs to get used to the league, the timing of the league, the size of the league, the skill of the league, etc. 


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#4 dirtydangles

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

This team is STALE. I get this taste in my mouth like I'm licking a 9V battery when I think about our team. We just don't have that "something" anymore that made us a winner. 


Is there a kickstarter campaign for Jakub Kindl to never play another NHL game?


#5 kipwinger

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:34 PM

I disagree with the OP.  Our defense isn't immobile.  Kronwall, Smith, and Kindl are all very capable of playing the transition game effectively.  Additionally, our stay at home d-men are all highly mobile for that role. 

 

I can't say it's an either offensive or defensive problem.  You really have to be able to make things happen as a five man unit.  What I will say though, is that when teams don't have any reason to fear your offense, they can be quite a lot more aggressive on the forecheck without fear of getting burned.  IMO, the d-men are struggling because teams are pressing us too hard.  If you have a good offense, or if you're playing with the lead (something we don't seem to be doing a lot of) then they have to lay back and try to clog up the offense or else get burned. 

 

But again, I don't think it's an either/or thing.  I think it simply comes down to not having a very good team from top to bottom.  You can't squeeze blood from a stone, and you can't take it to the opposition without dynamic players.  We had that once, but have slowly replaced highly skilled guys with mediocre substitutes. 


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

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#6 DetroitRedWings1993

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:19 PM

When you have Datsyuk playing with two worthless bricks, then you're going to have problems. We have no finishers. We have defenseman who are capable of moving the puck effectively, but once that gets done, there's no one to finish the job.

Brunner has fallen off. He's looking less like the answer and more like the question. I seriously wonder if he'll ever get back to the way he was going early on.

Franzen just can't do it. I can't quite say why. He just doesn't have it anymore. His effort always leaves something to be desired. He leaves me scratching my head. He missed a wide-open net last night. Brad Boyes could've hit that.

Samuelsson shouldnt've been signed in the first place. He's old and prone to injuries. And even when he's healthy, he's not going to do what he did in Vancouver. He was never a 30-goal guy. The Sedins made him one.

The same can be said about Bertuzzi, the only difference being that he was a good goal-scorer once. He either needs to be traded or bought out. Too old and beat up to be of any use anymore.

Zetterberg continues to astound me. His goal-scoring has completely died. I remember when he was a 30-40 goal guy. I guess age has killed his ability. Haven't seen much out of him offensively lately.

Datsyuk gets a slight pass for playing with such terrible linemates. Abby is a career bottom-6'er and Cleary shouldn't even be here. Waive him, trade him, whatever. Just make him gone.

I've concluded that counting on Filpulla for anything consistently is foolish. Last night means nothing. Looking over his whole career, he's done nothing reliably but disappoint. He dances too much and doesn't shoot enough. He beat a Pens defenseman with a pull-back move a year or two ago and now has tried to force himself to become a dangler. I honestly don't expect him back next season. Someone will overpay for him.

What's the answer? Unfortunately, something I don't see Holland doing: making some moves and adding some players. We're terrible, and honestly, I see us being terrible for a while. No one wants to sign here anymore and we're going to have to hope that something falls to us in the draft.

Edited by DetroitRedWings1993, 14 March 2013 - 04:34 PM.

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#7 evilmrt

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:35 PM

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#8 Dominator2005

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:39 PM

So we have no def problems...
"Some guys dream about scoring goals, or making big saves... I swear to God I dream about kicking ass in a hockey fight - no other way to say it than I love to do it, its who I am"... Brian McGrattan

#9 beachwing

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:25 PM

This team is STALE. I get this taste in my mouth like I'm licking a 9V battery when I think about our team. We just don't have that "something" anymore that made us a winner. 


I think licking a 9v battery is exactly what this team needs to do before each shift!!!:)

#10 Richdg

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

LOL. The D is not the issue, the O is. Not only is it not scoring it is turning the puck over. For example last night. The 4th goal was a TO on a blind pass by Filppula that was supposed to go to Zetterberg. TO=Goal. The 5th goal was a TO by lazy Franzen at our blueline that once again ended up in the back of the net. heck the 3rd goal was half on Smith out of position and half on Emmerton-it was his guy that scored the goal. 3 goals that forwards were very much involved with.

But then again, you don't win when you only score 2 goals. we outshot the Flames 2 to 1. But yet lost 5-2. We are still getting our shots, but no goals. If the D wasn't getting the puck to the forwards, we wouldn't be getting the shots. heck, during the boradcast last night, Ken and Mick were talking about how everyone has figured out brunners shooting style, and is jamming him up now. That is a forward issue.

 

But this is also a GM issue. Right now today, we only have enough talent for 1 good forward line. That is it. Everyone else is past their prime, never in the prime, or may someday find their prime. From 1998 through last year, every trip to the finals we scored 250+ goals per year. heading into last nights game, we were scoring at a 214 goal over 82 game pace. Went from over 3 goals per game down to 2.6 goals per game. That is all on the forwards and their talent/lack there of.



#11 Wheelchairsuperhero

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

Our d's idea of a good breakout pass is a panic chip into the neutral zone or a panic shot off the boards. In the offensive zone their current idea of cycling is to panic and shoot into the opposing players knees in front of them. Is our offense slumping? Yes. Is our D a big part of our offense? Also yes.

LOL. The D is not the issue, the O is. Not only is it not scoring it is turning the puck over. For example last night. The 4th goal was a TO on a blind pass by Filppula that was supposed to go to Zetterberg. TO=Goal. The 5th goal was a TO by lazy Franzen at our blueline that once again ended up in the back of the net. heck the 3rd goal was half on Smith out of position and half on Emmerton-it was his guy that scored the goal. 3 goals that forwards were very much involved with.
But then again, you don't win when you only score 2 goals. we outshot the Flames 2 to 1. But yet lost 5-2. We are still getting our shots, but no goals. If the D wasn't getting the puck to the forwards, we wouldn't be getting the shots. heck, during the boradcast last night, Ken and Mick were talking about how everyone has figured out brunners shooting style, and is jamming him up now. That is a forward issue.
 
But this is also a GM issue. Right now today, we only have enough talent for 1 good forward line. That is it. Everyone else is past their prime, never in the prime, or may someday find their prime. From 1998 through last year, every trip to the finals we scored 250+ goals per year. heading into last nights game, we were scoring at a 214 goal over 82 game pace. Went from over 3 goals per game down to 2.6 goals per game. That is all on the forwards and their talent/lack there of.

You think losing gpg average is all on the forwards? Lol. Yeah lidstrom or rafalski sure never helped that stat. Unless it's on the rush, scoring a goal is usually a 5 man process.

Edited by Wheelchairsuperhero, 14 March 2013 - 08:31 PM.


#12 Red Crazy

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:01 PM

Gary Lawless reported tonight that the Wings have shown interest in Buff. I also agree with the OP. 



#13 Richdg

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

Our d's idea of a good breakout pass is a panic chip into the neutral zone or a panic shot off the boards. In the offensive zone their current idea of cycling is to panic and shoot into the opposing players knees in front of them. Is our offense slumping? Yes. Is our D a big part of our offense? Also yes.

You think losing gpg average is all on the forwards? Lol. Yeah lidstrom or rafalski sure never helped that stat. Unless it's on the rush, scoring a goal is usually a 5 man process.

Its simple math and it proves you wrong. last year (all numbers rounded) we averaged 32 shots per game and 3 goals per game. That comes to .094 goals per shot. This year we are averaging 30 shots per game and 2.6 goals per game, which comes to .087 goals per shot. That is a 7% drop in goals per shot. That is big. It covers more than half of the 13% drop in scoring.



#14 WINGS & FLOW

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:54 PM

You hit the nail on the head with that blog sir!  D has been the major problem this year and needs to be addressed.  We can all see that break out passes into the offensive zone are nonexistence.  Even when we have possession of the puck down low no one wants to cycle it back to the point due to lack of confidence in the D's ability. 

 

Cant keep saying let all the vets go, and count on the kids from GR to solve all the problems.  Getting a top D-man is a start in the right direction, and he wont come cheap. 

 

As for Babs.....Im pritty sure hes a competent coach.  For the people that dont agree......who could you replace him with?



#15 WINGS & FLOW

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:04 PM

Its simple math and it proves you wrong. last year (all numbers rounded) we averaged 32 shots per game and 3 goals per game. That comes to .094 goals per shot. This year we are averaging 30 shots per game and 2.6 goals per game, which comes to .087 goals per shot. That is a 7% drop in goals per shot. That is big. It covers more than half of the 13% drop in scoring.

Stats can be used to back up alot of things.  If hockey was a pure numbers game then Ian White should be our top D-man......maybe even the league



Gary Lawless reported tonight that the Wings have shown interest in Buff. I also agree with the OP. 

I heard that from someone in the Jets organization last night as well



#16 RedWingsDad

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

A culture of entitlement.


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#17 DSM

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:32 AM

A culture of entitlement.

 

LMAO



#18 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

Stats can be used to back up alot of things.  If hockey was a pure numbers game then Ian White should be our top D-man......maybe even the league



I heard that from someone in the Jets organization last night as well

 The Jets announcers on TSN Jets stated last night that the Wings and other teams called about Buff and Cheveldayoff basically said that he's not on the market.


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#19 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:57 AM

 Clarkson would be a good pick up this summer if he doesn't re-sign with the Devils, but in reality, 2/3 of the teams in the NHL are going to have to shed up to 6 million in salary, including the mighty Wild and we should have some cap space to use.  It'll be interesting to see what players become available when teams have to adhere to the 64.3 million cap in place of the pro-rated 70.2 cap this year.  Teams may be a little more willing to use us as a trading partner if we have a prospect that they want and they NEED to shed salary.


"I play hockey, but I am not very good.  Can someone please tell me what it would take to sign with the Wings ? I can use a million or two."  ~ arag

 

Dan Cleary is an Xbox 360.  While good for a while, it's time for the new generation to take over.


#20 Tim Cheveldae's Ghost

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:58 AM

There's a lot of issues and its across all aspects of the team. The biggest starts with coaching and the "system" Detroit plays, which seems to be no system at all. Each line kind of does it own thing, and there's no continuity between one line to the next. We obviously all know the lines have been a bungled mess too, putting players in positions to fail and not letting the skill guys succeed. The other is mental toughness, which is something this team has lacked the past 2-3 seasons. They let negative things turn into worse things and by then, the game is over. The recent Calgary game and the Anaheim game were basically carbon copies of each other. I question the amount of leadership outside of Zetterberg and Kronwall on the club, there doesn't seem to be much urgency or pride anymore when things get rough.

The player personnel in my mind, is less to blame. Obviously Ken made some dumb moves that haven't panned out, but the defense has been better than expected this year. I think Holland undervalued what he had in Grand Rapids and its saved his goose by having guys like Lashoff and Tatar up who are NHL ready and could contribute. I also believe there's a serious difference in opinion between Babcock and Holland in what kind of team they want to put on the ice, Babcock has said so vocally numerous times and its leading to the crappy line combos and inconsistent play.







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