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.
I appreciate the response, however I respectfully disagree. Outshooting the opponents 2 to 1 is something the Red Wings have always done, it is a philosophical approach that has been a part of this organization forever. (If a team wants to get 30 shots a game, believe me they can). The problem now, is that while we still average the same amount of shots per game, the quality of our shots have been compromised. The reason for this is because opposing Defense's are keying on our forwards and keeping them on the perimeter - and our forwards are shooting from wherever they have space. They are able to do this, because they don't need to focus on our defense like they would have in years past, as we all know if you gave Lidstrom or Rafalski ANY time and space they would pick you apart.
As for the glory days of scoring 250+ goals per year, I'm sure if you did the research you would find during those seasons, we were in the top 3 in goals scored by defenseman, and collaterally our forwards were also having better seasons.
Not saying our forwards are playing there best either, because they certainly are not. I really have only been impressed by Datsyuk lately, he is the rock of this team. But again, (although they are 4 years older) our last cup came with almost an identical group of forwards. An in-depth look: We have substituted Draper, Drake, Maltby, Holmstrom, Hudler, for Bertuzzi, Brunner, Miller, Eaves and TooToo. Consider that Drake retired that summer, Draper was almost done, and Helm and Abdelkader were rookies the FOLLOWING year - then you honesty can't say the reason were not in a playoff spot this year is because of our forwards.
Although irreplaceable, just look at the impact one Defensman has - Lidstrom made Ian White look like an all star last year and our team was 5th in the NHL in GPG, and the same Ian White this year can't even crack a roster with names like Quincey, Lashoff, Kindl and Smith playing every night.