All that I am saying is this, and It is my personal opinion: I believe that having a guy in the line-up, even if all he can really do is fight, is worth more to a team than one more extra scrub like a Kopecky in '09, when EVERYONE AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER'S were taking liberties with Detroit, or an Emmerton/Samuelsson on this team. Simple as that.
You'll need to remind me of this. Exactly when in the 2008-2009 season was everyone roughing up the Red Wings? Was it in the playoffs? Are you speaking of Commodore dumping himself into the bench after Stuart destroyed Umberger? Perhaps you're referring to the fights with the Ducks at the end of game six, but you're forgetting that Ericsson whooped Perry earlier in the series; I guess you could be referring to Brown's hit on Hudler, but it's rather hard to exact retribution on a guy who gets kicked out of the game and doesn't play in the rest of the series. Or maybe you're talking about the minor scrum after Kronwall obliterated Havlat? I mean, I really just don't get it. I don't remember any circumstances in the regular season either.
Teams have not targeted Detroit like they did in '09 for one simple reason: they are not all that relevant anymore. They are not the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they are not the barometer
Again, I nearly stopped reading here. This seems like an awfully easy way to give no examples in 2008-2009 and then say that there simply aren't any from the next season onward. Perhaps you're forgetting that in the 2009-2010 season, the Wings were coming off a three-season stretch in which they lost in the conference finals, made it to the finals twice, and won the Cup once. There were most certainly still one of the most hailed teams in the league, if not the most hailed. Nevertheless, your claim makes little sense: teams do what works. Whether they play more physically or less physically is a function of strategy and construction. They will not be stupidly aggressive simply because a team is prestigious.
Also, you're contravening your own argument. You're saying that the Wings regularly got roughed up in 2008-2009... but that everyone stopped because the Wings supposedly weren't irrelevant anymore. Um, OK. If that were actually the case, then why would the team need an enforcer now?
Chicago and Boston are, and I guarantee you that their coach or GM would never let their top stars take the extra abuse game after game like Holland and Babcock did in '09 without some intervention.
Again, what happened in that season? Whatever the case, Chicago doesn't play an enforcer. A couple of Blackhawks will fight, just as a few Wings will do.
Players said that they loved having Downey out there. Ask yourself why. No, he was not a major factor, at east not in a tangible way, in Detroit eventually winning the Cup, but don't knock what he did provide the team during the regular season. I'm not here to present indisputable evidence as to why or how having an enforcer in your line-up during the regular season correlates with winning a Cup, because there really isn't any -at least none that can be pointed to on a stat sheet, and most NHL teams routinely dress one anyways. All that I'm saying is that there is also no evidence that NOT dressing an enforcer during the regular season does anything more for your team than earn your star players a little extra abuse. That's it; that's my argument. Take it or leave it.
Saying that there's no evidence a measure will NOT help in its area of intent is not a very effective strategy in discussion. There's also no evidence that to say that, for example, standing on your head for four hours daily won't extend your lifespan by 20 years. I'll go with "leave it."
Edited by Crymson, 30 September 2013 - 03:27 PM.